Here's a list of some of those snappy "blues quotes" we include in the emails we send out.

“As time pass, you progress whether you tryin’ to or not. Down through time, it applies to everybody: The more you work at it, the better you gotta get.” – Henry Townsend

“For some of us, blues music is not a career choice; it’s a life. It’s who you are; it’s something you’re born with.” – Tony Coleman

“When I got married, I had her on one arm and a guitar in the other hand. I said, ‘You’re gonna have to put up with this and me both.’” – James "Super Chikan" Johnson

“I don’t think the blues will ever die, but it is changin’ a lot.” – Lil’ Ed Williams

"I figured that if you’re going to embark on a musical career, you need a name that draws attention." – Taj Mahal

"And not just the blues, but all music. I can’t separate my love of Howlin’ Wolf from the Rolling Stones, or Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, or Ruth Brown." – Bonnie Raitt

"When I went back down south, boy, they'd put me up on top of a house to hear me play." – Big Joe Williams

"I was born a rambler. I'm gonna ramble until I die." - Blind Willie McTell

“Why I got into [music] in the first place wasn’t about the money. I got into it because I loved it.” – Lonnie Mack

“Show up and do the best job you can possibly do.  You don't have to be the best musician. You have to be consistent and show up.” – Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater

“You have to entertain people from the second you start." – Smokin' Joe Kubek

“You loan your friend your money, you gonna lose your money and your friend. And that's the blues, sir.” – Buddy Guy

“What keeps me playin' the blues is when I'm playing the guitar and there's two or three good-lookin' women over there.” – Leo "Bud" Welch

“I make a living in the blues because I look in the mirror and I tell the truth to myself: it’s hard but it’s fair.” – Bobby Rush

''I just want everybody to have a good time, because I'm goin' out to have a good time. I'm going to go have some fun.'' – James Cotton

“I don’t try to just be a blues singer – I try to be an entertainer. That has kept me going.” – B.B. King

“I always felt I never chose music, it chose me.” – Ben E. King

“I use heavy strings, tune low, play hard and floor it.” – Stevie Ray Vaughan

“Some people will wish to preserve what they classify as ‘real blues’ which is OK, but some people will do something totally different with their blues influences and that is how the music will really survive - that is the way it has always survived, to my way of thinking - by being re-defined somehow by a different generation of players. “ – Roy Rogers (The guitarist, not the singing cowboy)

“There ain’t nothing wrong with the old blues. Ever since I can remember it’s been here, and I believe it still will be here when something else is gone.” – Robert “Wolfman” Belfour

“Blues is the music of the truth which is called everyday living.” – Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater

“When I started hearing the blues, that turned me all around. All I wanted to be was Muddy Waters or Otis Spann.” – Ian "Mac" McLagan

“Play what's in your heart.” - Sonny Rhodes

“Now the Blues is diversified. Color doesn’t matter.” – Keb' Mo'

“If you bend a string without making a face, it’s like eating food without tasting it.” – Paul Gilbert

“Hobos are people who move around looking for work, tramps are people who move around but don't look for work, and bums are people who don't move and don't work. I've been all three.” – Seasick Steve

“Time to mingle!” – Sherri “Sher Bear” Kelly

I just hope I'm remembered as a good blues musician.” – Johnny Winter

"The blues, it got people – black and white – to think about life, how difficult, yet also how good it can be. They would sing about it; they would pray about it; they would preach about it. This is how they relieved the burden of what existed day in and day out." – Sam Phillips

“If you don’t think you got the blues, just keep livin’.” – Buddy Guy

“Blues ain’t football. You don’t have to retire at 30. You can grow and play all your life.” – Elvin Bishop

"What I want y’all to remember about me is that whether there’s ten of us in here or 1,000, I didn’t cheat you. I gave you a show.” – Carl Weathersby

"We was po', po'. When he was younger, my father was a sharecropper that worked a mule to death in Talladega.” – Jerry “Boogie” McCain

“I just didn’t feel like playing anymore. I went back to selling liquor. Then I ran a woodyard for about two years around 1940. I lost my other leg in 1952, through sugar diabetes.” – Peg Leg Howell

“In the end I had to do something different, get my own style. I had to come over with something new and quit foolin' around.” – Juke Boy Bonner

“Turn it up to 10 and don’t apologize.” – Joe Bonamassa

"Music don’t count if it don’t make the bottles bounce on the table."– Moon Mullican

