Ben’s NFL Power Rankings after Week 12

30 11 2010

Here’s My NFL Power Ranking After the First 12 Weeks:

…based on what they’ve done this season, strength of current team, schedule, and chances in the playoffs.

1. New England Patriots 9-2

They say that the younger the average age of a team – the more likely they are to be able to get better toward the end of the season.They practice more than the vets. The coaches can do more to improve the team. So that would mean that….

Belichick as a baby:

2. Philadelphia Eagles 7-4

Vick played the Skins defense like a 12 year old schools a 50 year old in Madden:

3. Pittsburgh Steelers 8-3

Is it possible that Vick faces the Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl? An all Pennsylvania Bowl in Cowboys stadium? If Jerry Jones doesn’t explode the moral police just might shut down the power in the stadium!

4. Green Bay Packers 7-4

Green Bay Packers are looking strong. They’ve overcome a bunch of injuries. You know the cheeseheads are Packer Backers:

5. Baltimore Ravens 8-3

It’s been great living in a football town this year! This place is crazy about the Ravens. Never seen so many people wear NFL jerseys to work on a Friday! Flacco had the best passer rating of all quarterbacks this year going into last weekend’s game. He threw his first pick at home. They got a win against another 7 win team. Nothing to shake a stick at.

All of Baltimore is asking if the Ravens have the heart of a champion?

They’ve definitely raised the blood pressure around here, with a few too many wins that were not all that convincing. Truth is plenty of people around here are just waiting wondering if the wheels are going to come off. They’ve got a shot in the playoffs. It is possible that the AFC Championship Game will again be better than the Super Bowl itself!

Do You Agree With The Top 5?

6. NY Giants 7-4

You may not respect Eli, but the NY Football Giants – you must respect:

7. San Diego Chargers 6-5

Philip Rivers for MVP? Can they play the rest of the season the way that they played the Colts? Will every team play as poorly as the Colts receiving corp did?

8. Atlanta Falcons 9-2

They may not have Rivers, but they do have one of the league’s best under 30 quarterbacks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them beat the Chargers or the Giants at home, but that’s as far as I can go.

9. New York Jets 9-2

Young Mark Sanchez is going to feel like he’s in one of those spinning tea cups when it comes time for AFC Playoffs. They’re a strong team, but I wouldn’t bank on him throwing out of a spin.

10. New Orleans Saints 8-3

Crazy thing is that the Saints, as the defending Super Bowl Champs, are a sleeper pick to defend their title. They’ve got some stars starting to get healthy again and I wouldn’t want to face Brees in a game that matters.

11. Indianapolis Colts 6-5

Peyton is putting up another MVP style performance, but it’s just not enough this year. It’s really too bad that Addai, Garcon, Bob Sanders, and the D couldn’t come close to matching his effort. Maybe it will be Commissioner Peyton by 2012.

12. Kansas City Chiefs 7-4

They’re not as good as their record, but they could make some noise leading up to the playoffs. Next year? Could be a return of the Red in Arrowhead.

13. Miami Dolphins 6-5

Maybe next year. This Defense has to stiffen up.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-4

Soft schedules lead to soft teams. Raheem looked like he was losing any grip on reality during the Ravens game. Too bad. He looked good when he was saying, “Stats are for losers. You keep going for stats. We’ll keep going for wins.”

15. Chicago Bears 8-3

This team might leapfrog up into the Top 10 by next week. Hard to tell at this point. They have to keep Cutler on his feet.

16. Cleveland Browns 4-7

The Dog Pound has definitely kept one of the toughest schedules in the league and that matters.

17. Houston Texans 5-6

At the end of the season will the results be much different than years past?

18. Tennessee Titans 5-6

Is it possible to feel sorry for a multi-millionaire?

19. Oakland Raiders 5-6

Well, they can finally run the ball. If they can protect Campbell and give him a system to work for a good stretch. They may see good things.

20. Minnesota Vikings 4-7

Chilly is just one of a few coaches that are thinking about golf more than football right now.


21. Washington Redskins 5-6

McNabb, Cooley, and Arakpo want to play football! They need to get more of the team inspired to play despite Snyder.

22. St. Louis Rams 5-6

It’s almost a shame that they have as much of a chance to be in the playoffs as the Colts. They finally got Steven Jackson a player of similar quality in Sam Bradford.

