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Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Musicby Ted Gioia
Synopses & Reviews
Easy Riders, Rolling Stones delves into the history of twentieth century American popular music to explore the emergence of 60s andldquo;road music.andrdquo; This musicandmdash;which includes styles like blues and RandBandmdash;andmdash;andshy;andshy;took shape at pivotal moments in history and was made by artists and performers who were, in various ways, seekers after freedom. Whether journeying across the country, breaking free from real or imaginary confines, or in the throes of self-invention, these artists incorporated their experiences into scores of songs about travel and movement, as well as creating a new kind of road culture.and#160;
Starting in the Mississippi Delta and tracking the emblematic routes and highways of road music, John Scanlan explores the music and the life of movement it so often represented, identifyingand#160; andldquo;the roadandrdquo; as the key to an existence that was uncompromising. He shows how the road became an inspiration for musicians like Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan and how these musicians also drew stimulus from a Beat movement that was equally enthralled with the possibilities of travel. He also shows how the quintessential American concepts of freedom and travel influenced English bands such as the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. These bands may have been foreigners in the US, but they also found their spiritual home thereandmdash;of blues and rock andlsquo;nandrsquo; rollandndash;andndash;and glimpsed the possibility of a new kind of existence, on the road.
Easy Riders, Rolling Stonesand#160;is an entertaining, rich account of a key strand of American music history, and will appeal to both road music fans and music scholars who want to andldquo;head out on the highway.andrdquo;
"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" ().
'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.'
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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