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But there is something refreshing, even bracing, like a cold shower, about music that is not blues influenced.
It's in the way that you use it.
I posit that he is mistaken - there is a lot in bluegrass that is chronologically older than blues progressions - blues isn't that old, it's an amalgam itself of older traditions.
I would add that numerous Blues musicians felt that they played "Country music" and vice-versa.
Does Clapton deserve a footnote? In what sense? Personally I have little use for most of his post-Derek & the Dominoes material - especially the albums featuring a certain person on drums....wait for it.....Oh, yeah, Phil Collins. Talk about mayonaisse rhythm sections. You'll have to forgive me but as a guitarist rhythm sections that can't swing and play a righteous shuffle just make me crazy, so there's a good application for the potentially pernicious influence of anemic blues influences
"It's in the way that you use it" wasn't a quote?