Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:Hardboiled Music

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 18 Apr 2000

Mark Sullivan wrote:

> Juri, are you actually saying that white blues players play _better_
> than their black forebears? Not just in a different, more engaged
> style? For instance, that Eric Clapton or Duane Allman or Stevie Ray
> Vaughan plays _better_ than B.B. King, Blind Willie Johnson, Muddy
> Waters or Robert Johnson?

This stretches the original discussion a bit too far, but let me answer: No, I didn't mean that the white musicians play any better than the black ones, I meant that they play in too sophisticated manner. They are not raw enough. Well, I know that Albert King or someone like him isn't very raw. I meant that the white blues doesn't have the same feeling that the original black blues has. This is a discriminating thing to say, but after listening to both the black and the white blues for many many years, I can say that the black stuff is way better in both the feeling and the attitude.

> That strikes me the same as saying that, by definition, cozies are
> written _better_ than hardboiled, that Ruth Rendell, for instance,
> writes better than Raymond Chandler, not just more academically or
> refined, less colloquial.

So, doesn't she? I think the cozy writers can write as well as the hardboiled ones and the hardboiled ones can write sloppily, boringly, in a dead cliched manner (and very often they do). The same categorization I had above on blues music goes very well here: the hardboiled writers seem to have more feeling in their writing than the cozy ones. That doesn't mean that they write better


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