Browsing: The Language of the Blues

To jam is to improvise with other musicians. Linguist David Dalby traced jam to a Wolof word… check out where your favorite musician get-together came from!

In the blues, Jake isn’t just a name! Find out the boozy, interesting, and moonshine-steeped history of the Jake Leg that Tommy Johnson himself even sang about!

A lighthearted subcategory of urban blues called hokum was popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Find out all about this old, raucous, raunchy genre of blues music!

Migratory workers who jumped on trains and hitchhiked without direction were a staple in blues songs. Now discover the interesting origin of both the word and the lonely travelers…

The blues harp goes all the way back to a Chinese Emperor! See how the harp successfully emulated the field hollers that became the blues, and why it’s been such an important instrument in the genre!