"A Flamboyant, insightful examination and evocation of the sources, styles, and mythologies of blues music." -- Newsweek
"An entire chapter is devoted to correcting misconceptions about the blues and to redefining the music and its connotations for American culture." -- Jason Berry, The Nation
"As striking a book about music as I have ever seen." -- Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone
"By far the most stimulating interpretation of the meaning of jazz in African-American life." -- Martin Williams, author, The Jazz Tradition
"It is a discussion of the basic aesthetic values of blues music, how those values embody ritual responses to life, and the manner in which they originated in American black communities and were stylized by individual geniuses into an art of universal import." -- Gary Giddins, New York Magazine
"Murray writes of the blues from the inside. His observations and conclusions show his authoritative comprehension of a blues musician's roots, the choices and adaptations he makes of existing material to form his own style, and the off-stage personal style he creates to go with it...Murray's preaching is sound." -- Amy Lee, Christian Science Monitor
About the Author
Albert Murray was born in Alabama in 1916. A cultural critic, biographer, essayist, and novelist, he has taught at several colleges, including Colgate and Barnard, and his works include The Omni-Americans, South to a Very Old Place(nominated for a National Book Award), The Hero and the Blues, and Trading Twelve: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray. He has also won the ASCAPDeems Taylor Award for Stomping the Blues.