ARBA Mission statement
The Adelaide Roots and Blues Association was formed in Adelaide, South Australia in 2013 and was incorporated on the 4th of December, 2014. It has not-for-profit status and the following broad aims:
1. Produce and disseminate a newsletter at least every two months.
2. Maintain and grow the association website and Facebook presence.
3. Maintain and grow the annual “Memphis Blues Challenge” competition, our annual open, live, judged music competition comprised of “band” and “solo/duo” categories.
4. Give the winners of both categories of the “Memphis Blues Challenge” competition the opportunity and assistance to compete at The International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
5. Maintain stocks of existing ARBA merchandise for sale and look for opportunities to develop new lines of merchandise.
6. Continue association events at St Luke’s and other venues that may provide opportunities.
7. Continue partnership with The Gov in presenting the Gumbo Room Thursday evening weekly gig and jam.
8. Continue the “Blues Album of the Year” (BAY) and “Roots Album of the Year” (RAY) awards on an annual basis. Establish the annual “Paul Hay Award”. Develop and establish an annual “ARBA Award Presentation Night” event to be held in October each year.
9. To establish and maintain links with suitable roots and blues related music festivals held in South Australia.
10. Develop and roll out an ARBA “Youth in Blues” initiative.
ARBA Committee Members
ARBA Office Bearers
MAILING ADDRESS: ARBA PO BOX 457 Unley SA, 5061
What is Blues
Blues is an African-American music that traverses a wide range of emotions and musical styles. “Feeling blue” is expressed in songs whose verses lament injustice or express longing for a better life and lost loves, jobs, and money. But blues is also a raucous dance music that celebrates pleasure and success. Central to the idea of blues performance is the concept that, by performing or listening to the blues, one is able to overcome sadness and lose the blues.
Among the formal, identifying musical traits of the blues are the familiar “blue notes,” a three-line AAB verse form, and a characteristic use of the familiar blues chord progression. Historically, the popularity of blues coincides with the rise of the commercial recording industry, the introduction of “race” records aimed at black record-buyers after 1920, and the emigration of black Americans from the rural South to the urban North. Many of the earliest black American recording stars were blues singers. The first blues songs to be recorded, often called “Classic Blues,” were jazz-influenced songs in a vaudeville style, sung by the great blueswomen: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and others. These singers were often accompanied by pianists, guitarists, or even small jazz combos.
“Country Blues,” usually considered an earlier form of the genre, was actually recorded in the mid-1920s. There are several regional styles of country blues, including delta blues from the Mississippi Delta, Texas blues, and Piedmont blues from the Southeast. Country blues was usually recorded by a single male singer, self-accompanied on the guitar or piano, with perhaps an accompanying harmonica or simple percussion. Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Boy Fuller, and Robert Johnson were country blues musicians.
Beginning in the 1930s, blues musicians fell under the influence of urban culture, including popular music and jazz. Combos incorporating piano, guitar, and percussion developed, although the country, “downhome” origins of the musicians were still evident in the music. Major musicians of the 1930s included Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy, Little Brother Mongomery, Leon Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, Lonnie Johnson, and Memphis Minnie.
After World War II, the use of electrified instruments became inevitable. During the 1940s, some blues bands even incorporated saxophones, although the preference was for amplified harmonicas, especially in Chicago, a predominant centre of blues recording in the 1950s. Blues from this period is often called “Urban Blues,” “Electric Blues,” or simply “Chicago Blues.” Important urban blues musicians included Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Elmore James, Howlin’ Wolf, T-Bone Walker, and B. B. King.
What is Roots
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the term “Folk music" was used by scholars to describe music made by whites of European ancestry. Folk songs communicated the hopes, sorrows and convictions of ordinary people's everyday lives. The definition of folk music has been expanded to include the song styles of African Americans of the Mississippi Delta, Cajuns of southwest Louisiana, Native Americans and Mexican-Americans. It was sung in churches, on front porches, in the fields and other workplaces, while rocking children to sleep, and at parties. The melodies and words were passed down from parent to child, though songs - and their meanings - often changed to reflect changing times.
"Hillbilly" and "race" records became profitable recording industry genres that popularize regional music. The emergence of radio broadened audiences and helped the cross-fertilization of various musical forms. In the 1960s, awareness of folk songs and musicians grew, and popular musicians began to draw on folk music as an artistic source as never before. "Folk music" then became a form of popular music itself, popularized by singer/songwriters such as Bob Dylan, who helped pioneer the intimate, often acoustic performing style that echoed that of community-based folk musicians.
Music writers, scholars and fans began to look for new ways to describe the diverse array of musical styles still being sung and played in communities spreading across America and now throughout the world. The term "roots music" is now used to refer to this broad range of musical genres, which includes blues, gospel, traditional country, alt.country, folk, cajun and zydeco. "