“People like their blues singers miserable.” – Janis Joplin

"Blues is my religion, the world is my chapel, and the people is my congregation."– Sonny Rhodes

“Everybody should be lucky enough to live as long as I have and be happy.” – Delbert McClinton

“You know we like for women to be around, ’cause when women are around, that brings mens, and we’ll get money. ’Cause when you get out there, the women get to drinkin’ and not thinkin’.” – Lead Belly, on performing with Blind Lemon Jefferson

“I firmly believe that the blues has to evolve.” – Ana Popovic

“Whatever I feel, that’s what comes out. Take it or leave it.” – Homesick James

“Music is music to me, I never knock any music.” – Little Willie Littlefield

"Basically, I'm just a guitar player that figured out I wasn't ever gonna be able to buy dinner with my guitar playing so I got into songwriting, which is a little more profitable business." – J.J. Cale

“A blues musician is a complicated person, who got enough problems of his own without people asking crazy questions.” – Juke Boy Bonner

"My soul is in every song I sing, and every note I play.” – Katie Webster

"The songs that I sing are the truth." – Bo Diddley

"The first time I ever heard a guitar, I thought it was a brass band coming through.” – Rev. Gary Davis

I have gotten where I am today only because I have persisted against all odds for a long time.” – Rory Block

"I was the number one attraction in the country for three years. I went across the country with a band that couldn't play five songs all the way through. Only thing I could play was the tunes I recorded. But, wherever I'd go, I'd draw a lot of people, because I was a good-looking man at that time. And very popular, you know, with the women anyway. So wherever women go, the men gonna be there." – Pee Wee Crayton

"I never get in a hurry; I'm never in a hurry." - Leslie “Lazy Lester” Johnson

"Less is more, man." – Gregg Allman

“The blues is the roots, everything else is the fruits.” – Willie Dixon

"You know, I done that song this way, but if I come to do it again, I’d have changed them around some. So what you’re listening to was just that one." – Son House, on his studio recordings

"I've been married twice. Most women would rather not be married to a traveling blues singer" – BB King

"I've studied music all my life, so there ain't no telling what I'll be doing. But naturally, I'm going to do the blues." – Jimmy Johnson

“I don’t try to copy. The world doesn’t need another Chuck Berry or another BB King; it’s already got them – although it’s fun to play their music.” – Steve Cropper

“When you get the right guys in your band, you’ll know.” – Lil’ Ed Williams

I know if [people] listen to the blues, they gonna get the true facts of life without all the fiction involved. And it’s got to create better understanding among everybody.” – Willie Dixon

“See, I was mostly like a creator – that’s what I was about. Creatin’ sounds.” – Jimmy Rogers

I know if [people] listen to the blues, they gonna get the true facts of life without all the fiction involved. And it’s got to create better understanding among everybody.” – Willie Dixon

“When we were broke we used to eat syrup and bread, without even any butter with it.” – T-Bone Walker

“Don’t think about how somebody else did it. Forget other people and create your own style.” – Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown

“I’m Elmore. After me there won’t be no more.” – Elmore James

“Everybody is going to have the blues. If they haven’t already had ’em, they’re gonna have ’em.” – Johnny Shines

“When you play out in the public like we was doin’, around small crowds or whatever, you could just about tell when you hit a nerve there.” – Jimmy Rogers

"I shot him. I had to shoot him." – Frankie Lee Sims

"I go where the music leads me and I don’t stay in one place too often.”
– Joe Louis Walker

“I’m a ladies man. The ladies follow me everywhere.” – James “T-Model” Ford

“I never was a person for copyin’ people. I like to be John Lee Hooker.” – John Lee Hooker

"Always keep your hat on.” – Mississippi John Hurt

“We sing the blues because our hearts have been hurt, our souls have been disturbed." – Alberta Hunter

“I never consider another artist my rival, because that artist does what he or she does and I do what I do.” – Irma Thomas

“I wanted to yodel, but all I could manage to do was howl.” – Howlin’ Wolf

"The blues will never die, because it's the truth." – Ronnie Baker Brooks

“I'm just trying to document my life in musical terms.” – Tab Benoit

“To me, my music is like a therapy. My music is healin'. “– Koko Taylor

"When I’m reaching an audience, I feel it." – Hubert Sumlin

"Our music is blues straight from the delta. I believe we’ll make it on that." – BB King

