Is it easier to sound good singing the blues?

On every singing competition I’ve watched, contestants who sing songs using a blues-inflected voice are invariably complimented by the judges. I’ve never heard anyone sound bad doing this.

I have even taken advantage of this at karaoke nights. I tried a couple of songs in my regular style (I’d say I’m an average singer), and also a couple of songs in a much more bluesy style (both Springsteen songs, but I was definitely singing them with a blues inflection). Both times the songs were much better received than the regular songs. Now it could just be that I’m a much better singer in that style, but again I’ve never seen a judge dislike a bluesy song.

Do the blues make most (if not all) singers sound better for some reason? Does that raspiness send off some unconscious (perhaps sexual) cues to the listener? Has anyone ever heard the equivalent of a William Hung in that style?

As a wannabe sometimes frontman/singer on a few of the songs in my mid-life crisis band, I would say that a bluesy voice has certain connotations that you can make work in your favor. Certain blues-vocal techiques have clear emotional connotations to them so you can sell your song more easily. Also, singing in a bluesy style can make it sound like you “really mean it” - i.e., you are blowing out your voice this. one. time. in order to make your emotional point. And, in fact, a lot of blues singers are legitimately trashing their voices to sell their songs…

I have heard plenty of people - myself included - blow a blues vocal. Sing over gruff; try emoting a note and cracking or blowing the shift from soft to shout. If you can screw it up, I have done it.

To me, it is kind of like hearing Clarence Clemons on sax - his delivery is SO big and thick and raspy that sounds bluesy and gruff - but not capable of any dynamics, and if someone other than Clarence lost control for a split-second while vibrating the hell out of that reed, it would squeek or honk something awful…well, that’s my singing :wink:

Let’s see how Phil Phillips’ career goes…