Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings

Your chance to write big-time blues reviews. Only two rules: First, if you're connected to the band or artist, go to Shameless Promotion; Second, don't write a book -- keep it relatively short and simple, no 1,000+ word epics.

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Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings

Postby blueswriter » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:15 pm

The Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings
Penguin Books (2006)

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1008 Pages, soft cover, recommended. There's an inherent difficulty in reviewing a book comprised of countless reviews (approximately six thousand here) along with comical irony. The initial problem is that reviewing music is subjective regardless of how much a writer wishes to separate himself from favoritism. Other difficulties include the stylistic differences of the various contributors who make up projects like this not to mention music that could easily be out-of-print by the time a book of this nature hits the retail shelves. For anyone connected to blues in the UK with more than a poor radar system, the names of Tony Russell, Chris Smith and Neil Slaven should not be new. All three have been at their craft for decades and are highly respected for their dedication and knowledge. For those unaware, guides to blues recordings are just that, guides. Prior to Penguin offering their blues recording handbook, writers already on this path have included Robert Santelli (The Big Book Of Blues and The Best of The Blues - Penguin), Michael Rucker (Blues - The Essential Album Guide - Visible Ink Press) and the well-known All Music Guide To The Blues (Backbeat) among others. Much like the aforementioned titles, Russell, Smith and Slaven (with additional contributors) tackle everything from the earliest blues recordings up to current practitioners and do a fine, if at times questionable, job reporting their thoughts. For neophytes interested in acquiring invaluably helpful reviews of blues music from longtime professors on the subject, The Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings will prove a little deep but for the experienced listener it's more than a blessing. Just remember that one person's poison could be an elixir of life for another. Those with one or more of the other handbooks published prior to this may also enjoy comparing thoughts from different reviewers. It includes brief biographical entries, a reference index, and countless reviews. A solid recommendation for newcomers and near essential for longtime collectors and listeners, but beware of words used by British authors which could require a translation handbook. Nicely done.

Penguin Guide To Blues Recordings

© 2007 by Craig Ruskey
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