DJing

Blues Union’s mission is to help people become better blues dancers, as well as better blues DJs! We are committed to playing a variety of good blues music for our dancers, and we’d love to help you do the same.

On this page, we’ve included guidelines for DJing at Blues Union, a sample setlist, and suggestions for ways to find new music. Enjoy!

Want to DJ for Blues Union?

Talk to Amy Blank and/or Jenn Martinez.

Guidelines for DJing at Blues Union

  • In your DJ session, 75% of your songs must be blues music. “Blues music” includes music you would find in the “blues” category of a music store. This includes, but is not limited to, the following styles:
    • Delta blues
    • Texas blues
    • Chicago blues
    • Electric Blues
    • Early Blues

    You can find examples of these genres by listening to the genre stations by the same name on Pandora.com.
    Also, as a part of the 75% blues, we are including the following genres:

    • Gospel Blues
    • Traditional Jazz

    There is a huge variety within the genre of blues, so feel free to explore the full range, while staying within the genre.

  • The other 25% must be blues-related music, such as soul, funk, slow lindy, or blues-rock, and other genres that toe the line with blues. Ultimately, we want to play music that makes people want to blues dance.
  • Additionally, we encourage you to play songs with good sound quality (that don’t have a lot of scratching or crackling). While the song itself may be excellent, poor sound quality makes it difficult to hear, and therefore unnecessarily difficult to dance to.
  • The bottom line of these guidelines is that we want you to play music that makes people move, but specifically makes them want to blues dance.

Sample playlist

To help you prepare and to give you an example of a good playlist, we have included a sample set below:

1. “Dust My Broom” – Elmore James
2. “All My Love In Vain” – Sonny Boy Williamson
3. “Flamin’ Mamie” – Koko Taylor
4. “I’m Ready” – Muddy Waters
5. “Spoonful” – Howlin’ Wolf
6. “Bad Luck Messin’ With Me” – Brother Yusef*
7. “My Babe” – Little Walter
8. “Come On Back To Me” – Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson**
9. “Born Under A Bad Sign” – Albert King
10. “Call It Stormy¬†Monday” – T-Bone Walker
11. “Blues For Mama” – Nina Simone
12. “Stormy Blues” – Billie Holiday
13. “Blue Horizon” – Sidney Bechet
14. “I Can’t Get Over Losing You” – Toni Lynn Washington**
15. “I’d Rather Go Blind” – Etta James
16. “Dr. Feelgood” – Aretha Franklin
* Still active
** Still active AND performs locally!
A playlist for the majority of these tracks can be found at:

How do I find new music?

A good DJ is always looking for new music, but how do you find it? Below are some suggestions we’ve come up with. Try some of these out and go exploring! There are so many good blues songs out there, you may find things we’ haven’t even heard yet!

  • Start a Pandora station from any of these songs, or one of your other favorite blues songs.
  • Spend an afternoon at Barnes & Nobel, Borders, or your favorite local music store, previewing CDs from the blues section.
  • Ask your favorite DJs who their favorite artists are right now, go on Amazon.com, emusic, etc, and look through related artists.
  • If you have a favorite song, look for different songs by the same artist or versions of that song by different artists.

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