When you think of the blues, you think about misfortune, betrayal, and regret. You lose your job? You get the blues. You don’t get that promotion? You get the blues. Your partner cheats on you? You get the blues. You can’t log onto the grid? You get the blues.
Blues lyrics frequently deal with personal dramas, and often, the words go way beyond self-pity; sometimes, they are about overcoming hard luck or just having fun. The best blues are visceral, cathartic, and exposed raw and primitive emotions.
There are many theories about where the “cradle of the blues” resides, but most clues lead back to the African continent and then to the Mississippi Delta. A precursor of modern blues originates from work songs sung by black laborers and the influence of religious songs on the genre from the nineteenth century. Today, there are many subgenres of the blues, ranging from Country to Delta, acoustic to electric, Piedmont, boogie-woogie, Jump, and Chicago, to name a few.
If you are in search of an authentic blues club in SL, you need look no further than Hotlanta Blues owned by DonPaul Cale. This club exemplifies all aspects of the blues: It is gritty and soulful, sensual with a dash melancholy joy; this club offers a true urban haven. DonPaul, a genuine blues aficionado, found out about Second Life from a songwriters chat group and decided to explore the possibilities of live music on the grid. “I built my blues club to reflect an old city, one that is somewhat used and abused, but still alive and thriving in spite of all its been through,” says DonPaul.
Now in it’s fourth year of operation, Hotlanta Blues offers a palette of blues that is always a treat. When asked, DonPaul reveals that his favorite type of blues is, “slow and soulful, led by electric-guitar; the kind that makes you want to close your eyes and listen while you move to the music.” As for a favorite, DonPaul notes that there are so many blues musicians both old and new that he admires. “If I had to choose one I might pick Albert King. I love the feeling he puts into his guitar work.”
The best thing about Hotlanta Blues is that the DJs who entertain you here really know and appreciate the blues. “We have live DJs every day starting at 3 or 4 p.m. SLT... sometimes a little earlier... and they go into the wee hours of the morning, depending on the crowd. Twice a month we have Saint Skytower perform live and once in a while we have other live musicians. I'd like to have more live musicians more often, but that gets expensive and our primary goal is to keep the club solvent so we can keep it open and keep playing the blues,” DonPaul says.
As for owning a club, “I built Hotlanta Blues to be a club I would enjoy going to. I want people to come and have a good time and enjoy the DJ’s and Hostesses and the other people there. In my opinion, SL is not a game... it's a virtual social environment where you can interact with people from all over the world while you enjoy doing things together. There are things in SL that simply annoy me and interfere with that enjoyment... lots of flashing lights, overly irritating gestures, talking pregnant tummies, etc. You won't find those at Hotlanta. What you will find is the blues being played 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says DonPaul.
Hotlanta Blues is always rockin'! It is small, some may call it a hole-in-the-wall, but that is what the best blues bars are. The sound is sweet, and the crowd is hopping. You won’t have the blues if you check it out!