Like many folks in the uncertain economy these days, I’ve had to focus more clearly on my mission and how I make my living. Because I no longer have energy to live any kind of a double life, I’ve concluded that my mission is my life and my living. In fact, I’ve been getting a Higher Power message:
“Everybody get in your places. The show is starting!”
The Creator/God/the Spirit of the Universe put me here for a purpose. Over a lifetime my purpose has changed. One goes through being a student, learning a trade, raising a family, attempting to change society for the better, and passing life’s insights on to the next generation. The last part is where I have arrived at now. Somewhat reluctantly, a crone or elder.
It’s my mission at this time, and a great honor, to help transfer some of America’s greatest music, and the stories behind it, to the next generation.
Stepson of the Blues: A Chicago Song of Survival, the autobiography of Larry Hill Taylor which I’ve co-authored and published in a limited edition in my Peaceful Patriot Press, is one man’s life story with a lot of my own insights. As I asked Larry to recount his exciting, often traumatic journey, the clash of our cultures gave violent birth to a lot of strange questions. I commend his patience.
Even as the means to create works of art, literature, theater and music become sparse as wealth keeps concentrating upward in 21st century America, the arts become more and more necessary. The factual data and technology keeps changing too fast for the human mind to process what’s going on. The arts help us understand the meaning of life.
There was no way I could NOT have written Stepson of the Blues. Just as there was no way that Larry, age 2, could have NOT picked up drumsticks. As the late John Lee Hooker would say, “Let that child boogie woogie. It’s in him, and it’s got to come out.”
So in spite of corporate control of radio and publishing, the closing of bookstores, the cutting of arts grant funds, and the slowness of American business to realize that culture is what builds a town, we artists keep doing our thing. It’s in us, and it’s got to come out.
Someday if Larry is into it, I want to do a second edition of Stepson of the Blues—complete with historical chapter end-notes and an index, to officially document Larry’s first-person story. I’m writing a screenplay based on Stepson--a movie both musically entertaining and hair-raising. And, along with the sparkling and savvy dance teacher Miss Taj, I’m reconnecting generations. We're bringing Chicago’s finest heritage blues men and women before the kids, teaching youngsters how to sing their own blues tunes, through Chicago School of Blues. www.chicagoschoolofblues.org
The futuristic writer Kurt Vonnegut, not too long before he died in 2007, said, “African American music is America’s greatest contribution to the world. Blues is the antidote to a worldwide epidemic of depression.” Chicago School of Blues is part of this medicine for our world!
Do you think this work is important? Would you like to help support it? Please email me (see feedbackk form below or CONTACT page of website) or send a private message if you’re a Facebook friend.
Especially for larger donations of $50 or more, I’ve set up a tax deductible donation fund through the New York arts group Fractured Atlas. http://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=2881
Please help support my work. We got to keep on with the boogie to survive.
PRAY FOR PEACE * WORK FOR JUSTICE * BOOGIE FOR SURVIVAL!