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Blue Chicago : Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs (03 Edition)

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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

The club is run-down and dimly lit. Onstage, a black singer croons and weeps of heartbreak, fighting back the tears. Wisps of smoke curl through the beam of a single spotlight illuminating the performer.

For any music lover, that image captures the essence of an authentic experience of the blues. In Blue Chicago, David Grazian takes us inside the world of contemporary urban blues clubs to uncover how such images are manufactured and sold to music fans and audiences. Drawing on countless nights in dozens of blues clubs throughout Chicago, Grazian shows how this quest for authenticity has transformed the very shape of the blues experience. He explores the ways in which professional and amateur musicians, club owners, and city boosters define authenticity and dish it out to tourists and bar regulars. He also tracks the changing relations between race and the blues over the past several decades, including the increased frustrations of black musicians forced to slog through the same set of overplayed blues standards for mainly white audiences night after night. In the end, Grazian finds that authenticity lies in the eye of the beholder: a nocturnal fantasy to some, an essential way of life to others, and a frustrating burden to the rest.

From B.L.U.E.S. and the Checkerboard Lounge to the Chicago Blues Festival itself, Grazian's gritty and often sobering tour in Blue Chicago shows us not what the blues is all about, but why we care so much about that question.

Synopsis:

Blue Chicago takes us inside the world of contemporary urban blues clubs to uncover how iconic—yet empty—images of the blues are manufactured and sold to music fans and audiences. Drawing on countless nights in dozens of blues clubs throughout Chicago, David Grazian shows how this quest for authenticity has transformed the very shape of the blues experience. He explores the ways in which professional and amateur musicians, club owners, and city boosters define authenticity and dish it out to tourists and bar regulars. He also tracks the changing relations between race and the blues over the past several decades, including the increasing frustrations of black musicians forced to slog through the same set of overplayed blues standards for mainly white audiences night after night. In the end, Grazian finds that authenticity lies in the eye of the beholder: a nocturnal fantasy to some, an essential way of life to others, and a frustrating burden to the rest.

"Chicago has given the world distinctive forms of urban blues and urban sociology. . . . In Blue Chicago, David Grazian's lucid and bracingly unpious study of the blues scene, the two homegrown traditions meet with satisfying results."—Carlo Rotella, Chicago Tribune

About the Author

David Grazian is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Prologue: How Blue Can You Get- A Night in a

Chicago Blues Club

Introduction: Black and Tan Fantasy- Searching

for the Chicago Blues

1. Blues in Black and White- The Politics of Race and

Authenticity in a Chicago Blues Club

2. The Fashion of Their Dreams- Inventing Authenticity

in the Nocturnal City

3. Like Therapy- The Blues Club as a Haven

4. Keepin It Real- Chicago Blues Musicians and the Search for Authenticity

5. Chicago Confidential- The Rise of the Blues Club as a Tourist Attraction

6. Sweet Home Chicago- Selling Authenticity in the Urban Metropolis

7. Conclusion- The Search for Authenticity

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226305899
Author:
Grazian, David
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Social aspects
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
United States - Midwest - Chicago
Subject:
Blues (music)
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Blues
Subject:
Blues (Music) -- Illinois -- Chicago.
Subject:
Nightclubs - Illinois - Chicago
Subject:
Travel-Chicago
Subject:
Travel - U.S./Midwest
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20051131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
19 halftones
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Blues
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Blues and Rhythm and Blues
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Travel » North America » United States » Midwest

Blue Chicago : Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs (03 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 328 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226305899 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Blue Chicago takes us inside the world of contemporary urban blues clubs to uncover how iconic—yet empty—images of the blues are manufactured and sold to music fans and audiences. Drawing on countless nights in dozens of blues clubs throughout Chicago, David Grazian shows how this quest for authenticity has transformed the very shape of the blues experience. He explores the ways in which professional and amateur musicians, club owners, and city boosters define authenticity and dish it out to tourists and bar regulars. He also tracks the changing relations between race and the blues over the past several decades, including the increasing frustrations of black musicians forced to slog through the same set of overplayed blues standards for mainly white audiences night after night. In the end, Grazian finds that authenticity lies in the eye of the beholder: a nocturnal fantasy to some, an essential way of life to others, and a frustrating burden to the rest.

"Chicago has given the world distinctive forms of urban blues and urban sociology. . . . In Blue Chicago, David Grazian's lucid and bracingly unpious study of the blues scene, the two homegrown traditions meet with satisfying results."—Carlo Rotella, Chicago Tribune

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