"The path the slave took to 'citizenship' is what I want to look at. And I make my analogy through the slave citizen's music -- through the music that is most closely associated with him: blues and a later, but parallel development, jazz... [If] the Negro represents, or is symbolic of, something in and about the nature of American culture, this certainly should be revealed by his characteristic music."
So says Amiri Baraka in the Introduction to Blues People, his classic work on the place of jazz and blues in American social, musical, economic, and cultural history. From the music of African slaves in the United States through the music scene of the 1960's, Baraka traces the influence of what he calls "negro music" on white America -- not only in the context of music and pop culture but also in terms of the values and perspectives passed on through the music. In tracing the music, he brilliantly illuminates the influence of African Americans on American culture and history.
Francis Davis's The History of the Blues is a groundbreaking rethinking of the blues that fearlessly examines how race relations have altered perceptions of the music. Tracing its origins from the Mississippi Delta to its amplification in Chicago right after World War II, Davis argues for an examination of the blues in its own right, not just as a precursor to jazz and rock 'n' roll. The lives of major figures such as Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, and Leadbelly, in addition to contemporary artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray, are examined and skillfully woven into a riveting, provocative narrative.
Superbly researched and vividly written, The Devil's Music is one of the only books to trace the rise and development of the blues both in relation to other forms of black music and in the context of American social history as experienced by African Americans. From its roots in the turn-of-the-century honky-tonks of New Orleans and the barrelhouses and plantations of the Mississippi Delta to modern legends such as John Lee Hooker and B. B. King, the blues comes alive here through accounts by the blues musicians themselves and those who knew them. Throughout this wide-ranging and fascinating book, Giles Oakley describes the texture of the life that made the blues possible, and the changing attitudes toward the music. The Devil's Music is a wholehearted and loving examination of one of America's most powerful traditions.
Rhapsody in Blue catapulted George Gershwin into a world-famous career. It brought jazz into the concert hall using a musical language that was fresh, spontaneous, and uniquely American. This edition is based on the piano solo version, first published in 1924 by Warner Brothers Music Corporation. Editorial pedal and fingerings are included.
With these easy-to-play renditions, beginning pianists of all ages can enjoy one of America's most celebrated art forms. Sixteen popular blues melodies include traditional songs such as "St. James Infirmary"Â and "Careless Love" as well as several numbers by blues giants Jelly Roll Morton and W. C. Handy, including "St. Louis Blues," "Joe Turner Blues," and "The Hesitating Blues." Students, teachers, and other pianists will find these arrangements much simpler and more melodic than other versions. The selections include suggestions for fingering and are arranged in order of increasing difficulty. Introductory material by editor David Dutkanicz offers helpful explanations of the melodic and rhythmic theory behind the blues.Â
Blues is the cornerstone of American popular music, the bedrock of rock and roll. In this extraordinary musical and social history, Robert Palmer traces the odyssey of the blues from its rural beginnings, to the steamy bars of Chicagoâs South Side, to international popularity, recognition, and imitation. Palmer tells the story of the blues through the lives of its greatest practitioners: Robert Johnson, who sang of being pursued by the hounds of hell; Muddy Waters, who electrified Delta blues and gave the music its rock beat; Robert Lockwood and Sonny Boy Williamson, who launched the King Biscuit Time radio show and brought blues to the airwaves; and John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, B. B. King, and many others.
"A lucid . . . entrancing study" -- Greil Marcus
"Palmer has a powerful understanding of the music and an intense involvement in the culture." --Â The Nation
Â This is the first serious biography of a man widely considered one of Texasââand Americaâsâgreatest songwriters. Like Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt was the embodiment of that mythic American figure, the troubled troubadour. A Deeper Blue traces Van Zandtâs background as the scion of a prominent Texas family; his troubled early years and his transformation from promising pre-law student to wandering folk singer; his life on the road and the demons that pursued and were pursued by him; the women who loved and inspired him; and the brilliance and enduring beauty of his songs, which are explored in depth.
The author draws on eight yearsâ extensive research and interviews with Townesâ family and closest friends and colleagues. He looks beyond the legend and paints a colorful portrait of a complex man who embraced the darkness of demons and myth as well as the light of deep compassion and humanity, all âfor the sake of the song.â
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.
(String Letter Publishing). Add to your repertoire and reinforce your technique with this collection of blues songs. Bring these songs to life by listening to the recordings online, which feature short versions of each piece, played slowly and up to tempo. Includes full guitar parts in standard notation with chords, accompanying parts, and tablature, as well as detailed notes on song origins and arrangements. The audio files are accessed online, for download or streaming, using the unique code inside each book.