Thursday, June 15, 2006

Chicago Blues Portraits and Stories

I am in the process of finishing David Whiteis’ Chicago Blues Portraits and Stories (Univ. of Illinois Press 2006) for which I will be drafting a review. Whiteis’ book is a collection of portraits of performers and venues that range from deceased legends like Junior Wells, Sunnyland Slim and Big Walter Horton, blues venues and more contemporary performers ranging from Billy Branch and Lurrie Bell to Artie ‘Blues Boy’ White and Cicero Blake. Whiteis does a fine job depicting the performers and the hurdles of everyday life and is refreshing in dealing with the whole range of African-American blues to be found in the Windy City. He may not establish all of his points, but he is never less than interesting and puts a spotlight on several performers who deserve more acclaim and recognition than they have received.
This is available at

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