There is no clear consensus on the linguistic origin of the phrase "feeling blue" or "having the blues." Some sources trace the usage to the early- to mid-18th century while others claim it dates back as far as the late 1500s. Regardless, it has always meant, as the Oxford Dictionary puts it, "a bout of depression."
The blues as a musical style is generally considered to have developed slightly before the turn of the 20th century and, this year, the Boise Blues Society can count 25 anniversaries.
Conceived as a nonprofit blues appreciation and community building organization, BBS is celebrating its 25th birthday with the release of Blues Gems From the Gem State, an 18-track album featuring all local bands and artists. The album is available at The Record Exchange ($15), but you can also pick one up at the BBS anniversary party Saturday, May 13 at the Mardis Gras Ballroom. You can eat, drink and dance the night away to music by eight featured blues acts. Proceeds in part benefit the BBS Blues in the Schools program and youth scholarships for young musicians.