Is this the twilight of blues music?

Howard Reich in the Chicago Tribune:

ScreenHunter_03 Jan. 01 23.38No musical genre goes away entirely. The devout still sing Gregorian chant — among the oldest known written scores — in select cathedrals. Guillaume de Machaut's 14th century motets turn up in performances of early music groups. Operettas by Franz Lehar, folk songs of Appalachia and even disco hits of the Bee Gees enjoy an afterlife in remote corners of our musical culture.

Ever since notes could be etched on paper, no beloved music has gone completely silent, especially since recorded technology emerged in the late 19th century. But some genres have become so peripheral to American lives as to be reduced to historical footnotes. Studied by academics, performed by die-hards and applauded by connoisseurs, they're forgotten by nearly everyone else.

This is where Chicago blues is headed. A once visceral, urgent, profoundly complex music that told the story of a people — and, in so doing, ricocheted around the world — is slipping from public embrace in its primary home, Chicago, and beyond.

More here.