Hillman
Musical Odyssey
BLUES CONNECTION

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Bill Hillman at Bobby Curtola Sock Hop Reunion: Keystone Centre
Bill ~ Warren ~ Sue-On ~ John
Sue-On Hillman  at Bobby Curtola Sock Hop Reunion: Keystone Centre
There are only two kinds of music:
"Blues...and Zippity-do-dah"
                                     ~ Emmylou Harris
Over the past 40 years we've enjoyed playing a wide variety of styles and genres: rock 'n' roll, country, big band, folk, western, old time, rock, bluegrass, pop, gospel, country rock, originals, cajun . . .  and every combination of the above. . . but we keep returning to the music that forms the bedrock of so many of the music styles we enjoy
. . . the Blues.

My first influences, when I started to learn guitar and songs back in the '50s, were largely blues-based, although I didn't realize it at the time. I grew up on a farm on the Canadian prairies -- not exactly the heart of black blues culture. I didn't have access to the records or airplay of the blues greats but the music on the records I played day and night owed a great deal to
. . . the Blues.

My big influence was Elvis and his fellow Sun Records artists out of Memphis. A few of the obvious blues titles in Elvis's repertoire include: That's All Right Mama, Good Rockin' Tonight, Milkcow Blues Boogie, Baby Let's Play House, Mystery Train, I Got a Woman, Heartbreak Hotel, Money Honey, My Baby Left Me, Tutti Frutti. Shake Rattle and Roll, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Hound Dog, Long Tall Sally, Mean Woman Blues, One Night of Sin, Blue Christmas, Trouble, Reconsider Baby, What'd I Say, Hi-Heeled Sneakers . . .  these and many more of their songs were
. . . the Blues.

Elvis's success launched the birth of a music form that would change the world: rock & roll. This "new" music form was really just a fusion of blues, country and gospel. Indeed the main criticisms of this new R&R music were actually of the elements that make a good blues song or performance: simple chord structure and words, repetitive lyrics and hooks, heavy backbeat, "muh babee dun me wrong" themes, racy lyrics full of double entendres, slurred southern accents, slang and bad grammar, over-reliance on distorted guitars and pounding pianos, singer-penned lyrics, gospel/blues screams, suggestive body movements, gospel choruses. . .  all characteristics that every blues aficionado looks for in
. . . the Blues.

My music listening marathons, guitar practice sessions and record-buying frenzy now branched out to encompass a wildly eclectic mix of performers -- but the fuel that propelled most of the music created by these artists was
. . . the Blues:

Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Bill Haley and the Comets, all the Rock-a-Billy guys, a whole parade of one-hit-wonders, Lonnie Donegan and his Skiffle Group, Louis Armstrong, Paul Whiteman, Jimmie Rodgers, Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, the Staples Family, Lonnie Mack, Bob Dylan and many of the artists from the folk craze.
When the British Invasion with The Stones, Beatles, Animals, et al arrived it started to dawn on general audiences . . . and myself . . . that the driving force behind so much of the popular music we had been listening to since the mid-'50s was
. . . the Blues.

Largely unrecognized old blues singers, many of whom had spent a lifetime living a hand-to-mouth existence on the road or playing dingy juke joints came out of relative obscurity or retirement to receive long overdue recognition, and, in some cases, to salvage some of the royalty payments that had been denied them for so many years. The world had finally recognized an important roots music
. . . the Blues.


Proud Members of the Brandon Blues Society

Support The Blues and Live Music

HILLMAN BLUES PERFORMANCE SCRAPBOOK
SOO'S Saturday Nite Jam
2000.06.10
SOO'S Blues Jam
2000.07.08
SOO'S Saturday Nite Jams
October 2000
SOO'S Saturday Nite Jams
The "Ron and Jan Show"
SOO'S Saturday Nite Jams
Part V
Jammin' with Bobby Curtola at 
Ken Daniels' Cantina 
First Annual Brandon Blues Festival
Brandon University
Blues Overtook Me Concert
At Soo's Showhall
Bobby Curtola Sock Hop Reunion
Manitoba Room ~ Keystone Centre
Hillman Musical Odyssey Scrapbook
Brandon Blues Montage
Blues Hall of Fame I
Blues Hall of Fame II
Hillman Archive of Song Lyrics
Hundreds of Lyrics - MP3 - YouTube Videos
PUKATAWALKIN' BLUES
Illustrated
Hillman Vintage Guitars
Hillman Blues Connection
SHAKIN' ALL OVER TRIBUTE TO MANITOBA MUSICIANS
WINNIPEG MUSEUM OF MAN AND NATURE
Hillman Album No. 7a: Sue-On: The Newcastle Sessions
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