Rick Knepper: Portraits of the living legends of blues
Since 2008, photographer Lou Bopp has made regular trips down Mississippi's Route 61 — known as 'The Blues Highway' — to document the lives of unknown musicians who have made important contributions to the classic American musical genre.
These fellows are either living legends or unknown musicians. I don't think you can have it both ways. Since I own CDs of most of the Legends of Blues, living or otherwise, I was surprised to see these names mentioned under a title containing the term "Living Legends". DPR, you need to work a little harder on your editorial skills.
)What did these particular guys contribute to the genre to make them specifically such important contributors to it?
The roots of the genre, which is much more than just its recordings - its the setting and characters. Perhaps these 60-70-80 year old bluesmen are not "Legends" with a capital "L", but their place and their voice is legendary. Plus, they make great photo subjects . . .
> Legend (noun) - a famous or IMPORTANT person who is known for doing something extremely well
These guys were/are important in their contributions to a unique American genre. That they did not make the 'big time" is of no moment, because they built the foundation on which the modern blues players stand. These old guys are the real deal and, again, their photos speak louder than any of us on 11 (and I've played, blues etc., pro for 40 years incl. w/ Albert Collins in mid 70s).
Geez - just because YOU have not heard of these guys (they don't havebig label press kits and mass-marketed cds) does not mean that they are not both the real deal and genuine "legends." Many of the big names in blues are there only through a lucky break or two, and if you ask those folks, they give it up for the many others of similar talent that never made it out of the regional scenes. This area, in particular, has been characterized as a particularly vibrant traditional blues scene from which some of the bigger names emerged. DPR is right on the money to call these photos of legends, and good work too - some very evocative images. There's a ton of legendary blues out there few folks have heard of - great that some of this history is captured before it is gone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Blues_record_labels
For a photo site significantly populated by gear heads and pixel peepers along with many, many very good photographers, posting this kind of junk is not helpful to anyone. Poorly framed pieces with lousy technical attention may be OK for a P&S, but for a new, cutting-edge semi-pro DSLR, this seems like a bad idea. If you must post random out-of-camera jpgs, then the burden is on the photographer to optimize the setting AND the capture. Of course, if the intent is to make the camera look bad to folks that don't know better, perhaps this is the way to do it . . .
A local law firm wanted to use some of my images - for free, of course," for the exposure." I asked them if I did so would they provide me with free legal advice the next time I was in need - and I would, of course, tell everyone I knew how great they were. Needless to say, that is where the conversation ended.
In addition to photography, I've worked 40 years as a musician - same drill there (and the same answer - no freebies).
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