The Gospel According to the Blues' dares us to read Jesus's Sermon on the Mount in conversation with Robert Johnson, Son House, and Muddy Waters. It suggests that thinking about the blues--the history, the artists, the song--provides good stimulation for thinking about the Christian gospel. Both are about a world gone wrong, about injustice, about the human condition, and about hope for a better world.
Blues is absolutely vital to black theological reflection and to the black church's existence. In Black Bodies and the Black Church , author Kelly Douglas Brown develops a blues crossroad theology, which allows the black church to remain true to itself and relevant in black lives.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, folklorist William Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the authentic roots of the blues. Now, "Give My Poor Heart Ease" puts front and center a searing selection of the artistically and emotionally rich voices from this invaluable documentary record. Here are the stories of artists who have long memories and speak eloquently about their lives, blues musicians who represent a wide range of musical traditions--from one-strand instruments, bottle-blowing, and banjo to spirituals, hymns, and prison work chants.
Noted blues scholar, Paul Oliver, draws on decades of research and personal interviews with performers to present this outstanding social history of the blues in America. Drawing a picture of how the blues aesthetic developed, Broadcasting the Blues examines the blues from its birth in the rural South, through to the heyday of sound recordings and Oliver gives new insights into the role blues played in American society before racial integration. For any blues fan, music scholar or interested general reader, this book will prove a fascinating and enlightening read.
Blues: The Basics gives a brief introduction to a century of the blues; it is ideal for students and interested listeners who want to learn more about this treasured American artform. The book is organized chronologically, focusing on the major eras in blues's growth and development. It opens with a chapter defining the blues form and detailing the major genres within it. Next, the author gives the beginning blues fan points on how to listen to and truly enjoy the music. The heart of the book traces blues's growth from its folk origins through early recordings of city blues singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith and country blues stars like Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Finally, the author gives an overview of the blues scene today. The book concludes with lists of key recordings, books, and videos.
Examining the blues genre by region, and describing the differences unique to each, make this a must-have for music scholars and lay readers alike. * Demonstrates the extensive contributions of African Americans to American music and culture * Supplies chapters on regions that include entries on the lives and contributions of individual blues musicians in particular areas of the United States, painting a colorful "map" of the development of blues music * Draws upon extensive archival research, such as Social Security death records, to establish fundamental facts and correct myths concerning blues musicians