Sunday, August 19, 2007


It has been a rare privilege over the last month or so to immerse myself in the roots of the blues via two detailed conversations with the authors of two recently published books:

'In Search of the Blues: Black Voices, White Visions' by Marybeth Hamliton is published by Jonathan Cape [£12.99]

‘Hand Me My Travellin’ Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell’ by Michael Gray is published by Bloomsbury (£25.00)

The first challenges the myths surrounding the Delta Blues; the other brings to life one of the great seminal blues players. Both add immeasurably to our knowledge of both the music and the societies that spawned them.

You can hear these interviews on the Audio Generalist - for free!

Californian-born Marybeth Hamilton teaches American History at Birkbeck College, University of London and has previously written 'When I'm Bad, I'm Better: Mae West, Sex and American Entertainment.'

Read Mick Brown's review of 'In Search of the Blues' on The Telegraph site.

Michael Gray is best known as the author of ‘Song and Dance Man’ the first ever book-length critical study of Bob Dylan’s work, published originally in 1972. Over the years it has grown and developed to the point where ’Song and Dance Man III’, published in 2000 and reprinted five times in the years since, is now 918pp long including the index.
His excellent Bob Dylan Encylcopedia blog can be found here
He has also started one on Blind Willie McTell

Read the lyrics of Bob Dylan's song 'Blind Willie McTell'

This new CD set is one of a recently released series which includes Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson - all of which

I purchased for The Generalist's turntable. At £10.99 each they are also great value.

They are issued by Snapper Records,who have also just released 'The Early Blues Roots of Bob Dylan'

A great album in the same vein that my old friend Nick gave me for my 50th birthday, which also comes highly recommended:
'Led Astray - The Folk Blues of Page and Plant'

Blues In Britain is building the most comprehensive list of blues resources on the internet.

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