23. Cincinati Bengals 2-9

This is a team that’s much better than their record. This cannot be the first year that the Bungals have been the Most Disappointing Team in the NFL!

24. Seattle Seahawks 5-6

The rookies and free agents are actually looking good…despite being very inconsistent. These players know where the strength of the team is: 12th Man! Maybe Pete Carrol’s connection with Will Farrel will help ’em out!

25. Jacksonville Jaguars 6-5

The Jags and Garrard have definitely made for some entertaining football this year. Where will they be playing in the future?

Can you say, “Los Angeles Jaguars”? Nah, they’ll probably rename the team something like the “LA Quake”…Quakers?

26. Denver Broncos 3-8

Josh McDaniels may be the youngest NFL coach playing golf for all of the 2011 season.

Maybe one of these guys can coach, another hold for kicks, and a third play quarterback…but which one will do which?

27. Detroit Lions 2-9

What? You don’t have more than 2 wins? I want to show you my shocked face:

28. Dallas Cowboys 3-8

Who will Jerry Jones fire next?

29. San Francisco 49ers 4-7

The question now, after Mike’s fate is decided, is how will they rebuild?

30. Arizona Cardinals 3-8

Some national media “experts” really expected this team to win the division and get a couple of rounds into the playoffs. Great stadium, I hear, but gon’na need winning seasons to fill it.

31. Buffalo Bills 2-9

This team achieved their goal and got off the bottom of the pile.

32. Carolina Panthers 1-10

…with the first pick in the NFL draft the Carolina Panthers select:

This team looks like they may not win another game.

That’s just bad football!

Let’s just say that paying attention to the NFL gets the competitive juices flowing:

Just in case you’re wondering I did this while watching Monday Night Football.

When we moved Direct TV gave us 5 months of the NFL for free! So we can watch whatever game we want:

Why is your health insurance getting more expensive? You might be surprised…What to do?

28 11 2010

Why is your health insurance getting more expensive? What can you do about it? Here’s a little help.

Politics guarantees rhetoric…so I’m going to avoid that at all costs.

I think it was Twain who said that, “common sense is genius in working man’s clothes” and I think that’s a better approach.

There are several verifiable reasons that your health insurance premium is going up. In fact it would be higher in 2010 regardless of who had been elected. Some reform would have happened regardless, and your premium would have gone up even without it.

My purpose here is to help you understand a little bit of what’s going on, and offer a couple of suggestions on what you can do about it.

I believe that health care is one of the only major moving parts to the US economy where the decision makers are without the basic information they need. You and your Dr are the decision makers I’m talking about. After four years of working in the health insurance industry I have seen plenty of medical claims. My clients, some of whom are Doctors (or other health care workers), have taught me a whole lot about just HOW LITTLE WE ALL KNOW.

Before working in this industry I was a typical guy in this area. I never went to the doctor. I didn’t take any prescription drugs. I didn’t know anything about health insurance. I had no desire to talk about insurance. I would do anything for my wife to “take care” of our health benefits.

Now I know better. A little bit of common sense goes a long way…and it is all too rare.

Why is your health insurance getting more expensive?

1. Health Insurance is a FOR PROFIT Industry.

The truth is that the health care industry is a combination of a variety of moving parts that are ALL for profit industries:

A. Health Insurance Companies are in business to make money. Over the past 80+ years they stay very close to an average 2.2% to 3% profit margin .1 They tend to spend 87% of your monthly premium on medical services and products. They tend to spend 10% on administrative costs.2

B. Doctors, clinics, and hospitals are also here to make money. Sure, most doctors get into medicine to help people. Yes, it’s hard to believe (when your Dr smiles at you) that they do practice medicine to make a profit. Yet this truth plays a part in this big picture. There are also a variety of other players here, but let’s try to keep this from getting too boring. We’re talking about your money here.

C. Prescription Drug Companies have to pay for those spectacular TV commercials. (insert sarcasm here) Pharmaceutical companies average a 19.3% profit margin.3 Every time you see a TV ad, internet ad, or slick magazine ad that someone is paying for it. Don’t get mad at your pharmacist. He’s making a whole lot less money than the thousands of employees in the drug companies.

