05 October 2005

Robert Johnson & the Blues

Escaping the Delta - Click for details and orders at Amazon.co.uk I whiled away three dead hours of a Malaga—Manchester flight earlier this week with Elijah Wald's gripping study of Robert Johnson. However, Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues is more than a biography: it's a detailed study of blues music as a socio-musical phenomenon, from its roots to the present day. Wald argues that it was black pop music, and Johnson might well be a rapper if he were alive today. Even more controversially, he goes on to suggest that the blues might almost have faded away in the USA if it had not been re-discovered by groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and re-exported to its place of origin. It's a great read, with names cascading from every page - Elmore James, Son House, Muddy Waters, Skip James - which make you yearn to listen to their music yet again. FULL REVIEW HERE

Click for details and orders at Amazon.comClick for details and orders at Amazon.co.uk

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