Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta
By Robert Palmer
Why this book?
I had dipped dutifully into plenty of worthwhile books by Paul Oliver and Sam Charters, but it was only on picking this up in 1982 that I realised reading about music could be as rewarding as listening to it. Palmer was a musician who had played with Elvin Jones, and a journalist for both Rolling Stone and the New York Times. He was born in Arkansas. So when he went in search of the story of the blues in the South and in Chicago, he understood what he was hearing, understood what people were telling him, understood how all the pieces fitted together, and understood how to get it all down in his beautiful, spare and involving prose. If you only want to read one book about the blues…
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