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Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1967 (American Made Music Series) Hardcover – July 10, 2013
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“Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1967 reminds me of fond memories I have of George and me roaming the Mississippi Delta looking for blues singers in the early 1960s. Anybody who has any interest in blues at all should love this book. For me it felt like reading a grand and compassionate adventure. This is an important work the way it preserves the thoughts and music of some wonderful individuals. You feel you come to know them through their thoughts and beautiful music. I always know a great read by the way it stays with you long after you’ve finished and that’s the way this book is. You’ll love and appreciate it.”
―Charlie Musselwhite, Mississippi bluesman
From the Inside Flap
The photographic record of unprecedented musical discovery and the geniuses of Mississippi's Hill Country blues
Top customer reviews
This new book reminded me of another great book. Something similar (and just as cool in it's own way) is the book "Darker Blues" (Big Legal Mess Pub. 2002), which features b&w and color photographs by David Raccuglia, of blues artists on the Fat Possum label. It's a "coffee table" size hardcover book, which also includes 2 CDs with 23 tracks total (7 previously unreleased) of blues and a pretty cool color comic. There's also biographical information next to the artists photos. Deep fans/collectors of hill country blues should hunt for this book/CDs.
This great book is in many respects equal to Mitchell's multi-disc set of country blues. Through many photographs, Mitchell's commentary, and a few interviews with various blues artists, you come away with a deeper understanding of the music and life in the region in the late 1960's. His writing style is straightforward and almost conversational. As Mitchell writes--"Unnamed gravel roads ramble throughout the Mississippi countryside. For the rural black living along them life has changed little during the last fifty years. He still keeps the water he draws from the nearest well in a wooden barrel on his front porch. His wife still cooks on a wood stove. He still has to walk out to the outhouse if there is one (if not, he 'slips around the side of the house')." His writing is close to being (and may be) in a documentary style--things as he sees them without embellishment.
The paper stock is thick with a satin finish. The photographic reproductions are generally very good. The large format gives space for large reproductions. The photos themselves are very atmospheric without pandering to commonly held beliefs. The subjects are presented as they are--nothing more--nothing less. Included besides musicians are images of families, farms/homes, "get togethers", and other images of life in the region during that period.
This book belongs in every blues fan's library. Nothing fancy here--just (like the music) the real deal.
A report from the North Mississippi Hill Country, where people lived (and maybe still lives) in true poverty, yet created a haunting, beautiful music, a totally special style of blues.
A MUST for blues lovers.