The Blues Route

Hugh Merrill, Author William Morrow & Company $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06611-6
In his search for the roots of the blues, a nationally syndicated columnist from Georgia visits cocktail lounges, juke joints and no-name dives in Mississippi, Memphis, New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. Among the bluespeople whose racy stories he quotes are 70-ish Rufus Thomas (``the world's oldest teenager'') of Sun and Stax records; Alligator's Bruce Iglauer, who, in the author's estimation, records the best contemporary blues; Koko Taylor (``the queen of the blues''), who recorded for Willie Dixon on Chess; Watts's Eddie ``Cleanhead'' Vinson; trumpeter Gregory Davis of the Dirty Dozen; signer Valerie Wellington, who forsook Verdi and Wagner for Elmore James and Ma Rainey; and German-born Chris Strachwitz, the first person to record Louisiana zydeco music and the man who made Clifton Chenier famous. Merrill's route is leisurely and each step a festival for blues devotees. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Open Ebook - 236 pages - 978-1-891053-76-4
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