Assistant professor of English Andrew Scott edited the anthology 24 Bar Blues: Two Dozen Tales of Bars, Booze, and the Blues, which was published in March 2013. For an inside look at 24 Bar Blues, read the interview below conducted by English department intern Daniel Brount.
1. What was the inspiration for “24 Bar Blues”?
I play bass guitar—badly. One of the most popular chord progressions in music is called 12-bar blues. I became obsessed with the name of that progression, all three components, around the time I finished undergrad at Purdue. Not long after, I had the idea to edit an anthology of twelve stories set in bars. In my reading of contemporary short stories, it seemed that writers of all stripes were interested in telling stories at least partly set in bars. Oh, sure, the stories might refer to them as roadhouses, blues clubs, pubs, honky-tonks, dives, or even country clubs, but at the end of the day, bars are bars.
I shared my idea with the editor of an anthology I admired. She liked the idea, too, but thought twelve stories wasn’t enough for an anthology. I agreed, but as it turns out, 24-bar blues is a chord progression, too, so I just doubled my original idea.