"Music really is a way to reach out and hold on to each other in a healthy way." –
Stevie Ray Vaughan

"I don't play anything but the blues, but now I could never make no money on nothin' but the blues. That's why I wasn't interested in nothin' else." – Howlin' Wolf

“The blues comes right back to a person's feelings, to his daily activities in life.” –
Jimmy Rushing

"The blues ain't nothin' but a good woman on your mind." – Mississippi John Hurt

“If it’s my show, it’s my stage, and I won’t let anyone mess with me.” – Albert King

"People have learned how to strum a guitar, but they don't have the soul. They don't feel it from the heart. It hurts me. I'm killin' myself to tell them how it is." – Lightnin' Hopkins

"I love to feel the music." – Etta James

“Blues isn't made to be played fast.” – Honeyboy Edwards

“When I'm up on stage I always feel Pops is there with me and it means so much that I can keep his music alive around the world." – Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters

“My life is blues.” – Louisiana Red

“[The blues] is the antidote for sadness and depression.” – Warren Haynes

“The blues tells a story. Every line of the blues has a meaning.” – John Lee Hooker

"I don't want to be in some big beautiful place that nobody want me, because I play the blues." – Luther Allison

"I just wanna make people happy and make a dollar or two. It's all I know to do." –
Pinetop Perkins

“There's a lot of young people going back to the blues once they found out that the
blues is the roots of all the music.” – R.L. Burnside

“I didn’t get no schoolin’. I just picked it up.” – Pinetop Perkins

"I've got the blues deep down in my heart and I'll keep on playing till I can't no more." – Magic Slim

"I get most of my sound from the amp that I use and I always like to use my own amp - a 100 watt [Fender] Quad Reverb I've been using since 1972. I always put the volume all the way up on 10, treble on 10, middle on 10 and I don't use bass, intensity or none of that. " – Albert Collins

“My songs are either telling a story or asking a question. It’s just a feelin’.” – Magic Slim

"With the music, we gets to express a few things." – Jimmy Dawkins

“I started out by sittin' down, but I discovered that I felt more inside me by moving
around.” – Junior Wells

“A guy will promise you the world and give you nothin', and that's the blues.” – Otis
Rush

“How 'bout we go get kicked out of an Applebee's?” – Ricky Bobby

“Muddy Waters slapped my face and told me, ‘Go get it, Buddy!’ Ever since then I don’t hold anything back.” – Buddy Guy

“Are you SURE you're playing the blues?” – Kelly Sullivan

“Each time I go onstage I go up like it's my last time.” – Guitar Shorty

“Y’know, if after 30 years or so all of a sudden you ain’t got no money or no job, them women kinda look at you different.” – Bill Asa

“When you play music, you have to keep moving” – Snooks Eaglin

“You can’t make people love you.” – BB King

“Just turn it up as loud as you can and go for it.” – Billy Gibbons

“I play it the way I feel it.” – BB King

“You name ’em, I’ll play ’em.” – Jimmy Reed

“How how how.” – John Lee Hooker

“No matter what you got, the blues is there” – John Lee Hooker

“When you ain’t got no money, you got the blues.” – Howlin’ Wolf

“I always feel like putting another note in there.” – Johnny Winter

“If you want to be a good blues singer, people are going to be down on you, so dress like you’re going to the bank to borrow money.” – Bukka White’s advice to his second cousin, a young BB King

“The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.” –  Willie Dixon

“I’ll keep playing until someone tells me not to.” – Les Paul, December, 1977

“The blues is the foundation.” - Luther Allison

“Well I done got old.” – Junior Kimbrough

“Find me playing till sunrise for 50 cents and a sandwich.” – Muddy Waters

“I've always wanted the sound of Muddy Waters' early records - only louder” – Eric
Clapton

“Blues is a natural fact.” – Big Bill Broonzy

"Notes are expensive... spend them wisely.” – B.B. King

“I been in the blues all my life. I'm still delivering 'cause I got a long memory.” – Muddy Waters

“The blues is Life.” – Brownie McGhee

“I don't do nothin’ I don't want to do.” – John Lee Hooker

“Lightnin’ change when Lightin’ wanna change.” – Lightin’ Hopkins

“Playin’ the blues is like tellin’ the truth.” – BB King

 

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