This anthology is an introduction to the blues and includes a CD commencing with a discussion and demonstration of the components of basic blues cord progressions by Michael "Hawkeye" Herman. The CD also contains an additional twenty musical tracks exploring the blues as it was influenced by the Mississippi River and the journey north.
Two themes of those listed by the editor emerge from this publication as most relevant: the blues as a mirror of society and its evolution over time, and the blues as a constantly changing portrait of American culture.
The contributing authors offer different perspectives on the blues as it arose from slavery and has evolved up to the year 2000. Included are chapters on River Songs, Urban Blues and Women and the Blues all emphasizing the heritage of the music and how it has permeated other art forms.
This scholarly work is more than an introduction to the blues, it validates the fact that to progress, we must be conscious of our roots and interpret that within the context of our evolving culture. The blues is an American phenomenon and this book and the accompanying CD illustrate this fact superbly.
by Dorothy Hill
Back to Contents Page
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, February 2003 issue, all rights reserved