THE BLUES-L FAQ LIST—Administrative Portion

List Owner—David Pimmel
Compiled by David Silberberg
Last modified March 12, 1995


  1. What is this FAQ List
  2. What is Blues-L
  3. How to Receive Blues-L
  4. To Subscribe, Unsubscribe, and Other Listserv Commands
  5. The Newsgroup Mirror
  1. What is this FAQ List?
  2. What is Blues-L?
  3. How to receive Blues-L
  4. To subscribe, unsubscribe, and other listserv commands
  5. The Newsgroup Mirror

The BLUES-L FAQ List—Content, Controversies and Other Information

List Owner—David Pimmel
Compiled by David Silberberg
Last modified March 12, 1995


  1. What is the Blues?
  2. Lyrical Definitions
  3. Internet Resources (updated 3/12/95)
  4. Magazines (updated 3/12/95)
  5. Controversies
  6. Final Quote
  1. What is the Blues?
  2. Lyrical Definitions
  3. Internet Resources
    1., a newsgroup “intended for all aspects of Blues music in all its forms...”
    2. Internet Sites:

    3. These are very good sites for surfing and jumping off to other blues related areas:
      1. The Blues-L Shed, a repository for information pertaining to Blues-L and the Blues in general. This site may be reached by FTP at:

      2. (login as FTP); e-mail:, message text: send blues catalog
      3. The BluesNet WWW Site

      4.; This site includes a link to the Blues-L Shed
      5. Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, run by fellow blue-zeller Tom Komera:

      7. Tom Morgan’s home page, developed by Mr. Morgan, fellow blue-zeller and author/radio programmer/etc. This source has links to many other music URLs for all forms of music:

      9. The Allmusic Gopher, with biographies and discographies of almost every imaginable blues musician, along with those of other forms of music. This appears to be an unstable site, and seems to be unreachable for stretches of time:

      10. gopher://
      11. Austin City Limits WWW Page

      13. Jazz and Blues Sites

      15. Meanderings: An African American Journal of Politics, Art and Culture

      17. Paul Fenton (fellow blue-zeller and musician)

    4. Commercial Internet Locations
      1. CDC (Compact Disc Connection).

      2. Telnet to: (or
      3. CDNOW, the Internet Music Store

      5. CD-Europe, by modem dial-up only:

      6. (408) 730-8138 (set modem for 8-N-1, up to 14.4 KB)
      7. Individual Record Companies:

      8. many record companies are “going on line” to the Web. The best way to see if the one you want is there is to try: For instance, MCA records is at
    5. Other Mail Lists
      1. The Harp Mail List:
      2. message to:
        message: subscribe harp-l “your real name”
      3. The Jazz List:
      4. message to: listserv@templevm.bitnet
      5. Eric Clapton:
      6. message to:
        message: subscribe
      7. There may be other lists dedicated to Hendrix, Allman Brothers, Santana, Led Zeppelin, John Hiatt, and others for which I don’t have subscription information.
  4. Magazines—Still under construction, but some major blues magazines include:
  5. —Under Construction—
  6. Controversies
  7. As with any good, high-volume list or newsgroup, Blues-L has its share of unsolvable and continually recurring controversies. Unfortunately, the discussion of these topics typically leads to flame wars, name calling, personal attacks, and, in general, messages sent to Blues-L that stray far from the topic of the Blues. The most controversial topics have something to do with white / black issues.

    As we would like to limit the number of messages to this high-volume list that have little or no blues content, please be careful about the following subjects:

    1. Who can play the Blues?
    2. One theory says that because the music grew out of the specific Black experience in America (primarily the South), only African-Americans are the true inheritors of the tradition, only they can truly understand the culture that spawned the Blues, and only they can be true blues-men (and women). Caucasians (and, by extension, Asians, Hispanics, etc.) can only interpret the music, master its form, but not its power.

      Opposed to this is the theory that it is the music that is critical, that everyone has the blues feeling, and that the Blues transcends race and culture. Clapton, Vaughan, Winter, etc. are true blues musicians who take the music to new and more relevant places. This theory also incorporates, for some, the legitimacy of hip-hop, alternative, etc. music as the inheritor of the blues tradition.

    3. Eric Clapton
    4. This is actually a three-sided controversy, much of which relates to (A) above):

      While falling short of “Clapton Is God” rhetoric, many of our contributors believe that Clapton is (the best/one of the best/and excellent) blues guitarist and performer, and that From the Cradle (Clapton’s recent blues CD) ranks with the best recorded product.

