Synopses & Reviews
Powerfully evocative photographs and voices that capture the lasting power and universal appeal of the blues.
State of the Blues is the photographer Jeff Dunas's stirring tribute to the blues, a vital American musical tradition. One of the earliest expressions of African American culture, the blues makes poetry of sorrow and finds humor and bitter irony in the hardships of life. It tells of loves lost and regained, and of the fight for dignity in a world that judges people by the color of their skin.
Alongside a series of intimate portraits of the greatest blues performers of our time--including B. B. King, Koko Taylor, Charlie Musselwhite, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and many others--the book presents Dunas's timeless photographs of the landmarks and byways of the Blues Highway, a heritage trail through the American South that leads from New Orleans to Chicago, where the blues continues to thrive today.
A Preface by the legendary blues performer John Lee Hooker sets the stage for this unprecedented look at the state of the blues. In his Introduction, the noted blues scholar William Ferris, founder of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, provides the cultural and historical context for Dunas's remarkable photographs. A series of riveting interviews with leading blues performers lends immediacy to the book.
Introduction by William Ferris. Preface by John Lee Hooker.
About the Author
has published his photographs in several major magazines, including GQ
Weekly, and Esquire
. Based in Los Angeles, Dunas has been photographing blues legends since 1994.