Why the Blues Really Hit The Spot

After a tough week at the office, I found myself headed to New Orleans for a short business trip.

As any of you who have visited Bourbon street know, there are plenty of live bands to choose from: Dixieland jazz, R&B, pop/rock cover bands and simple, down home, guitar driven blues.

I had a great time listening to every single band I could find, enjoying a wide variety of music last week.

But whenever I really settle in with a good, live blues band, I wonder what it is that makes the blues so timeless and appealing -- especially late at night with a good local beer!

So for fans of the blues, can anyone explain?

Do the blues more perceptively touch some aspect of human nature? During times of stress or loss, do the blues give you a sense of empathy and understanding? Or is there some counterintuitive explanation that the blues can somehow cheer you up in a mysterious way like Ritalin somehow calms hyperactive kids?

I guess I am asking the musically equivalent question of when and why people seek out movies like Love Story, Platoon or Terms of Endearment?

What are your thoughts and experiences and when do you most enjoy listening to the blues?
I probably enjoy listening to the blues more than any other music. I guess it's the ability of the blues guitarist to really immerse himself into the music. The electric guitar, properly played by the artist, has an uncanny ability to make the listener whine, moan and groan along with the music. Listen to Albert Collins, Buddy Guy,
Stevie Ray Vaughn, BB King, and countless others, tell the gut-wrenching stories of woe through their instruments. May the blues make you feel better off than those poor souls that the blues players play about!!
Da Blues, I enjoy them anytime...no other genre for me conveys such emotion! From SRV to Howlin Wolf, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Muddy, ZZ Hill, Clapton, Cray and maybe most of all for me Canned Heat! it's just....too good.
Don't forget John Mayall. His 70th birthday concert / celebration recorded live in Liverpool is excellent sonics and an evening to be remembered. I sent a copy of the CD and DVD to Peter Q at Audio Note and he loved it.
The blues ain't about being down, but more about getting back up. In everybody's life there comes those moments when it hurts and singing (and listening to) the blues is a way of getting past the hurt. At least that's what my momma done told me!
Well, I don't know about "touching some aspect of human nature" or about those special moments, but if you like it, play it! BTW - Blues are particularly good with Bourbon.