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Blues

See below for a selection of the latest books from Blues category. Presented with a red border are the Blues books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Blues books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Charley Patton

Charley Patton

Author: John Fahey Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2020

Lightnin' Hopkins

Lightnin' Hopkins

Author: Alan Govenar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2020

Blueswomen

Blueswomen

Author: Anna Stong Bourgeois Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/08/2020

While much has been written over the years about male blues singers of the first half of the 20th century, little attention has been paid to blueswomen. These women used their songs to proclaim their pain or to speak up and protest unfair conditions and discrimination. Through their songs, they expressed a desire for freedom and equality in a time when women were almost universally subjugated. The 37 women profiled here are representative of the many blueswomen who performed in the United States through the end of World War II. Some are well known (e.g., Lucille Bogan and Sippie Wallace), but many are obscure (such as Lil Johnson, Liza Brown and Margaret Whitmire). Biographical profiles are followed by a sampling of the performers' lyrics.

Early Downhome Blues

Early Downhome Blues

Author: Jeff Todd Titon Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/08/2020

Hailed as a classic in music studies when it was first published in 1977, Early Downhome Blues is a detailed look at traditional country blues artists and their work. Combining musical analysis and cultural history approaches, Titon examines the origins of downhome blues in African American society. He also explores what happened to the art form when the blues were commercially recorded and became part of the larger American culture. From forty-seven musical transcriptions, Titon derives a grammar of early downhome blues melody. His book is enriched with the recollections of blues performers, audience members, and those working in the recording industry. In a new afterword, Titon reflects on the genesis of this book in the blues revival of the 1960s and the politics of tourism in the current revival under way.

Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues

Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues

Author: Richard Younger Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/08/2020

This biography chronicles the rise, fall and rebirth of Arthur Alexander, an African American singer-songwriter whose music influenced many of the rock and soul musicians of the 1960s. Although his name is not well known today, Alexander's musical legacy is vast. His 1962 song You Better Move On was the first hit to emerge from the fledgling Muscle Shoals FAME studio in Alabama, and his fusion of country and soul and his heartfelt vocals on such songs as Anna (Go to Him) and Evey Day I Have to Cry were revered by musicians including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, all of whom recorded his songs. Alexander's story is a tragic one, with a brief, redemptive finale. His meteoric rise after the release of You Better Move On gave way to lean years caused both by his drug and alcohol abuse and by the mishandling of his career by producers and managers. In 1977, he quit the music business, but his music lived on. In 1992, Alexander returned to the studio and recorded the critically praised album Lonely Just Like Me . Just three months after the album's release in March 1993, he suffered a heart attack in the offices of his music publishers in Nashville and died three days later. In telling Alexander's story, Richard Younger captures the burgeoning music scenes in Muscle Shoals and Nashville during the 1960s and 1970s and recovers the life of a musician whose influence was international. Younger's account is enriched by his interviews with more than 200 artists, family members and friends - such as Rick Hall, Billy Sherrill, Charlie McCoy, Chuck Jackson, Gerry Marsden and Kris Kristofferson - and includes a variety of photographs.

Encyclopedia of the Blues

Encyclopedia of the Blues

Author: Gerard Herzhaft Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2020

From cottonfields to international festivals, from Mamie Smith and her 1920 recording of Crazy Blues to such rising young stars as Robert Cray, Jo Louis Walker, and Kenny Neal, the growth of the musical tradition known as the blues has been long and varied. Born out of shared uncertainties of the ambiguous freedom thrust upon succeeding generations of African-Americans during Reconstruction, this musical genre born in America has grown to rival the jazz it resembles and has given birth, in turn, to rock-and-roll. Containing hundreds of entries with detailed examinations of the instruments, trends, recordings, producers, and performers who have helped to popularize the blues and to introduce it to an ever-widening audience, Encyclopedia of the Blues is an indispensable reference for all readers and musicians involved with or intrigued by the music. Complete with a selected discography, the Encyclopedia is a clear and comprehensive guide to a truly American art form.