2. As Seen on TV: We are spending more…on all things health care.

In 2007 we spent an estimated $2.2 trillion, most likely 2010 will see spending at $2.6 trillion, and it’s possible that we’ll hit $4.4 trillion by 2018.4 If your car insurance included every oil change, repair, your tinted windows, and that snow tire change that you just did it’s quite possible that your car insurance would go up. If we want the kind of cutting edge hospitals (perfectly clean and decorated like futuristic Fortune 500 company headquarters) staffed with smart/funny/attractive/philospher/witty doctors we see on TV…well, that’s going to cost even more!

Oh yeah, and there’s that thing called inflation. Medical inflation outpaces general inflation and it’s driving more than half of the growth in health care spending.5

3. Obeying the Law Costs Money.

Going back to 2004, health insurance companies were spending more than $339 billion to obey the law. Some of this was spent paying for benefits that they were required to cover, but more than half of the money was spent on things like filing and reporting on requirements.6

4. We make bad choices. No one wants to talk about this because you don’t make bad choices – other people do. It’s not nice to talk about. Momma always said, “If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all.” The truth hurts. The truth is that:

“Increasing numbers of patients who are challenged by obesity, smoking, drug abuse, poor nutrition and physical inactivity contribute to an increase in the use of, and therefore the cost of, health care services.7 These preventable risk factors 8 can also contribute to chronic diseases, which account for 75% of the money spent on health care in the U.S. each year.” 9 – quote from

5. We burn money

One third of all health care is waste. It’s simple. There is not enough common sense in health care! You’ve probably heard it said, “numbers don’t lie” and “liars use statistics”. One of the resources used by all sides of this debate is the RAND study which says that one-third of all health care is waste.10 Maybe less is more.

6. Cheaters Make a Difference

$180 million is lost to health care fraud every day! 11

7. Most Decision Makers Don’t Know the Real Prices.

If we are all honest…most Doctors and patients have no idea what is being charged (retail, wholesale, and actual cost) for medications. This is a HUGE factor. There is a drastic difference in prices being charged in this turf war between drug companies and insurance companies. Is it fair to expect a doctor to know what is being billed for any medication, when they are seeing so many people each week? If there were a simple public solution for full disclosure of all relevant price information, ON MEDICATIONS ALONE, I believe we would see a quick balancing act in the way that a free market system does work.

Please don’t think for a second that I’m letting the health insurance companies off the hook here. Remember what #1 on this list was. Despite their low profit margin, they’re doing just fine. The total dollar amount, taken in, keeps that fleet of companies afloat.

What can you do?

A. Know your health insurance benefits.

Unfortunately, I myself have not had a Benefits Summary (let alone understood it) of most health insurance policies I’ve had. Please make sure that you have a one page explanation of your health insurance. Make at least a fifteen minute effort at figuring it out. If you need help, ask. I’m happy to help if you like.

You need to understand your benefits. I have seen many stories of families who ended up filing bankruptcies because they were unaware that there were gaping holes in their health insurance policies, then a claim occurred.

Please ask yourself, “How does my coverage work for…?”

1. Doctor Visits (primary and specialists?)

2. Prescription (generic and name brand?)

3. Hospitilization (which is the closest in network hospital and urgent care?)

4. “Max Out of Pocket” (the most you will pay for all covered expenses per person per year?)

Please ask yourself these questions in a specific way. You need to know the answers.

If your employer, HR rep, or insurance agent has left you in a place of NOT BEING ABLE TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS, they are not helping you at all.

You may also want to consider how you would pay for a real claim. I have seen many claims, with no more than a one night hospital stay, that reached a “max out of pocket”. Do you plan to finance that with the hospital? Are you saving the cash, tax free, in a Health Savings Account? Do you have a “gap” policy to cover these expenses?

B. Know how you use your health insurance benefits.

Being aware of how you’ve used your health insurance over the past year will help you predict how you will use it over the next year. My wife and I approach our health insurance like we do the IRS. We want to “cover our bases”, but give them the least amount of money possible to do so. How will you know if you are paying each month (in your insurance premium) for benefits you will never use…if you don’t know what benefits you’ve already used?

Over the past year…

1. How many doctor visits?

2. What prescriptions, generic or namebrand, and what do they cost without insurance?

3. Have you had any urgent care or hospitalization?

4. Did you “max out” your health insurance?

How might this be different over the next year?

