Learn the story of blues music

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 25, 2019

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TROY — For guitarist Joey Leone, the story of blues music is the story of America. 

He has traced the roots of the blues in libraries throughout New York City. 

“You could borrow or listen to recordings,” he said.

He will talk about the blues and how it impacted all styles of music from all over the world, with the “guys in the band — bassist Earl Irving and drummer Darro Sandler,” when they present the “Story of the Blues” 1-2 p.m. July 27 at the Troy Public Library. 

“We like to present a variety of music styles, and blues has been popular before,” Anna Barlow, Troy’s adult services librarian, said in an email. “When I saw Joey and his band perform, I knew instantly that they would be a great addition to our lineup. They are engaging and entertaining, and Joey tells a great story, including the importance of the library while growing up. Everyone is bound to have a great time at this performance.” 

 Leone said he will go through iconic figures and talk about great blues artists, mostly of the pre-war era, the mid-1920s to the late 1930s, including Charlie Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson. 

“The beginning of the presentation will be a historical overview of where the blues came from, the Mississippi delta and other places, and the impact on other styles of music: rock ’n’ roll, R&B, country and rockabilly.

“I play acoustic guitar in the first part and explain the dichotomy of the blues from sanctified church music to more urban, then electrified, then I bring the band out,” he said. 

Leone said they’ve presented the program over 80 times at colleges, universities and libraries all over the country. 

“It’s been so well-received,” he said. 

Register for the Troy Public Library program at troypl.org or by calling (248) 524-3534. 

The library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road. 

Call Staff Writer Terry Oparka at (586) 498-1054.

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