Best Blues Read /Best Read Blues

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

Best Blues Read /Best Read Blues

Postby hashtaff » Thu Jul 25, 2002 12:07 am

What are people’s recommendations for blues literature (fiction or non fiction)?
Someone bought me Bill Whyman’s Blues Odyssey for my birthday and, surprisingly it seems pretty good. A great book to dip into rather than read from cover to cover and I’ve discovered heaps of new information (but I was pretty ignorant to start with!)
My favourite (only) blues harp book is "Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers" by Kim Field
I also read a recent review of a new Muddy Waters biography just published –
Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters
by Robert Gordon. Has anyone read it yet?
Why not share your favourite or most useful book on the blues.

"Blues don't know where you're going,
they don't know where you been.
Looks like blues done got me again "
User avatar
hashtaff
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Hobart, Tasmamia, Australia

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby blueswriter » Thu Jul 25, 2002 3:58 am

HashTaff,

Check your email.

Blueswriter
User avatar
blueswriter
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:58 pm

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby allanlummox » Thu Jul 25, 2002 8:07 am

I haven't read Bill Wyman's book yet.

One I highly recommend is the recently departed Alan Lomax's
"the Land Where the Blues Began"- really good read.

Oddly, I'd have to recommend a rather angry book, "The Bluesman" by Julio Finn, to be read with a grain of salt for some understanding of
the place of blues in relation to Race in America.

Of course, a whole bag of salt is needed for Mezz Mezrow's "Really The Blues"...but it's a very funny book by a bona fide eccentric with LOADS to say about that very subject.

Adam Gussow's memoire, "Mister Satan's Apprentice", is fantastic and describes the East Coast Blues scene during the 80's & 90's in loving detail.

I can only assume that Blueswriter sent you a far more comprehensive reading list...and request a copy of same, BW?

I did most of my reading on the Blues years ago...and have lost track of a lot of the chapter & verse...I do recall finding Paul Oliver kind of patronising.
User avatar
allanlummox
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2843
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Dorset, Vermont

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby srvlives » Thu Jul 25, 2002 12:37 pm

How about Dr Mojos' 'Little Blues Book' with a little help from R Crumb. I haven't got one yet, but it oughtta be a dandy...

'BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM' John Lee Hooker
User avatar
srvlives
Regular
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby allanlummox » Thu Jul 25, 2002 1:55 pm

Actually, it's tons of fun...kind of like the Far Side calendar for Blues people.
User avatar
allanlummox
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2843
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Dorset, Vermont

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby hashtaff » Sun Jul 28, 2002 11:24 pm

BluesWriter
Read your terrific review of 'Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters' by Robert Gordon.
I think that the review is fantastic and certainly makes me want to go out and buy the book.
My post re best blues read is a genuine enquiry as to what other quality literature is available pertaining to the history of the blues.
AllanLummox makes some good suggestions and between you both there is probably no-one more qualified to provide your take on 'an essential reading list' or 'The history of the blues - a prerequisite'
So, what about it?
Anyone else with reading suggestions?
Is there any decent fiction in a blues genre (It's a shame Kinky Friedman plays country or his books may have fitted the bill)
Regards,
HashTaff
"Blues don't know where you're going,
they don't know where you been.
Looks like blues done got me again "
User avatar
hashtaff
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Hobart, Tasmamia, Australia

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby blueswriter » Mon Jul 29, 2002 12:33 am

Thanks!

Check your email again...

Blueswriter
User avatar
blueswriter
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:58 pm

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby chillywilly » Mon Jul 29, 2002 1:51 am

My latest favorite is "The World Don't Owe Me Nothing" by Honeyboy Edwards. Now that's a story.

OK Blueswriter, you gotta give it on up, send me the list too.

Chilly
User avatar
chillywilly
Regular
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Washington state

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby blueswriter » Mon Jul 29, 2002 1:58 am

Just sent it off to you. Check your message box and let me know you have them.

Blueswriter
User avatar
blueswriter
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:58 pm

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby dan gunter » Thu Aug 01, 2002 12:34 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jul-31-02 AT 08:35 PM (CST)]I've long enjoyed Robert Palmer's "Deep Blues" and Mike Rowe's "Chicago Blues."

For a whiter shade of blues, try (if you can find it) Nolan Porterfield's biography of Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman. Porterfield's biography is entitled "Jimmie Rodgers: The Life and Times of America's Blue Yodeler."

In the interests of full disclosure, I will note that I took some classes from Porterfield back in the late '70s, when he was working on the biography. Taking the classes didn't make me want to read the biography: familiarity, contempt, all that. I finally read the book about ten years later, while I was writing a paper on white blues musicians. I dipped into it just to pull out some relevant information; but then I found myself reading it and admiring it. I think that it compares very favorably with the Gordon and Tooze biographies of Muddy Waters and the Charles Shaar Murray biography of Hooker. Of course, one has to be at least somewhat interested in Rodgers, and some might find him so pale as to be beyond the pale.
dan gunter
Regular
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby ricochet » Thu Aug 01, 2002 12:46 am

Jimmie Rodgers was first recorded in "The Bristol Sessions" here 75 years ago, an event that's being celebrated with a series of concerts and events now and over the next couple of months. Bluegrass and country dominate them, but there's some Piedmont blues, too. http://www.bristolrhythm.com/
User avatar
ricochet
Regular
 
Posts: 10256
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, Tennessee, USA

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby hashtaff » Thu Aug 01, 2002 9:33 pm

Just to qualify my original post.
In retrospect (I have 20/20 retrospective vision),Bill Whymans book is really poorly written and the layout is disorganised BUT it has all sorts of snippetts of information that I did not know (eg Leadbelly was the Lomax's chaufer)- mainly because I am presently and temporarily unread in blues literature. Thanks to your kind suggestions and with the help of amazon.com ,I intent to rectify this.
Cheers,guys

"Blues don't know where you're going,
they don't know where you been.
Looks like blues done got me again "
User avatar
hashtaff
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Hobart, Tasmamia, Australia

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby houndog » Thu Aug 01, 2002 10:20 pm

Hello,
"Accordion Crimes"by Annie Proulx...this is the fictious story of a accordion passing through many peoples hands over a 100 years..starts in Italy/New Orleans.

But aside from the staggering musical knowledge Annie Proulx displays there is a edgey dispair always hovering in the text which will strike a resonance in you bluesos.

And some of the characters will be very familiar to anyone in or around the music scene, Mrs Houndog thinks it is comedic in parts...but I think it is at times impossibly correct...!

http://annieproulx.com/

adios,
Lovat.
User avatar
houndog
Regular
 
Posts: 839
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:48 pm

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby matt » Wed Aug 07, 2002 7:03 am

Try "The Story of the Blues" by Paul Oliver. A fantastic read. Engrossing and informative. Very enjoyable...
matt
Regular
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:44 am

RE: Best Blues Read /Best Read Blue

Postby ricochet » Wed Aug 07, 2002 5:25 pm

Hey Moj, how about starting a conference on "Accordion Blues?"

:7
User avatar
ricochet
Regular
 
Posts: 10256
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, Tennessee, USA

Next

Return to Talking Blues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests