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On 9/22/2014 11:28 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
> Actually, it was more party/drinking music with dancing occuring. This
> was nothing like Northeast urban Lindy-dance/flapper music, to say
> nothing of the famous organized dance contests and events in the big
> cities. And, much of the slower blues can't be danced to very well,
> because it's about being sad, down, cheated, etc. I would guess the
> primary activity at many if not most blues performances in the 30s was
> liquor consumption, gambling and scouring for sex partners. Not to say
> this was going on right next to the Lindy/flapper dancing in the
> Northeast (or at any given pop music festival today, except that the
> gambling is probably replaced by drug-seeking and drug-taking).

I may be wrong in my memory, but I seem to recall some of the older 
blues musicians, after they were "rediscovered" in the 1960s, saying 
that their recordings were a lot different from what they did in live 
performance. The latter had to be all up-tempo and danceable. On 
recordings they could play the slow and sad stuff, but their customers 
wouldn't stand for that in roadhouses. For someone like Charley Patton, 
"Shake It and Break It" was much more typical of his live performances 
than, say, "High Water Everywhere".

Peace,
Paul