15 April 2015


It was in 2013 that I was introduced to Ma Rainey's lovely tune Dream Blues. Ma Rainey recorded it (accompanied by the Pruitt Twins) in Chicago in 1924. I believe Ma Rainey herself wrote it that year. You can hear it on YouTube:
Click here.
Ma Rainey sings it in Bb but I have transposed the blues to Eb for my (slightly simplified) version.
It is a conventional 12-bar blues, except for the way it uses the mediant where we might expect the tonic. Note, for example, how the melody ends on G, and not on Eb, as we might expect.

Ma Rainey - sometimes known as The Mother of the Blues - was one of the first great blues recording artists. She came from Georgia in the USA and she died in 1959.