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."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-12-01
- Reviewer: Staff
In this lavishly illustrated book that is part fan's notes and part music history, music historian Evans (Neil Young) digs deep to reveal the taproot of the blues in the music of W.C. Handy, the so-called father of the blues and its many branches, from classic blues, country blues, and big city blues to rhythm and blues, the blues revival, blues rock, and the blues today. In an effort to offer a definition of the blues, Evans quotes everyone from Ray Charles and B.B. King to W.C. Handy, who says that "the blues came from the man farthest down. The blues came from nothingness, from want, from desire. And when a man sang or played the blues, a small part of want was satisfied from the music." Evans provides useful sketches of the men and women who established the form and those who continue to keep it alive, from Big Joe Turner, Big Mama Thornton, Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Muddy Waters to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa, and Gary Clark, Jr. Evans furnishes a "selected blues playlist," providing a valuable resource for readers searching for an introduction to various forms of the blues. Evans' richly illustrated text offers a useful introduction for anyone interested in discovering the history of the blues. (Dec.)