I just looked at a interview on Facebook with Eric Clapton concerning his new album, Clapton, which is due out September 28 of this year. Though this part of the interview was short, there was a certain vein of relevancy that pervaded as Clapton described his album as looking back to music he has listened to all of his life. The main point here being that he was not trying to reinvent the wheel, but enhance the music that was already there.
Jimi Hendrix, if you listen to his music closely, was a blues singer who through the use of chemical agents, engendered a viewpoint of music that many thought was a new wave of sound. His music was a new variation on an old style. If Hendrix were alive today, chances are much of his music would be similar to that of Buddy Guy with the hard driving blues beat and the masterful guitar work that was prevalent in the likes of Hendrix, Guy and Clapton. The truth of this is born out in the music of Clapton, whom I consider a survivor of the Hendrix era. Much of his music was based on blues such as the cut “Spoonful” which is an old blues song. Leadbelly, in the song, “Talking Blues” and others that are very similar, laid the foundation for the rap music genre so many today think is an original art form. I do not mean to take away from the artistry of those performers, but let us begin to understand that rap, blues and many other forms of music have evolved from past styes and are not entirely original.
I say all of that to say that our hunger for things new does not necessarily have to be something totally different that we credit to ourselves. Every generation seems to want to make their own legacy and become different. Whether it be faith, music, art or however we mold our lives, not all lessons learned need to be repeated. To the alphabet people (x, y, whatever generations) let me advise that we all take the advice of Eric Clapton when discussing his new album and look to the past with an eye to the future so that we may understand the foundation from which we come and enhance it!