Dental Etc.: it may be wise for you to take a similar approach to your dental coverage. Some say that 1/3 of all health insurance premium dollars are spent on dental coverage. Yet almost all dental policies have a $1,000 annual max pay out per person. One root canal wipes that out and then you’re paying everything else out of your pocket.

C. Consider whether or not you are “beating Vegas”.

Are you getting the most out of the money you spend on health insurance, each month, or are you paying for benefits that you will never use? If you’ve “maxed out” the health insurance it’s most likely that you have already won, but I’m sure it doesn’t feel that way. Truth is that almost everyone, who pays for their health insurance, hates it until they have to use it for a major claim.

Financial protection is the only valid reason for carrying health insurance, in my opinion. Thankfully health care reform has ensured that annual maximums and lifetime maximums have been wiped out. This makes it easier for the average person to choose a decent health insurance policy.

This means that there are four areas where you may be able to adjust your health benefits to get better use your health insurance premium:

…sorry, make sure that the “shoe fits” in these four areas:

A. Doctor Copays – Do you visit often enough to warrant an unlimited number of doctor visits at copays?

B. Prescription Copays – How are you currently using prescription medications? Cancer chemo can be billed under Rx, be careful here.

C. Max Out of Pocket – What total dollar amount of risk is appropriate for you and how will you protect yourself from it?

A higher max drastically reduces the monthly premium. A “gap” policy, if it’s quality protection, may be a perfect solution.

D. Dental Coverage – Does each family member get two dental cleanings per year?

If so, you probably should pay for dental coverage. If not – DON’T.

D. Learn as much as you can.

The free market system only works if the decision makers (of supply and demand) know what’s going on. Does the “seller” know what it cost to bring the product to market? Does the “buyer” know what price is being paid?

If you are currently taking a blood pressure, cholesterol, acid reflux, or depression medication (the drugs I hear about from most clients) please consider learning how much your insurance company is billed by the drug company. Why? This does effect your monthly insurance premium, eventually! Please consider asking your doctor about the costs and about alternatives.

This would be a good start.

E. Act on what you learn.

Do what you can to be sure that your health insurance fits you. Is it the protection you need? Will it work the way you want?

Plenty of employers have chosen to reduce the quality of their benefits, to lower the premium. You may have benefits with no name brand drug coverage, a smaller network, or a higher out of pocket maximum than you did the year before. Any of these items could mean a whole lot more money out of your pocket when you are sick.

If you are involved with your benefits more, your employer will care. If you’re self-employed, or buy your own coverage, the solution is much simpler. SHOP AROUND and feel free to contact me with questions!

Talk to the person making the decision about your health insurance. Ask for benefits that fit you!

If you care, learn, and act – there will be less medical bankruptcies and a more responsible approach to health insurance premiums.

F. Vote and Vote Responsibly.

Regardless of who is elected next and what happens in the House/Senate: I do not believe that our government will relinquish the new found control it has over the industry. It is now, more than ever, about state rights versus federal control.

Regardless of your opinion of our current law: your hospital, drug company, and insurance company were probably looking for some sort of reform two years ago. The truth is that very few U.S. citizens want to spend even thirty minutes reading about the problem of our current health care system.

In our country, law makers are constantly thinking about a popularity contest and that means the average person is really a decision maker…making decisions with very little knowledge of the average costs (Dr, Rx, hospitalization).

Vote for common sense solutions. Regardless of the party, regardless of the issue we need leadership working toward solutions that work. Unfortunately, I don’t see much of that from either party. Hopefully we will see a variety of possible solutions soon.

What do you think? Feel free to leave a question or comment here.


1. Compiled from data from Fortune 500 Annual Ranking of America’s Largest Corporations 2008.

2. Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s Health Research Institute “Share of Benefit Premiums” Medical Cost Trend for 2009.

3. Kaiser Health News June 19, 2009

4. Centers for Medicare. Office of the Actuary, National Health Statistic Group

5. Businessweek, “Behind Rising Health-Care costs” July 14, 2008

6. Conover, Christopher J “Health Care Regulation: A $169 Billion Hidden Tax.” October 4, 2004

7. Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s “The Factors Fueling Rising Health Care Costs 2008” December 2008

8. Thorpe, et al, Health Affairs, June 2005

9. Will Dunham, More Americans getting multiple chronic illness, Thomson Reuters, January 2009

10. health services utilization study accessed April 21,2010

11. National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association “The Problem of Health Care Fraud”

Special thanks to (from whom I’m only collecting $32 monthly in residual commission) for assembling the above research, for they’re own purposes granted, but they helped me in pulling this data together more efficiently.