Huey Piano Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues

Huey Piano Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues

Author: John Wirt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2020

Huey Piano Smith's musical legacy stands alongside that of fellow New Orleans legends Dr. John, Fats Domino, Ernie K-Doe, and Allen Toussaint. His 1957 classic, Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu, made Billboard's top R&B singles chart, and hundreds of artists including Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, the Beach Boys, Johnny Rivers, and Chubby Checker have recorded his songs. The first biography of the artist responsible for hits Don't You Just Know It, High Blood Pressure, and Sea Cruise, Huey Piano Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues follows the musician's extraordinary life from his Depression-era childhood to his teen years as a pianist for blues star Guitar Slim to his mainstream success in the 1950s and '60s. Drawing from extensive interviews and court records, author and journalist John Wirt also provides new insights on Smith's professional disappointments and financial struggles in the 1980s and '90s as he battled over royalties from his most successful and profitable work. An enigmatic and guarded personality in a profession of extroverted performers, Smith made farreaching contributions to the New Orleans music scene as a songwriter, pianist, and producer. Wirt reveals that Smith's numerous collaborations with other artists -- including the Clowns, the Pitter Pats, the Hueys, and Shindig Smith and the Soul Shakers -- served as vehicles for his creative vision rather than simply as an anonymous backup for a leading front man. Throughout this intimate account, Wirt details Smith's significant impact on rock and roll history and underscores both the longevity of his music -- which has entertained and inspired for over five decades -- and the musician's personal endurance in the face of hardship and opposition.

Blues in Black and White

Blues in Black and White

Author: Michael Erlewine Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2020

In 1969 and 1970, the first Ann Arbor Blues Festivals brought together the greatest-ever selection of blues performers - an enormous blues party that seemed to feature every big name in the world of blues. The Ann Arbor Blues Festival was just that: a festival and celebration of city blues. It helped to mark the discovery of modern blues music (and the musicians who made that music) by a much larger audience. The festival, however, was something more than just a White audience discovering Black music. Never before had such a far-reaching list of performers been assembled including the grandfathers of southern country blues and the hottest electric bands from Chicago. These groundbreaking festivals were the seed that grew into the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, which was continued annually for many years.To name just a few of the dozens of artists who performed at the festival: Luther Allison, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Hound Dog Taylor, Big Mama Thorton, T-Bone Walker, Sippie Wallace, Junior Wells, and Mighty Joe Young, among many others. Stanley Livingston, a professional photographer from Ann Arbor, captured these legendary performances onstage - as well as the goings-on backstage. Livingston's thousands of photographs from these festivals - previously unpublished and known only to a few - are among the finest candid blues shots ever taken. Together with editor and archivist Michael Erlewine's text accompaniments, these photographs comprise a visual history and important keepsake for blues aficionados everywhere.

Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues

Get a Shot of Rhythm and Blues

Author: Richard Younger Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/07/2020

This biography chronicles the rise, fall and rebirth of Arthur Alexander, an African American singer-songwriter whose music influenced many of the rock and soul musicians of the 1960s. Although his name is not well known today, Alexander's musical legacy is vast. His 1962 song You Better Move On was the first hit to emerge from the fledgling Muscle Shoals FAME studio in Alabama, and his fusion of country and soul and his heartfelt vocals on such songs as Anna (Go to Him) and Evey Day I Have to Cry were revered by musicians including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, all of whom recorded his songs. Alexander's story is a tragic one, with a brief, redemptive finale. His meteoric rise after the release of You Better Move On gave way to lean years caused both by his drug and alcohol abuse and by the mishandling of his career by producers and managers. In 1977, he quit the music business, but his music lived on. In 1992, Alexander returned to the studio and recorded the critically praised album Lonely Just Like Me . Just three months after the album's release in March 1993, he suffered a heart attack in the offices of his music publishers in Nashville and died three days later. In telling Alexander's story, Richard Younger captures the burgeoning music scenes in Muscle Shoals and Nashville during the 1960s and 1970s and recovers the life of a musician whose influence was international. Younger's account is enriched by his interviews with more than 200 artists, family members and friends - such as Rick Hall, Billy Sherrill, Charlie McCoy, Chuck Jackson, Gerry Marsden and Kris Kristofferson - and includes a variety of photographs.

