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Blues-Rock Explosion (Sixties Rock Series) Paperback – April, 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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In the 1960s, many young, white hipster musicians in the United States and England aspired to sound "black." In their search for authenticity, artists like Eric Clapton, John Mayall, and the Allman Brothers inadvertently revitalized the careers of many forgotten bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Skip James, who, at the beginning of the decade, were strapped for cash or had given up music entirely. The first volume in a series on 1960s rock, this work documents in mini biographies the careers of 42 of the decade's blues artists (all white with the exception of Taj Mahal), who battled elitism and pondered how to sell records without selling out. From reading this book, it would seem the eternal question since 1960 has been, Can white people play the blues? The contributors, however, do not seek to answer that question so much as show that Clapton and company sparked a movement that affected both the white and the black community. Surprisingly little has been written about the blues revival of 1960-70, which produced music that lost its context quickly, created a religion of guitar god worship, and was probably responsible for the 1980s guitar tablature culture. Edited by two experienced pop music journalists and including a humorous and insightful introduction by blues aficionado Martin Celmins, this well-researched and readable book traces the branches of blues' bastard family tree. Recommended for all libraries. Eric Hahn, Fargo, ND
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"...Essential reading for all music fans and surely a 'must acquire' for serious aficionados of the 'sixties blues revival'". -- Mike Vernon, Producer

"...this is an exhaustively researched and largely well-written encyclopedia that covers both major and lesser artists." -- Joe Geesin, Record Collector magazine, July 2002

"...you can also think of this book as the Old Testament on the modern phenomenon of jam bands." -- Jude Gold, Guitar Player Magazine, October 2002

"A magnificent piece of research" -- John Mayall

"An indispensable reference". -- -- Chris Welch, former features editor of Melody Maker, author of 27 books

"Blues-Rock Explosion is a godsend." -- Colin Harper, Mojo magazine, April 2002

"Here's a meaty, weighty good read for all who love the genre." -- Dino McGartland, Blues Matters magazine, April-June 2002

"It's a great reference source, chock full of great Blues-rock information from 1960-1972." -- Steve Elliott, Ugly Things magazine, #20

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Product Details

  • Series: Sixties Rock Series
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Old Goat Publishing; 1 edition (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970133278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970133274
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Old Goat Publishing Company, located in Mission Viejo, California, is a group of elite rock music writers who have come together for a common purpose: Bring the vibrant music scene of the 1960's to life in a series of books that are painstakingly researched and meticulously detailed. Blues-Rock Explosion, the first offering in this series, delivers 42 profiles of many of the seminal groups of the so-called "Blues Revival Movement of 1968." Generously assisted by recollections from many of the principals involved, Blues-Rock explosion paints a vibrant portrait of a (primarily British) scene suffused with excitement, as the musicians start by slavishly imitating the great American bluesmen like Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters, then grow by leaps and bounds to create an entirely new genre (blues-rock) that forms the basis for much of popular music's later development into hard rock and heavy metal. One could argue for inclusion of more bands, such as, say, the Animals and Led Zeppelin, but the author's decision to limit the time period covered (from roughly the mid-1960's until 1973) puts sensible boundaries around the subject, making the book's length a very manageable 300 pages instead of 900. Several future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are detailed in these portraits (the Allman Brothers, Cream, Eric Clapton, and the Yardbirds), but just as compelling are the chapters concerning artists whose careers were cut short by tragedy (the Mark Leeman Five, Jo Ann Kelly).Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
If you love the blues and you love rock, you HAVE to have this book! It is THE Bible of the blues-rock phenomenon, period. "The Blues-Rock Explosion" is a brilliantly-written compendium that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the music you love...where it came from, who the artists were, and how this soulful, gut-punching style of music that grabbed you and never let you go developed and blossomed in the USA and the UK, from the late 50's, right through the 60's and the early 70's. By the end of the book you'll have the WHOLE picture of this seminal, magic era in musical history.
I couldn't put this wonderful book down, and though I was "there" at the last half of the Explosion and thought I pretty much knew who was who and what was what and how it all happened; I learned more from this book than I picked up first-hand from my experience playing this style of music in San Francisco, London and Los Angeles from the 60's to the present day.
The Blues-Rock Explosion is a must for anyone who loves the blues and rock 'n roll. You'll be hooked as it takes you through Liverpool and London, Chicago and Seattle, and profiles Clapton, Mayall, Butterfield & King and all the rest who made blues-rock history. Great book.
(Funky) Paul Olsen
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Format: Paperback
It's amazing how much info the authors have gotten into these relatively few pages. And apparently everything is correct!! This is the most amazing book on Blues-Rock ever. And the discographies are so informative that you can go out and buy what you want with the info from them. If you are a DJ or hosting a blues-rock radio show (like I am), you have here more than 50 ready to rock shows!! The authors have done all the research for you!! I like that, all I have to do is choose among all the fine chapters.
I cannot recommend this book enough to lovers of Blues-Rock.
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Format: Paperback
Well, this has to be the definitive account of the way British and American blues bands turned their love of authentic US blues into commercial success for themselves whilst acknowledging the huge debt they owed to the 'real thing'. The detail is staggering - if you want to know what Eric Clapton had for breakfast on July 21st 1968, then this is the book for you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know this great book has been around a while, and reviewed by a number of people. But for the 100 or so "Fan Voters" who (I guess) follow my reviews on Amazon (hope they've helped), I thought I'd tell you about this fine book. If you're into 60's blues/rock-on both sides of the ocean, you need to check this out-or better yet, just buy it.

It contains a full 264 pages of information, plus a Forward, a Preface, a long Introduction, a five page Bibliography, and an Index. There are a few b& w photographs included, but the main portion of this book are the essays on the musicians/bands from that period. Listed alphabetically for ease of use are many (most) of the bands that mattered during this era, in both America and England. Following each essay is a discography that will give you at least a starting point into this great music.

There's both well known artists, and a number that are lesser known like Bakerloo, Brunning Sunflower Blues Band (featuring Fleetwood Mac's first bass player Bob Brunning), Cyril Davies and the R&B All-Stars, Dave Kelly, Jo Ann Kelly (a personal favorite), Mark Leeman Five, Duffy Power (sometimes spelled "Powers"), and the Siegal-Schwall Band. Are there some missing artists? Yes, but to include virtually every blues/rock band of the era would be prohibitive. Besides, this book covers that era nicely, so the omission of certain artists (where is Duster Bennett? Maybe too close to straight blues?) is forgivable. And it is nice to see artists like the Blues Project, Chicken Shack, Downliners Sect, John Dummer ("Blues") Band, the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation (a personal favorite-the "Retaliation" comes from Dunbar's hassles with John Mayall), Barry Goldberg, Harvey Mandel, and a few others all together in one nice, neat book.
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