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pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
1. A state of depression or melancholy. Often used with the.
2. A style of music that evolved from southern African-American secular songs and is usually distinguished by a strong 4/4 rhythm, flatted thirds and sevenths, a 12-bar structure, and lyrics in a three-line stanza in which the second line repeats the first: "The blues is an expression of anger against shame and humiliation" (B.B. King).

[Short for blue devils, a feeling of depression.]

blues′man n.
blues′y adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -men
(Music, other) a musician who plays the blues
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
And it was visited by legendary American bluesmen such as Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup, who wrote That's Alright Now Mama - the first Elvis Presley hit.
"He's a proper legend - one of the archetypal bluesmen. His story is full of poverty, women, guns, prisons and even a late career revival.
A native of the storied Delta region and a musician from the age of six, I have met quite a few veteran bluesmen. The one who towers tallest in my memory is J.
The 10th annual Deep Blues Festival in Clarksdale is set for October 12-15, 2017, and will showcase live blues music throughout the town, day and night, featuring artists from across the country as well as locally renowned bluesmen. And each night is capped off with concerts at the rustic, open-air venues of the New Roxy and Shack Up Inn.
But on his way to join up with Cool Papa's backing band, the Bluesmen, Clayton runs into a pack of wayward youths who spend their days on the subway, dodging the police and dancing for spare change.
Learn how rock and blues music helped to heal the war-torn country of Bosnia; about the tradition of candombe drumming in Uruguay; and the legacy of musicians who traveled on foot--from the balladeers of Victorian England and the Delta bluesmen of the early 20th century to present-day musicians who participate in the Massachusetts Walking Tour.
Set in the milieu of the Southeast blues circuit, “Howling Mountain Blues” is the third book in the Crime Fighting Bluesmen series; “River Bottom Blues” is the first book in the series, and “The Devil's Blues” was the second.
Back in the '80s, blues favorites The Fabulous Thunderbirds proved they were "Tuff Enuff.'' With their latest album, last year's "On the Verge,'' the veteran bluesmen seem to be proving they're tender enough, too.
The band draws on influences from modern day bluesmen such as Joe Bonamassa, Gary Moore and Walter Trout, but still holds true to some of the earlier blues heroes such as Hendrix, the Allman Brothers and BB King.
Mitchell's love affair with blues began that night and it wasn't long before he was finding and hanging out with bluesmen from Peg Leg Howell in Atlanta to Furry Lewis in Memphis.
The resulting list of 100 artists, published in two issues of Rolling Stone in 2004 and 2005, and updated in 2011, is a broad survey of rock history, spanning Sixties heroes (the Beatles) and modern insurgents (Eminem), and touching on early pioneers (Chuck Berry) and the bluesmen who made it all possible (Howlin' Wolf).