Nothing but the Blues: the Music and the Musicians

Nothing but the Blues: the Music and the Musicians

Author: Lawrence Cohn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2020

It is our most passionate music, rooted in ancient Africa but brought to blossom in America at the doorstep of the twentieth century. It is a living heritage of song born in poverty, persecution, and hard labor, born of love and love betrayed, of holiness and sin, the pleasures and the pains of the flesh, the experience of tragedy, comedy, drunkenness, despair, desolation, and pure joy. It is the blues. At root, the blues is rich in its simplicity, but it has flowered across the years in a variety of rare complexity. Perhaps no form of popular art is more immediately appealing than the blues, yet so rewards a thorough knowledge of its finer points. In eleven authoritative essays commissioned especially for the book, Nothing But the Blues traces the African-American origins of the music, its early development as popular entertainment, its early recorded manifestations, its regional differentiation (Mid-South, Tidewater-Piedmont, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles), its many stylistic dimensions, and its contemporary manifestations. Country blues, urban blues, the evolution of rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, and the blues revival are all fully covered. But the written history is only part of the story. Blues fans have always treasured rare photographs of their heroes, and Nothing But the Blues is gloriously illustrated with posed and candid shots of the musicians as well as photographs of such one-of-a-kind artifacts and documents as Leadbelly's NYPD rap sheet and classic recording contracts. Nothing But the Blues features an introduction by one of the genre's living legends, B. B. King, and a comprehensive best of the best discography, including current and rereleased recordings as well as the collectors' treasures to go after. Blues is more popular than ever before. Not only are reissues of historical blues classics selling in unprecedented numbers, but a whole new crop of vital young blues artists is active in clubs and on record today. Nothing But the Blues is a lavishly illustrated comprehensive history of the music and the musicians, as well as the promoters, producers, and others who have shaped--and continue to shape--this powerful and enduringly popular American musical art form.

Sweet Bitter Blues

Sweet Bitter Blues

Author: Phil Wiggins, Frank Matheis, Elijah Wald Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/03/2020

Sweet Bitter Blues: Washington, DC's Homemade Blues depicts the life and times of harmonica player Phil Wiggins and the unique, vibrant music scene around him, as described by music journalist Frank Matheis. Featuring Wiggins's story, but including information on many musicians, the volume presents an incomparable documentary of the African American blues scene in Washington, DC, from 1975 to the present. At its core, the DC-area acoustic down home blues scene was and is rooted in the African American community. A dedicated group of musicians saw it as their mission to carry on their respective Piedmont musical traditions: Mother Scott, Flora Molton, Chief Ellis, Archie Edwards, John Jackson, John Cephas, and foremost Phil Wiggins. Because of their love for the music and willingness to teach, these creators fostered a harmonious environment, mostly centered on Archie Edwards's famous barbershop where Edwards opened his doors every Saturday afternoon for jam sessions. Sweet Bitter Blues features biographies and supporting essays based on Wiggins's recollections and supplemented by Matheis's research, along with a foreword by noted blues scholar Elijah Wald, historic interviews by Dr. Barry Lee Pearson with John Cephas and Archie Edwards, and previously unpublished and rare photographs. This is the story of an acoustic blues scene that was and is a living tradition.

Sweet Bitter Blues

Sweet Bitter Blues

Author: Phil Wiggins, Frank Matheis, Elijah Wald Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/01/2020

Sweet Bitter Blues: Washington, DC's Homemade Blues depicts the life and times of harmonica player Phil Wiggins and the unique, vibrant music scene around him, as described by music journalist Frank Matheis. Featuring Wiggins's story, but including information on many musicians, the volume presents an incomparable documentary of the African American blues scene in Washington, DC, from 1975 to the present. At its core, the DC-area acoustic down home blues scene was and is rooted in the African American community. A dedicated group of musicians saw it as their mission to carry on their respective Piedmont musical traditions: Mother Scott, Flora Molton, Chief Ellis, Archie Edwards, John Jackson, John Cephas, and foremost Phil Wiggins. Because of their love for the music and willingness to teach, these creators fostered a harmonious environment, mostly centered on Archie Edwards's famous barbershop where Edwards opened his doors every Saturday afternoon for jam sessions. Sweet Bitter Blues features biographies and supporting essays based on Wiggins's recollections and supplemented by Matheis's research, along with a foreword by noted blues scholar Elijah Wald, historic interviews by Dr. Barry Lee Pearson with John Cephas and Archie Edwards, and previously unpublished and rare photographs. This is the story of an acoustic blues scene that was and is a living tradition.