Blues Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old blues quotes, blues sayings, and blues proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


The blues. It runs through all American music. Somebody bending the note. The other is the two-beat groove. It's in New Orleans music, it's in jazz, it's in country music, it's in gospel.

Wynton Marsalis

When you are through with the blues, you’ve got nothing to rest on.     

Mahalia Jackson

The blues brings you back into the fold. The blues isn't about the blues, it's about we have all had the blues and we are all in this together.      

Peter Tork

Blues is a natural fact, is something that a fellow lives. If you don't live it you don't have it. Young people have forgotten to cry the blues. Now they talk and get lawyers and things.      

Big Bill Broonzy

Blues ain't never going anywhere. It can get slow, but it ain't going nowhere.

David Edwards

In blues music, there's a lot of borrowing, so it's often difficult to identify the originator of a song.     

Henry Rollins

Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel.      

Jimi Hendrix

The blues are like the fugue in 18th century. It's probably the music that belongs most to our time.      

Michael Tippett

The blues are what I've turned to, what has given me inspiration and relief in all the trials of my life.      

Eric Clapton

Particularly with the blues, it's not just about bad times. It's about the healing spirit.      

Taj Mahal

Blues is to Jazz what yeast is to bread; without it, it's flat.

Carmen McRae

The blues comes right back to a person's feelings, to his daily activities in life. But rich people don't know nothing about the blues, please believe me.     

Jimmy Rushing

The blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. It's better keeping the roots alive, because it means better fruits from now on. The blues are the roots of all American music. As long as American music survives, so will the blues.

Willie Dixon

Blues is not a dream, blues is truth.     

Brownie Mcghee

Blues is a tonic for whatever ails you. I could play the blues and then not be blue anymore.      

B. B. King

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.      

Willie Dixon

You don't have to live the blues to play the blues.

Herbie Mann

The blues was bleeding the same blood as me.     

B. B. King

Without the blues, modern music would be nothing like it is now - not remotely.      

Henry Rollins

The blues is the foundation, and it’s got to carry the top. The other part of the scene, the rock ‘n’ roll and the jazz, are the walls of the blues.     

Luther Allison

The blues is an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one's aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near-comic lyricism. As a form, the blues is an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically.     

Ralph Ellison

The blues is deceptively simple. Verse and chorus. Sometimes not even a chorus. Four bars that repeat, no Auto-Tune, electricity optional. It is the most direct, bare-bones of content. There is no interference between the head and heart.      

Shawn Amos

The blues tells a story in itself. It can make you happy or give you a feeling to swing.

Jimmy Rushing

Blues is the bedrock of everything I do. All the characters in my plays, their ideas and their attitudes, the stance that they adopt in the world, are all ideas and attitudes that are expressed in the blues.

August Wilson

Everything comes out in blues music: joy , pain , struggle . Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance.

Wynton Marsalis

The blues is losing someone you love and not having enough money to immerse yourself in drink.

Henry Rollins

Funk, gospel, blues is all out of slavery times, out of depression, out of sorrow.

Nina Simone

The blues tells a story. Every line of the blues has a meaning.      

John Lee Hooker

Most blues don't have a beginning, middle, or end. You just cut a couple slices of blues.

Dave Van Ronk

The blues - the sound of a sinner on revival day.      

William Christopher Handy