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Elwood's Blues is an entertaining and informative collection of conversations with the legends and rising stars of blues and rock music, drawn from the popular syndicated radio series, The House of Blues Radio Hour. Host Dan Aykroyd, in character as Elwood Blues of the legendary Blues Brothers, has interviewed over 900 blues and rock greats since 1993. This book compiles the best of those, including discussions with living legends B.B. King and Buddy Guy, past masters John Lee Hooker and Stevie Ray Vaughan, rising stars Keb' Mo' and Susan Tedeschi, and blues-rooted rock stars such as Robert Plant and Bill Wyman.
A fascinating exploration of the relationship between American culture and music as defined by musicians, scholars, and critics from around the world.
An exciting new examination of how African-American blues music was emulated and used by white British musicians in the late 1950s and early 1960s
Bobby "Blue" Bland's silky smooth vocal style and captivating live performances helped propel the blues out of Delta juke joints and into urban clubs and upscale theaters. Until now, his story has never been told in a book-length biography. Soul of the Man: Bobby "Blue" Bland relates how Bland, along with longtime friend B. B. King, and other members of the loosely knit group who called themselves the Beale Streeters, forged a new electrified blues style in Memphis in the early 1950s. Combining elements of Delta blues, southern gospel, big-band jazz, and country and western music, Bland and the Beale Streeters were at the heart of a revolution. This biography traces Bland's life and recording career, from his earliest work through his first big hit in 1957, "Farther Up the Road." It goes on to tell the story of how Bland scored hit after hit, placing more than sixty songs on the R&B charts throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. While more than two-thirds of his hits crossed over onto pop charts, Bland is surprisingly not widely known outside the African American community. Nevertheless, many of his recordings are standards, and he has created scores of hit albums such as his classic 1961 Two Steps from the Blues, widely considered one of the best blues albums of all time. Soul of the Man contains a select discography of the most significant recordings made by Bland, as well as a list of all his major awards. A four-time Grammy nominee, he received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Blues Foundation, as well as the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame. This biography at last heralds one of America's great music makers.
This book explores how, and why, the blues became a central component of English popular music in the 1960s. It is commonly known that many 'British invasion' rock bands were heavily influenced by Chicago and Delta blues styles. But how, exactly, did Britain get the blues? Blues records by African American artists were released in the United States in substantial numbers between 1920 and the late 1930s, but were sold primarily to black consumers in large urban centres and the rural south. How, then, in an era before globalization, when multinational record releases were rare, did English teenagers in the early 1960s encounter the music of Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller, Memphis Minnie, and Barbecue Bob? Roberta Schwartz analyses the transmission of blues records to England, from the first recordings to hit English shores to the end of the sixties. How did the blues, largely banned from the BBC until the mid 1960s, become popular enough to create a demand for re-released material by American artists? When did the British blues subculture begin, and how did it develop? Most significantly, how did the music become a part of the popular consciousness, and how did it change music and expectations? The way that the blues, and various blues styles, were received by critics is a central concern of the book, as their writings greatly affected which artists and recordings were distributed and reified, particularly in the early years of the revival. 'Hot' cultural issues such as authenticity, assimilation, appropriation, and cultural transgression were also part of the revival; these topics and more were interrogated in music periodicals by critics and fans alike, even as English musicians began incorporating elements of the blues into their common musical language. The vinyl record itself, under-represented in previous studies, plays a major part in the story of the blues in Britain. Not only did recordings shape perceptions and listening habits, but which artists were available at any given time also had an enormous impact on the British blues. Schwartz maps the influences on British blues and blues-rock performers and thereby illuminates the stylistic evolution of many genres of British popular music.

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