Originating in the African-American communities of the Deep South in the late nineteenth century, the blues gave birth to jazz, R&B, rock, punk, and country. From the impassioned slide guitar of the Mississippi Delta, to the electric sounds of Chicago's street corners, to the improvised jams of blues- rock, The Blues explores the many forms this quintessentially American music has taken. All the great pioneers are here, including Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, and John Lee Hooker, along with the many musicians they influenced who put their own unique spin on the genre.
As well as tracing the evolution of the blues through its various styles, this musical journey features profiles of no fewer than fifty key artists—including fact files with biographical information, recording histories and more.
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Mike Evans, a London-based author with a background as a musician, began to write about music in the 1970s for such publications as Sounds, Creem, and Melody Maker. He has since gone on to write the bestselling Elvis: A Celebration (DK Adult) and Sterling's own Woodstock: Three Days That Shook the World. Born in Memphis, consulting editor Robert Gordon is one of the world's most highly respected blues historians. His books include The King on the Road (produced in cooperation with the Elvis Presley Estate at Graceland), the acclaimed biography Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters (Back Bay Books), and the classic study of Memphis music It Came from Memphis (Atria Books).Review:
“Thousands of books have been written about the blues. There have been many photographic essays over the years but there hasn’t been one as comprehensive and as attractively designed and produced as this one in a very long time. Newcomers to the music will benefit from the eight well-written and informative chapters covering the 'Roots of the Blues' up to 'The Blues Today.' Making this book really special are the layout and the more than 350 photographs (color and black and white), both large and small, that document the societal happenings of each of the periods discussed, the top performers, the album labels, the concert posters, and so on. The book and cover design by Paul Palmer-Edwards, of Grade Design, London, gets high marks indeed. Author Evans (a musician) has been writing about music for over 40 years (Elvis: A Celebration; Woodstock: Three Days That Shook the World) and has done an admirable job of analyzing such a long and varied history in an entertaining yet educational way. Thus, this title is that rare combination, a sumptuous coffee-table book that is worth reading as well. VERDICT Highly recommended for all blues collections.” — Library Journal (Starred Review)
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