Ear Candy Saturdays – what do you call hip hop?

27 11 2010

Ear Candy Saturday

We live on the sunny side of the street, in a city style row house, facing south. What a difference it makes! These cool fall afternoons have people looking for sun light and shelter from the wind. I love to walk our side of the street – in the sun.

Here’s a few artists who have found a way to do hip hop with a positive effect.

PND – Lonestar

Lecrae – Background

LA Symphony – Timeless

Sareem Poems – Windows to the Soul

Video is music only.

Flynn Adam – Dishes

Pigeon John – Weight of the World

…this is a fan video not an official video by PJ

Ohmega Watts – Eyes and Ears

Abstract Rude & Pigeon John – Life Goes On

The Roots – Dear God

Top 10 Viral Videos of 2010 – What Do You Think?

26 11 2010

What are your Top 10 Favorite Viral Videos of 2010?

Oh yeah, it’s time to start thinking about the 2010 Top _____ Lists!

1. OK Go, “This Too Shall Pass”

This is my favorite, so far. Just watch it all the way through! Who has the time to do this stuff? Can you say, “Interns”? What college course is giving credit for this and where can I sign up? Definitely fun to watch the creativity at work. As if watching these guys dance across tread mills wasn’t enough. Now this is good times!

2. PS22 Chorus “LISZTOMANIA,” Phoenix

You may have seen this student chorus on any number of channels, programs, platforms, etc., but there’s no denying these kids can sing. Clearly the teacher is doing some quality work. It’s great to see someone inspiring kids to give it their all!

3. Kid Genius Plays Ukulele

I love this little guy! He already plays with passion! You have to love the sections where he’s singing! There must be some good parents here and a great teacher!

4. Space Balloon

There is a theme here: great parents and great teachers. This is a quality video because they do such a good job of setting it up and explaining what they’re doing. This is worth watching!

5. Wingsuit Proximity Flying

If I had no responsibility, no family, and money were no object…I would love to learn how to do this!

6. NFL Files

There’s some crazy video tricks here. It’s a long video, but if you’re a football fan it’s worth it.

7. Baltimore Inner Harbor Underwater

Most people assume that any water near a city is devoid of life, but check this out.

8. Kung Fu Bear

There are a few different versions of this online. Not really sure why I find this funny.

9. Nike’s Human Chain Video: How Quick Are You Gon’na Get Up?

The song used here gets me ready for a work out.

10. American Idol, “Pants On The Ground”

I never watch more than the first couple of American Idol episodes. Still need a little therapy after sitting through so many auditions. Enough said.

This topic wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to Chris Crary who posts stuff on Vimeo from time to time. Check him out! He’s just starting to post stuff on You Tube as Crary Films. I just haven’t paid to upgrade the blog here and be able to include other sources. Thanks Google.

Steve Martin, Frank Damazio, and marshmello’s in Thanksgiving Tweets of the week.

26 11 2010

@wjznews Volunteers Serve Tornado Victims Dinner

@JohnCMaxwell What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner. -SG Colette

@MattFry I will pay for this later…

@bishopjakes Don’t give up what you have, by focusing on what you lost!

@JabinChavez Why am I watching The National Dog Show? And why am I loving it?

@DailyKeller: I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus. I Corinthians 1:4

@GPackiam The story of the first Thanksgiving is one of forgiveness & redemption. Here’s what I never knew about the story:

@jtalaiver: bajillion women will attack the Apple store on Friday.. RT @GuyKawasaki Oprah names iPad most favorite thing ever

@CSLewisDaily Humans are amphibians-half spirit/half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world. As animals they inhabit time

@TonyMcCollum Our country needs a real high-speed rail solution.  Should have spent some of our billions of bailout money on that.

@JTalaiver Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. – Sir Arthur Charles Clarke

@kidshealthtips: Plan to be active with your family this Thanksgiving! Fun games & activities to play

@WBALtv11 How Did Marshmallows Get On My Sweet Potatoes?

