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Welcome Blues Lovers!

The Detroit Blues Society (DBS) is a registered federal 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, education, and advancement of the blues tradition. It has as its primary goals to promote a wider appreciation for the blues by the general public and to serve the members of the Society. DBS provides members with the monthly newsletter Blues Notes. This serves to inform members and the general public regarding relevant news, schedules of upcoming events and profiles on our members. DBS schedules free blues jam sessions, usually on the second Saturday of each month (January-May and September-December), arranges discounts on merchant sponsored merchandize, discounted event tickets and administers an educational program.

Detroit Blues Society Members are encouraged to support the Society in its many activities and are welcome to attend DBS Board meetings. DBS also welcomes personal donations and corporate sponsorships.

Have questions? Need information? Have interest in joining one of the volunteer activities? Have comments, suggestion, additions or corrections to the web information? Please let us hear from you.

The blues has deep roots in American history, particularly African-American history. The blues originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century. Its inventors were slaves, ex-slaves and the descendants of slaves—African-American sharecroppers who sang as they toiled in the cotton and vegetable fields. It's generally accepted that the music evolved from African spirituals, African chants, work songs, field hollers, rural fife and drum music, revivalist hymns, and country dance music.

The blues grew up in the Mississippi Delta just upriver from New Orleans. Blues didn't spread out significantly from the South to the Midwest until the 1930s and '40s. Once the Delta blues made their way up the Mississippi to urban areas, the music evolved into electrified Chicago blues, other regional blues styles, and various jazz-blues hybrids. A decade or so later the blues gave birth to rhythm 'n blues and rock 'n roll.

Well-known blues pioneers from the 1920s such as Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly, Charlie Patton and Robert Johnson usually performed solo with just a guitar. Occasionally they teamed up with one or more fellow bluesmen to perform in the plantation camps, rural juke joints, and rambling shacks of the Deep South. Blues bands may have evolved from early jazz bands, gospel choirs and jug bands. Jug band music was popular in the South until the 1930s. Early jug bands variously featured jugs, guitars, mandolins, banjos, kazoos, stringed basses, harmonicas, fiddles, washboards and other everyday appliances converted into crude instruments.

When the country blues moved to the cities and other locales, it took on various regional characteristics. Hence the St. Louis blues, the Memphis blues, the Louisiana blues, the Chicago blues, the Detroit blues, etc. Bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters electrified the blues and added drums and piano in the late 1940s.

"...thanks for all you do for
keeping the Blues growing."

Bill Wax, Proprietor of Low-Fi's Bar and Pool Hall
on XM Radio Channel 74


Make a donation to the DBS General Fund.


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Detroit Blues Society
2006 Recipient for Best Blues Society

The Detroit Blues Society (DBS) is a registered federal 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, education, and advancement of the blues tradition, as it relates to the Metro-Detroit area. It has as its primary goals, to promote a wider appreciation for the Blues by the general public and to serve the members of the Society.