James Blood Ulmer: Blues is a feeling you carry inside

18. October, 2017

Blues guitarist and singer James Blood Ulmer is a veteran of the music scene and an authentic artist. His career lasting more than five decades has been marked by important albums, collaboration with the great artists and the status of a legendary artist he enjoys today.

Before the concert in Sarajevo and his first performance in Bosnia and Herzegovina, this great American musician, noted among other things because of his authentic guitar technique and so-called harmonic blues, gave a brief interview for Jazz Fest Sarajevo during which he will have a solo concert on November 4 at the venue Dom policije.


JFS: What was your source of inspiration in the Mississippi Delta?
JBU: Yes. What inspired me in my music was my Daddy who made us all sit down on Saturdays. Somebody played the guitar, somebody would sing, there would be a little dancing, somebody would do a speech, somebody would be acting, like in a play. Those were like five things which were going on in my childhood and when we were doing one of these things you had to incorporate the other parts in some way.


JFS:Why do you think the blues is so important to the development of American music in general?
JBU: Being in a place that someone else calls home and you know that is not where you are from. That creates the blues you have in yourself and that leads you to forget where you are from. My approach is that I apply harmolodic method on any music style that I play. I have abandoned natural tuning of the guitar and created harmolodic concept of playing.


JFS: How would you describe your guitar technique?
JBU: My guitar hero was Segovia and in developing my own guitar technique I wanted to create another technique with which I would make more sounds with one finger than Segovia would make with five.


JFS: What are the themes that you sing about the most?
JBU: My songs are about my own daily life.


JFS: What can we expect from your performance at Jazz Fest Sarajevo?
JBU: Blues. Harmolodic blues.



Photo by Julia Wesely