U.S. Blues Field Manual
Section How to Sing the Blues

1. Most Blues tunes begin with: "Woke up this morning..."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you sticks something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes... sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch -- ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs, and broken-down trucks. Blues don't ride around in Volvos, Benzes, BMWs, or SUVs. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In the Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis, Sacramento or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain. Best to be in a city next to a big muddy river. In the rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause an alligator be chomping on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good Places for the Blues: 11. Bad places for the Blues: 12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, less you happen to be an old ethnic person, and you slept in it. 13. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if: 14. No, if: 15. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues. 16. If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are: 17. The following are NOT Blues beverages: 18. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Gettin' stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another good Blues way to die. So are the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a golf or tennis match or while getting liposuction. 19. Some Blues names for women: 20. Some Blues names for men: 21. Persons with names like Michele, Amber, Jennifer, Tiffany, Brooke, Brittany and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis. Same goes for men’s names like Lance, Biff, Pierce, Ryan or Harcourt. 22. Make your own Blues name Starter Kit: 23. Oh, by the way. I don't care how tragic your life is, if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues. 24. Some additional notes for the advanced Bluesman. You need a guitar or Mississippi saxophone (harmonica) to sing the blues. If you don't have these tools, you really got the blues ‘cause now all you can do is clap your hands and stomp your foot! And what if you lost your leg or arm jumping from a train, now you can't even do that, see how the blues is, it just goes on and on and gets worse as it goes! Sing it to me, Bluesman!