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All Music Guide to the Blues

All Music Guide to the Blues

5.0 1
by Michael Erlewine (Editor), Chris Woodstra (Editor), Vladimir Bogdanov (Editor), Cub Koda (Editor)
Expanded to profile hundreds more artists and recordings, this crucial guide reviews and rates over 3,500 classic blues recordings. 30 charts.


Expanded to profile hundreds more artists and recordings, this crucial guide reviews and rates over 3,500 classic blues recordings. 30 charts.

Editorial Reviews

Kenneth Bays
It's hard to imagine a more comprehensive blues resource than the newly available second edition of the Guide.... At 658 pages, the volume has room for virtually every artist ever to have a place in blues history.
Blues Revue
W. Douglas Shirk
All Music Guide to the Blues second edition, has been updated and expanded to include profiles of many musicians and reviews of twice as many recordings. Biographies and reviews comprise the bulk of the book. Short, alphabetically arranged essays about each artist are accompanied by extensive discographies capsule reviews, and specific recommendations. Most readers will find the All Music Guide to the Bluesa valuable well-researched reference source, while the newcommer seeking to explore and experience blues music first hand will find a wealth of well presented, accurate, and useful information.
American History
Library Journal
The New Blackwell Guide to Recorded Blues. Blackwell. Dec. 1996. c.448p. permanent paper. ed. by John Cowley & Paul Oliver. index. LC 96-12140. ISBN 0-631-20163-7. $49.95; pap. ISBN 0-631-19639-0. $19.95. Blackwell has distinguished itself as a publisher of music guides, and its latest offering upholds the high standards set by previous ones, including the blues guide (The Blackwell Guide to Blues Records, LJ 12/89) updated here. As is generally true of Blackwell guides, the coverage is selective rather than exhaustive; in this case, the book consists of 11 discographical essays, each covering a period in blues history and recommending around 50 recordings as either "essential" or "basic" to a blues library. The essays are consistently well written and extremely informative. More that simply guiding the reader to good blues recordings, they also provide a remarkably thorough overview of the history and development of specific artists and styles. Each citation includes a catalog number and complete track list. A number of the recordings cited are UK-only releases, which limits somewhat the guide's usefulness to American readers. Still, this guide should find a place in most academic music collections. (Index not seen.) Where the Blackwell guide offers impressive depth, the All Music guide offers impressive breadth. Those familiar with the "All Music Guide" series know exactly what to expect here: a huge number of brief reviews and artist biographies covering almost every blues artist one can think of, as well as several useful appendixes on instrumental and regional styles and numerous charts illustrating webs of influence among artists and the connections among blues subgenres. As is also generally the case with All Music guides, the rating system is so ambiguous as to be almost meaningless, and the writing is uneven in quality. Not all research collections will need it, but this guide can be confidently recommended as a resource for the nonspecialist reader.-Rick Anderson, Penacook, N.H.
The second edition of this acclaimed critical compendium doubles the number of albums reviewed, and features capsule biographies of hundreds more musicians, also expanding its scope to cover gospel performers and recordings as well. Multiple authors for biographies and each album review within the entries make for some redundancies and contradictions, but the varying perspectives are ultimately a strength of the work. An impressive wealth of information gathered in one place; some readers may want to use a magnifying glass. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)

Product Details

Hal Leonard Corporation
Publication date:
All Music Guides Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.73(d)

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All Music Guide to the Blues 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I reach for this book when I get a call to be a guest on radio shows to promote my book, "Forever Retro Blues." I've found the information in here easy to read and buff up on the blues. The essays are injoyable, and the history is the most complete on the blues I have found.