The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings

Overview

A one-of-a-kind new guide to recorded blues

This informative, insightful, and easy-to-use A-Z guide surveys the recorded work of more than a thousand blues artists. From towering figures of the past like Charley Patton, Bessie Smith, and Robert Johnson to stars of the modern era such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, this valuable resource provides crisp, expert, and witty reviews of almost six thousand recordings and is required reading for blues aficionados as ...

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Overview

A one-of-a-kind new guide to recorded blues

This informative, insightful, and easy-to-use A-Z guide surveys the recorded work of more than a thousand blues artists. From towering figures of the past like Charley Patton, Bessie Smith, and Robert Johnson to stars of the modern era such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, this valuable resource provides crisp, expert, and witty reviews of almost six thousand recordings and is required reading for blues aficionados as well as anyone just starting a collection.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Blues-writing veteran Russell (Blacks, Whites and Blues) and coeditor Chris Smith (Hit the Right Lick), along with writer/discographer Neil Slaven, writer/musician Ricky Russell, and music journalist Joe Faulkner, deliver a first-rate guide to blues on compact disc. Listing more than 1000 blues artists in alphabetical order with a final section for compilations, the editors start each entry with a brief but adequate biography, following with the name and date of a recording, the label, and the musicians on the session. They mercifully bypass rock-blues acts such as the Rolling Stones and ZZ Top as well as more jazz-oriented musicians to concentrate on artists who play primarily acoustic and electric blues, among them Charley Patton, Bessie Smith, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy. They critically and carefully rate nearly 6000 CDs on a one- to four-star scale (with a special indicator for essential recordings), applying tongue-in-cheek wit and assigning ratings in a meaningful way to help the discriminating blues listener make a decision about his or her next purchase. Bottom Line This book successfully competes with the useful All Music Guide to Blues (Backbeat Books, 2003. 3d ed.) and the less ambitious The Big Book of Blues (Penguin, 1993). Unfortunately, the editors limit themselves to reviewing CDs in print and neglect to review out-of-print albums, which blues hounds crave. That said, given its breath, focus, and critical nature, this is the most useful and reliable guide to blues currently on the market. Anyone wanting a no-nonsense guide to the blues, from its origins to the present, should buy this excellent new reference.-Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140513844
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Pages: 1008
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Russell is a music historian who has written on country music, blues, jazz, and other forms of popular music in a wide variety of publications. He has researched, written, and presented many musical programs for BBC Radio and has acted as consultant on numerous radio and television documentaries.

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