Singing the Winter Blues

Blues man

Singers are an emotional bunch of human beings. This is not a judgement but rather it is a fact. Indeed, I would dare to say show me a musician who says they are all business and I will show you a musician who does not sing. In fact they may be a musician who has failed to truly conned with their audience thus far.

Emotions are what differentiate the good from the great! It is the great vocalist that can make us cry at a rendition of Happy Birthday or the National Anthem. It is a great musician who knows that to harness the power of emotion is to hold all the power you need for success.

Why then do the winter months pose such a problem for some of us? The reason is that even the best of us can get overwhelmed or stuck in a funk. I like to call this my winter blues; for me, these feelings tend to reach their peak during those long, cold winter days when they daylight disappears way too fast and remembering what sunshine feels like is a challenge.

As a singer, we have a responsibility to continue to hone our craft, keep our instrument at the ready. We can do this through vocalizing daily, perhaps working on performance pieces and even through writing our own music.

But don’t ignore the feelings; embrace them! My favorite remedy is to dig out the old victrola and spin some of the classic blues and give in to it all. Let the great blues masters of the past and present bring your own emotions to the surface. Turn the volume up, and sing along. You’ll be feeling better in no time!

Suggested Listening:
Anything by the following artists (in no particular order) should get you off to a good start. Feel free to add your suggestions to the comments below.

Etta James
B.B. King
Robert Johnson
Eric Clapton
Billie Holliday
Blind Lemon Jefferson
Amy Winehouse
John Lee Hooker
Muddy Waters
Bessie Smith

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