This book offers a great synthesis of sharp analysis about the origins of the blues and its impact, coupled with trenchant biographical details about all the great Delta figures, from Charley Patton through Howlin' Wolf and beyond. Even if you've read Palmer's Deep Blues, Elijah Wald's revisiting of the music of Robert Johnson, Paul Oliver's work, Alan Lomax, Francis Davis's history of the blues, and other major works and biographies, this book offers something special. It will have you running back to your CD collection or ordering (or downloading) new albums. You'll listen to the music in fresh ways and learn something new about artists you thought you knew well. Highly recommended.