Durham, North Carolina’s Jon Shain is a veteran singer-songwriter, fingerstyle Blues picker and an internationally touring artist. A recent finalist at the International Blues Challenge, Shain keeps the Piedmont Blues alive while incorporating its traditional elements into his own modern approach — mixing in bluegrass, swing and ragtime flavors as well.
Plus, I take lessons from Jon! We Skype most weeks and I try to practice a bit in between. 😉 He’ll be headed to my hometown of Metuchen, NJ on Saturday, September 18 to lead a two-hour acoustic blues guitar workshop. I recently asked him some burning questions about blues songwriting — here’s what he had to say for this week’s Q&A!
Q: What is a blues song? How do you define that in a universe where we all probably have an image of our head of what that means?
Jon: A blues song can be defined by some people by a certain chord progression or melodic tonality, but to really be a “blues”, it should lyrically connect with some true feelings and be expressed in a way that people can feel it as being “real.” Blues is the human response to when life throws everything it has at you. [Read more…]