@ScottWilliams To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. ~St. Thomas

@CharmCityGavin I just got cut off by a guy with MD vanity tag “PERV”. Wish I was joking. Raises many important questions, none of them good. #ohbaltimore

@Adam_Schefter If Asante Samuel would have held on to Eli Manning’s pass in the Super Bowl like he did that one, Pats would have been 19-0.

@JohnCMaxwell A life not lived for others is not a life. -Mother Teresa

@GregSurratt Expect opposition when you try anything new. An explanation w/o attitude can turn critics into cheerleaders Acts 11:1-18 #tc


@TimRossOrg “Change requires humility” -Travis Simons

@jwatdot Listened to a podcast 2day describing how 26 is the new 18. I get frustrated when ppl peg all 20-somethings as immature & unable 2 lead.

@LeadershipFreak The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. – Lily Tomlin

@SteveMartinToGo Stationary bike keeps falling over. Default exercise putting it back up. Anger easing.

@HillsongBNE: FRANK DAMAZIO one of worlds best Bible Teachers and Leaders is speaking in Brisbane TONIGHT at 6.30pm.

Opportunity to create a new world for freedom and justice.

24 11 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

“We thank God for our homes and our food and our safety in a new land. We thank God for the opportunity to create a new world for freedom and justice.”

This is reported to be a line from the prayer at the first Thanksgiving feast (from the Washington Post).

For some reason this really struck me today. Rebecca and I packed up our family this past August. We moved to Baltimore to start a church from scratch. We have settled into new homes with a similar hope.

This week I am thankful for our homes, our food (you know I love to eat), and our safety in a new land. I thank God for the opportunity to create something new. I believe that our work will bring a spiritual freedom for people who do not yet know Jesus Christ.

Here’s one of the verses that lead us to Baltimore:

“Let this be recorded for future generations,
so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord.”

Psalm 102:18

It’s important for you to know that we would not be here if it were not for the generations before us, of faithful believers working for a generation that would come. We’ll say thank you (via skype) to our families who have made this possible. And I also want to say thank you to the generations of believers that sacrificed so that City Bible Church would be possible.

The work we do now is as much for the future as it is for the present.

We believe that there will be some who will join us, that knew Jesus before we started. Yet we also believe that most who will join us will come to know Christ through us: in our homes, on the street, in our beautiful city, and at their work place. I BELIEVE.

I believe we work for the future. We live to help people know the peace and freedom we have in Jesus Christ.

When William Brewster thanked God for safety most of their number had died between the time they set out from Europe and that Thanksgiving Day. When he thanked God for safety and justice they were searching for freedom from religious persecution. They had been punished for their faith.

Baltimore has long been a city that celebrated a freedom of religion. I pray that we will be free to live and speak what we believe. I pray that this will bring change to the city.

We want to serve the city in a way that will help people find real freedom. No more fear, hate, divorce, cancer, addiction, murder, and slavery to selfishness. May God’s true freedom again be the reputation of Baltimore!

This week, we thank God for our homes that will be a place people can find freedom!

A Charlie Brown look at the Thanksgiving prayer:

If you want more tidbits from the web – Wiki on First Thanksgiving:


Ear Candy Saturdays EXTRA – What does the Blues have to do with Amazing Grace?

20 11 2010

Tinkering around with the guitar I uncovered the blues: Albert King, Robert Johnson, and even some Ray Charles. The blues can be something that people just don’t understand. You can’t just pass by the window and smell the fresh baked bread – no, you have to sit down and taste it for a while…to really appreciate what’s going on.

We love to sing when we’re miserable:

What? You don’t know who Albert King is? Here’s a clip of him playing with SRV and BB King:

Here’s a more classic look at Albert King:

It’s hard to talk about the roots of the blues without mentioning Robert Johnson:

If you’re going to discuss the roots of the music…well, everyone has known pain in some way and we all express it different ways…if you’re going to talk about music: the blues is written in the pentatonic scale. That is where Eric Clapton has made a living.

oh and BB King

If you want to learn how to play the blues…well, Wintley Phipps discusses the “blues” scale in this clip. You’ve got to see this:

It’s simple really.

You have to have a story to tell, the courage to write it, the guts to sing it out loud with passion, and the “blues” scale to play it on. With all of that combined you can sing your blues away….and possibly become a millionaire.