As many of you probably already know, I‘ve moved from Pittsburgh to Florida. I made the move permanent last year, after spending several recent winters in the Tampa Bay area. All this came following my buyout and retirement several years ago from the Post-Gazette, where, among other less auspicious achievements, I created my alter-ego, BlueNotes.
That means we are both now soaking up the sun on a regular basis down here, where the only pressure on the voluntarily unemployed seems to be finding the best happy hour (hint – it’s not hard).
It also means that it’s no longer possible for me to be a part of the lively Pittsburgh blues scene, and to connect with all the great fans and musicians who make that scene happen. And since BlueNotes is published on a Pittsburgh web site, it doesn’t make much sense to write about the Tampa Bay blues scene (there is a lively one) for a Burgh-based blog.
So rather than try to blog about two different places and not do justice to either one, I think it’s time for all of us to retire – BlueNotes, as well as BeerNotes and BourbonNotes, as some of you may remember.
It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve truly enjoyed the ride.
BlueNotes began as a PG experiment to see if the young web site could support a blog, if we could use clunky homemade blogging tools, and if anyone would pay attention. Happily, it all worked. Many more blogs followed, along with real blogging software, and now the PG blogging community is vital and thriving. We helped to start it all, and we’re proud of that. And thanks to all of you who put up with my ramblings helped make it happen.
And it gave me a chance to indulge my love for the music – blues, soul, R&B – that had moved me for years. Actually, since my teenage years, when Ike was president, Elvis was king, Muddy and Buddy ruled Chicago, and Porky was the Bossman of the Burgh. Or something like that.
I loved living in the Burgh – was born and raised in the Mon Valley and spent some time here and there before returning, and lived most of my life there (so far). Knew and worked with many fine people. Met a lot of great blues fans. But I also love the feel of the hot sun on my face in mid-January, when lots of flowers are still blooming. And the freedom from snow shovels, fur-lined gloves and frozen windshields.
So it’s time to fold the BlueNotes blog tent, put our feet up, sit back, smell the orange blossoms, pour a couple fingers of Buffalo Trace, fire up the music and enjoy. We’re going to complete the circle, and become just fans again.
Thanks for reading these past few years. You made it worthwhile. And keep on keeping the blues alive.
Yours in the blues,
Jim White, aka BlueNotes
Here's one final bluesy thought: