Faculty members inform campus of the blues

Abbey Whittington, Entertainment Editor

A lecture and recital about the blues called “Evolution of the Blues: From Fringe Folk Music to American Popular Music” will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Doudna Fine Arts Center Theatre.

J.B. Faires, who teaches general education music courses, will lead the lecture. Faires is also a freelance bassist who has performed in musical groups in the Charleston and Mattoon area and throughout the rest of the Midwest as well.

Accompanying Faires in the show will be Paul Johnston, a music professor who will be playing piano, Jay Ferguson on the drums and Bobby Reynolds on guitar.

Faires said the four musicians would be performing more than lecturing, and the event was put together for lovers of music like him and those involved in the lecture.

At the lecture, early blues music will be discussed and how it has changed throughout time.

Faires plans to show this evolution by performing music from blues artists from different times.

Some of these blues artists will be Robert Johnson, Miles Davis, Charley Patton, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Muddy Waters.

Charley Patton was an American Delta blues musician and slide guitarist who was considered the “Father of the Delta blues.” Patton died in 1934.

Robert Johnson was a Delta blues singer and songwriter who was famous for his song “Crossroads Blues.” He died in 1938.

Duke Ellington was a composer, pianist, and he led a jazz orchestra until he died in 1974. His career lasted for over 50 years.

Thelonious Monk was a jazz pianist and composer who died in 1982.

Monk’s style of jazz stood out because of the way he played the piano, which included dramatic playing and pausing.

Muddy Waters, whose real name was McKinley Morganfield, was considered the “father of Chicago blues” and died in 1983.

Waters was a singer and a guitarist who became popular in 1946.

Miles Davis was a trumpeter who became famous in the mid-40s and played music up until his death in 1991.

Faires said even the more modern blues artists have similarities to these earlier performers.

“The blues feeling is what ties the music together,” Faires said. “It’s going to be informative and entertaining, and it’s free so I hope people come out and have fun.”


Abbey Whittington can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]