History of the blues??

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by bluestrat62, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. bluestrat62

    bluestrat62 Member

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    I was hopin' you guys could recommend me some good info about the history of blues music.
    I've always loved the blues, but never really had a grasp on the specific history of it. I'm talkin' deep history, origins and what not.
    So, could you recommend me some good books and/or documentaries that you have read or seen? There's gotta be some good stuff out there. Right?
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Member

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    http://www.pbs.org/theblues/

     
  3. bluestrat62

    bluestrat62 Member

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    Haha... How did I know that would be the first one. I actually have never seen the whole thing. I'll have to check it out. Any others? Any books?

    Thanks Deacon
     
  4. DaGlenster

    DaGlenster Member

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  5. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    While you're at it hop over to the Old School Guitar forum. Groovey Records has done a stellar post on the very subject there.
     
  6. bluestrat62

    bluestrat62 Member

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    thanks a bunch guys!
     
  7. bwc3000

    bwc3000 Member

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    +1 on Robert Palmer's Deep Blues. Great book! Also very good are Julio Finn's The Bluesman, which focuses on the Delta roots of the blues, and Leroi Jones's Blues People. Leroi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka) focuses more on jazz in the second half of the book, but the first part talks about the common roots of blues, jazz, and gospel.
    Although it's not strictly on blues, Charles Shaar Murray's book on Hendrix, Crosstown Traffic, provides a very thoughtful cross-section of all the forms of music which inspired Jimi's playing. The blues chapter is very good. Murray's biography of John Lee Hooker is also very well written.
     
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  8. Caretaker

    Caretaker Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Dan Akyroyd also has/had a radio show. May be on the net. THAT guy knows old blues.
     
  9. Berlebster

    Berlebster Member

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    Hey , just GO on the new OLDSCHOOL Guitar site , there is a great thread about that
     
  10. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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  11. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    There is an older book that I read about 15 years ago that was older then too.
    It's called "Who's Who in the Blues".

    It covers not only the people but progression and structure of the Blues.
    Most likely you can borrow it from the Public Library, I did.
     
  12. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    This one isn't a "deep history" of the blues, but I'm reading a book right now titled "Portrait Of The Blues" by Paul Trynka that is CHOCK FULL of awesome quotes and stories from the greats, as well as some incredible pictures by Val Wilmer. I highly recommend it.

    I don't recall any particular titles, but I know I've found some good books at my local public library on the history of the blues. People who think that blues music started with Robert Johnson, or even the "field hollars" of the slave era, haven't really dug into the history.
     
  13. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    there's any number of books on the subject including things like blues encyclopedias and idiots guides..... there's prob a rough guide too :BEER
     
  14. Garygtr

    Garygtr Almost as good! Silver Supporting Member

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    As a supplement to what you're reading, check out Chicago Blues as seen from the inside-The Photographs of Raeburn Flerlage. Incredible B&W photos from the Chicago blues scene of the 60's. Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy,Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Junior Wells, Mike Bloomfield...plus great shots of the South side, Maxwell Street, etc. These photographs do so much to capture the times, I can't recommend it highly enough. Put out by ECW Press.
     
  15. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    There is actually a pretty good book out by Bill Wyman (formerly of the Stones) called Blues Odyssey.
     
  16. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I have been into blues history as a semi-serious hobby for 40 years & have read most of the books mentioned. The long thread over on the Old School site is the best & most insightfull blues history I have seen yet!
     
  17. johnhenry

    johnhenry Supporting Member

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    +2 on Palmer's Deep Blues. Alan Lomax also did an exhaustive study, The Land Where The Blues Began, which examines its beginnings and its African roots. But like with anything else, saturate your senses-- put on Tommy johnson, Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, etc, and work your way up to through urban sounds of Muddy, Elmore James, and Wolf. Honestly, once you get past that it starts becoming something else altogether.
     
  18. Scott Miller

    Scott Miller Member

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    You must read "The Land Where Blues Began" by Alan Lomax. It's in two parts, the first part being a description of what life was like in the deep south, and why blues was created in response to that. The second part is interviews with various blues notables.

    Whenever I get on my high-horse about playing blues with the respect that it deserves, it's because I'm thinking about what I read in this book. Out of incredible suffering and hardship came a gift of music that can be nourishing and beautiful to everyone.
     
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  19. TwoFeets

    TwoFeets Supporting Member

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    The Lomax book is excellent, and there was a companion CD released with it to illustrate it, culled from the original Library of Congress recordings. Field hollers, work songs, prison songs, etc.
     
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  20. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm only 9 years and 11 months late but here you go!

     

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