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Outside the Blues, a concert and discussion of “what constitutes (and maybe doesn’t) the blues,” is the kind of forum where consensus may or may not flower, but opinions will certainly bloom. This gathering of writers, musicians, and writer-musicians, moderated by critic Kurt Gottschalk, was concocted to consider “new uses for an old language.” Participants Greg Tate, Elliott Sharp, Cooper-Moore, and Steve Cannon weigh in on a range of questions: Does orthodoxy exist to be pummeled? What cultural, racial, and musical cornerstones must be in place for a performance to provide a “blues” resonance? Is there a through-line between Son House and Sun Ra (whose glorious Some Blues But Not the Kind That’s Blue was one of 2008’s more vital reissues)? Solo performances by Loren Connors, Sharp, and Cooper-Moore to follow. Along the way, we may learn whether the cocky expressionism of Led Zep holds as much artistic sway as the dreamy monologues of John Fahey. And what about future blues . . .
Sat., Jan. 17, 7 p.m., 2009