Apr 26, 2011

Feelin' Bad Blues

Feelin' bad blues is a theme written and played by Ry Cooder for the 1986 film Crossroads. In the film the main character Eugene (Ralph Macchio) plays this theme when he wakes up in a motel room to find his girl gone, so he gets the blues, grabs his Tele, turns on the pignose and playes his heart out. His mentor Willie Brown (Joe Senecca) acknowledges that the boy now knows what the blues is all about, which brings a sense of accomplishment for their whole trip down south (though Willie really has a hidden agenda, to meet the devil once again so he can bargain back his soul).

The way I see it this little story portrays very well what Feelin' Bad Blues is all about. It's not a very complicated theme to play, once you get the tuning right (open D - my version is open E) technically its not very challenging to get the riffs right. Yet that's only half way through. The hard part is to get the feeling just right and make it sound sentimental like Ry does. More or less what Willie is trying to tell the young blues prodigee that the blues is not really about technical mastery, it's about getting the feeling just right. When Feelin' Bad Blues plays during the film Willie Brown says:

The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad, thinkin' 'bout the woman he once was with...

Here's my feeble attempt to it play it:

This was not recorded on the marshall I show in the pics. I recorded a dry line-in and then added a few effects like tremolo, a very delicate delay etc. With the right set of pedals a wet recording will surely sound better.



  1. Daddy, τι εγινε?
    Σε χασαμε

  2. been a little busy lately, will post over the weekend..

  3. hey i have just done this song for a solo peice at school i was just wondering if you know and other songs with same feel and style of this one??

  4. Hi damo, sorry for the late reply. Try 'Theme from Southern Comfort' by Ry Cooder on youtube. It's from the soundtrack of a 1981 film that Ry made.

  5. There is another instrument playing below the guitar. Who and what is that?

    1. I assure you it's only one guitar. Perhaps the delay & tremolo are giving you this impression?