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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Michael S SF Blues Fest cancelled after 36 years (30) RE: SF Blues Fest cancelled after 36 years 02 Mar 09

I hope I'm not beating a now-dead horse. I thought some who posted here might enjoy a book I found valuable, but I had to dig it out. It's called Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs by David Grazian (U-Chicago Press, 2003). It's a scholarly book, but very accessible. The author spent a great deal of time in Chicago's blues clubs and he talked to patrons and musicians, eliciting their attitudes. He explored ideas about the types of clubs they liked, whether they had preference for white or black musicians, if they favored old-school styles vs blues/rock blends (and how they defined these things), etc. The result is a fascinating picture of how varied blues fan define and value heritage, racial essentialism, and authenticity in music. Some fans only wanted to see black musicians, because they were "more authentic" blues player. Some only wanted to patronize dives, not yuppie fern bars with "fake" blues. An interesting look at ideas about tradition and authenticity in the context of modern blues performance.
--Michael Scully

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