      The opposite side of the argument is that Clapton would receive no credit as a bluesman if he weren’t white and already popular with white American and European audiences. Many of our contributors resent Clapton’s enormous popularity and material rewards when more deserving black artists are not recognized, have been cheated out of royalties and other moneys due them, and in general have been forced to live itinerant lives eking out a meagre living by playing their heart-felt music.

      In the middle are those that say, yes, Clapton is a good blues guitarist, but are disappointed in From the Cradle: it is too derivative, merely covering arrangements originated by other black performers, and not adding anything to the genre. This opinion holds that Clapton is good, and should have done more with his breakthrough (to the blues scene) CD.

    5. The British Invasion Groups (primarily Led Zeppelin)
    6. On one side, these groups are praised as having piqued the interest of white Americans and Europeans in the blues, leading them to the real blues.

      The other side says that these white groups merely ripped off the black musicians who created the music. Particularly Led Zeppelin, but not limited to them, they took credit (and royalties) for the songs, credit that should have gone to the black originators of the songs, and only belatedly (and reluctantly) recognized their influences in public.

    7. A is Better than B
    8. Fortunately, we don’t seem to get sidetracked too much on these issues. Obviously, blue-zellers have preferences, and express those preferences on the list: this is certainly an acceptable practice, particularly if reasons are given. We have some excellent amateur (and professional) reviewers amongst our contributors who lay it on the line, both good and bad, about a particular artist or performance. The best of them (which is to say, fortunately for all of us, most of them) stay away from personal attacks on the artists involved, and responses to critics of their critiques. We need reviews, counter reviews, opinions, facts, arguments—but not flame wars.

  8. Final Quote - Credo of Blues-L (In My Humble Opinion)

  9. From Vincent, one of our most interesting and informative contributors:

THE BLUES-L FAQ—Etiquette and Guidelines Portion

List Owner—David Pimmel
Compiled by David Silberberg
Last modified March 12, 1995

Any additions, suggestions, or corrections should be mailed to David Silberberg


  1. General Etiquette
  2. Announcing Personal Appearances
  3. Announcing National Act Appearances
  4. Selling Stuff on Blues-L
  5. Appropriate Blues-L Topics
This is the etiquette and guidelines portion of the Blues-L FAQ.

Please read it before posting any message to the list / newsgroup.

Blues-L is not censored in any way. All messages will be posted to the list. But this is a list devoted to discussion of the blues, and this is a community of blues-lovers and people interested in the form. Over 750 people, from all over the world, subscribe to the mail list; countless others read the newsgroup without subscribing. We hope you will follow these simple guidelines, so that Blues-L will be a happier, friendlier place to be.

  1. General Etiquette
    1. Remember that people will be reading your post. Not everyone will agree with your views, but they are people with valid opinions. Base your arguments on what has been said, not on who you think the sender is. Don’t get personal—let your argument speak for itself.
    2. Mr. Pimmel has structured the list so that your mail readers’ / newsgroup readers’ automatic reply feature will address your response to the individual poster of the message. This is to remind us to think whether or not we wish to respond to the entire list (certainly completely appropriate if you think you comments will interest the entire list), or to the individual poster of the message you are responding to.
    3. Avoid posting “I agree” or “Great Post” or “Me Too” messages to the entire list. This is a waste of resources. If you wish to send this kind of message, please send it to the individual you are complementing.
    4. Avoid posting messages without any useful contents. This includes messages containing only snide remarks to a previous poster, etc. It also includes message where you say “Sorry, no blues content.” If there is no blues content, do not send the message to the list.
    5. Commercial messages should not be posted to the list. (However, see below for guidelines concerning personal appearances by musicians who are members of the Blues-L community.)
    6. If a topic (or musician, etc.) has been extensively discussed recently, hold off on bringing it (him / her) up again. Let another topic get some time on the list.
    7. Remember the distinction between posting to the list (where everyone sees it) and posting to an individual privately. Think about the universality of your message: if you think many (if not most) people on the list would find your message interesting and informative, please post it to the list. If your message would be of interest to only one or two people, send it to them privately.
    8. Please pay attention to your “subject line”: make sure it accurately reflects the contents of your message. If you have changed the subject during your response to a previous post, please change your subject line.
    9. When responding to a previous post, it is acceptable—and often necessary—to quote a few lines from that previous post, to remind readers of what you are referring to. But quote only as much as is necessary to make clear what you are responding to.
    10. Above all, use common sense and consider the feelings of others. Treat others as you would wish them to treat you. We know that sounds like church—but it is good advice.
  2. Announcing Personal Appearances
  3. Announcing National Act Appearances
  4. Selling Stuff on the List
  5. Appropriate BLUES-L Topics

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