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Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Musicby Ted Gioia
Synopses & Reviews
'The blues grew out of the plantations and prisons, the swampy marshes and fertile cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta. With original research and keen insights, Ted Gioia\'\"the author of a landmark study of West Coast jazz and the critically acclaimed The History of Jazz\'\"brings to life the stirring music of the Delta, evoking the legendary figures who shaped its sound and ethos: Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin\' Wolf, B. B. King, and others. Tracing the history of the Delta blues from the field hollers and plantation music of the nineteenth century to the exploits of modern-day musicians in the Delta tradition, Delta Bluestells the full story of this timeless and unforgettable music. No cultural force boasts such humble origins or such world-conquering reverberations. In this evocative rags-to-riches tale, Gioia shows how the sounds of the Delta altered the course of popular music in America and in the world beyond.'
"The essential history of this distinctly American genre."--
'\'The essential history of this distinctly American genre.\"Atlanta Journal-Constitution\n
In this "expertly researched, elegantly written, dispassionate yet thoughtful history" (Gary Giddins), award-winning author Ted Gioia gives us "the rare combination of a tome that is both deeply informative and enjoyable to read" (, starred review). From the field hollers of nineteenth-century plantations to Muddy Waters and B.B. King, delves into the uneasy mix of race and money at the point where traditional music became commercial and bluesmen found new audiences of thousands. Combining extensive fieldwork, archival research, interviews with living musicians, and first-person accounts with "his own calm, argument-closing incantations to draw a line through a century of Delta blues" (), this engrossing narrative is flavored with insightful and vivid musical descriptions that ensure "an understanding of not only the musicians, but the music itself" (). Rooted in the thick-as-tar Delta soil, is already "a contemporary classic in its field" ().
About the Author
An authority on jazz and blues, Ted Gioia is the founder and editor of <>jazz.com. He has recorded several CDs as a pianist and composer and is the author of five highly regarded books on jazz and roots music. He lives in Plano, Texas.
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