(watch from 35:38)
If you want to know what the blues is really about, if you want to know why the blues is about sexuality, watch this performance. Blues is about people. It carries the folk roots of sharing your personal, very simple and very raw feelings, worries and confessions with your community. The performativity of personal expression, of showing your true, very personal, intimate, individual and instantaneous feelings, in an improvised, unpolished, honest, personal, and spontaneous communication with the “audience”, as in a direct conversation. Checking on if they get it, if they feel it too. Can you hear me? Yeah. Are you with me? Do you know what I’m talkin’ about? They answer: come on! Tell us. We want to know what you have to say.
The story is about only one night. One intimate moment you want to, you have to share. You cannot go on without it. Because it bursts out, you cannot keep it inside anymore. You know you shook me, baby, you shook me all night long. The shared intimacy of the very basic but strong emotional affect of sexually being attached to someone, and the simplest desires coming from craving for the other and the fears of loosing the whole thing, expressing the temporality of being. Every sentence is about HOW bad you want it, about what you truly are deep inside, the trueness and credibility of the feeling warranted by the reactions from the community. They react, they feel it too, they accept and embrace your feelings, they add to it their own, and they share these simple things of being flesh and bone. They all know what it’s about. You just help them feel it.
You are not on stage, you are with the people, you are just one of them. Blues is about how you fit into the community by expressing your intimate motivations honestly and constructing this shared feeling with the others. Yours becomes a shared story, a closed individual issue made public, conceptualizing the definition of us being just plainly human. You express how you struggle with this simple and itching feeling, you show all sides and aspects of it, show its deepness as much as you can.
And then the dialogue between the two sexually attached people, the voice of the other, sharing publicly what started between them, that they want each other, how they want each other, that its true what others have been gossiping, its official, they do have something between them, they have an affair. And then just making fun of it. Because its life. Sexual grace and playfulness embracing the whole relationship with a delicate touch. The waves of strong and soft dynamics, quick burst-outs and long carried-away ponderings, the questions and answers, the doubts and statements of the whole issue, talking, explaining, articulating. The deep, sexual rythm of shaking hips and slow walking, slow swinging.
Blues is about living the feeling with all its deepness and raw form, sharing, articulating and reaffirming what you are and what motivates you as a person in life, with the help of the community. Like in gospel, a plea towards the others to accept you, to embrace your worries, to reify what truly motivates you inside: not money, not power, not career, not all these falsehoods, but by being inspired by someone, by being attached to somebody, by living for that one night. Because deep inside that’s what carries you forward. Because that makes you human.