Song Backstory: Married to the Blues

Find out about the life-changing story of how Juwana became Married to the Blues!  Here’s an excerpt from an interview Juwana did for about the power of music, future plans and The Blues Keeps You Alive album.

Image: The blues is ever present, ever constant, always there. Whether I like it or not so I'd better start liking it - even loving it and embracing it, because the blues is not going anywhere. --Juwana Jenkins


“Married to the Blues” was inspired by very specific influences, both musically and lyrically.

Musically, there were three influences. I’d heard the tune “Mother Blues”, was working on a Koko Taylor tribute to the tune of “I’m a Woman and had recently performed on the Jan Kraus show, where during the sound check the house band played a slow blues tune to warm up with Charlie and Honza who accompanied me there. Jamming under the influence of this grouping of musicians, I started making up lyrics about “when the blues walks” “happy home” etc.  Sound check over, I knew I had picked up on something, so I wrote as much as I could remember and then, went on with the show.

Lyrically, the words to the song are my response to “Mother Blues”and to Jan Kraus’s line of questioning on the show.  I remember hearing Sharon Lewis sing about Mother Blues and that while I liked the imagery, my relationship with the blues is very different and that I would characterize the Blues as a man.  Then months later, Jan Kraus was really determined to dig into my private life, asking if I had a partner, if I was looking for anyone and more.  While I tried to be diplomatic, I really didn’t say everything I was thinking and feeling

So out came this song from those experiences and feelings.

At first, I was nervous, wondering, “Do I really want to shackle myself to the Blues, till death do us part?”  But the reality is that the Blues is ever present, ever constant, always there, whether I like it or not so I’d better start liking it –even loving it and embracing it, because the Blues is not going anywhere. The Blues will be there by your side when no one else is and everyone else, including your mama, is gone.

So I’m married. Yeah, I’m married to the blues. In good time and bad times. For better or worse.


So listen to “Married to the Blues” and let me know your thoughts.

- J

PS: If you want to hear this song live, come on down to Reduta next Tuesday, August 13th, where Juwana Jenkins and Her All-Star Mojo Band will be performing.


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The Blues Keeps You Alive

For people who want to have fun when the day is done, The Blues Keeps You Alive album is a rough and raw journey through America to the tune of original songs, highlighting different shades of the blues, including West Coast Swing, Mississippi Delta, Memphis Soul, Chicago Blues, Detroit Motown, gospel and early funk.

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