Bongo Boy Magazine Summer 2018 Part One - Page 45

I have always wondered why so many great singers came out of the Delta. I found out that during slavery, all kinds of African slaves from many different tribes were brought here, and many of them had different kinds of talents. What was in the soul was a song they didn’t learn, it was a part of them—and that’s where America’s first music came from, the souls of the slaves. While the fact that the Blues came from an adaptation of African music that was sung by the slaves is common knowledge, what I did not know was that the reason so many of the ancient, first-generation Blues musicians seem to have played off beat is that “…the blues had no definite beat. In fact, during slavery, the slaves were not allowed to have drums because then they could communicate with each other. So, anything that a slave could beat on was taken away.” Ultimately this is a book about personal growth. The growth of a little girl born into terrible circumstances who grows up and experiences huge amounts of pain and disappointment before eventually making peace with herself and her Creator. When explaining the Blues, Sheba has this to say: Life is what makes a good blues singer. Blues is about life and the things that life takes you through. It’s about bad times, good times, loving someone and not being loved back. That’s why people don’t accept a young person singing the blues—they feel they haven’t really lived it. Someone said, “The blues is easy to play but hard to feel.” The blues would be best described as stories, about people highlighting their feelings in music, the good and bad. The blues is our trail of tears, blood, and sweat coming from the dry bones of those who died for us. So, folks, what is the bottom line? If you like the Blues, this book is required reading. Even if you are not into this type of music, you are sure to find the story of Sheba’s life enthralling. This is the kind of book one reads in one sitting. Once you start, you will not be able to put it down. My suggestion is that you do as I did and listen to the album while you are reading. Available at Bongo Boy Records: