The British Blues Network: Adoption, Emulation, and Creativity

The British Blues Network: Adoption, Emulation, and Creativity

by Andrew Kellett


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Beginning in the late 1950s, an influential cadre of young, white, mostly middle-class British men were consuming and appropriating African-American blues music, using blues tropes in their own music and creating a network of admirers and emulators that spanned the Atlantic. This cross-fertilization helped create a commercially successful rock idiom that gave rise to some of the most famous British groups of the era, including The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, and Led Zeppelin. What empowered these white, middle-class British men to identify with and claim aspects of the musical idiom of African-American blues musicians? The British Blues Network examines the role of British narratives of masculinity and power in the postwar era of decolonization and national decline that contributed to the creation of this network, and how its members used the tropes, vocabulary, and mythology of African-American blues traditions to forge their own musical identities.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780472036998
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 09/28/2017
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Andrew Kellett is Associate Professor of History at Harford Community College and Adjunct Instructor at the University of Maryland.


Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Talkin' 'Bout My Generation: The Socioeconomic and Cultural Background 24

2 Trying to Make London My Home: Introductory Encounters with the Blues 49

3 But My Dad Was Black: Masculinity, Mobility, and Blues Culture in Britain 74

4 Blues Brothers: Camaraderie, Collaboration, and Competition in the British Blues Network 106

5 I Just Can't Be Satisfied: Between Authenticity and Creativity 142

Conclusions 176

Notes 187

Selected Bibliography 223

Index 249

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