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Book Review--Blues for Dummies

wysiwyg 21 Feb 00 - 12:06 AM
Amos 21 Feb 00 - 02:30 AM
Escamillo 21 Feb 00 - 03:12 AM
Crowhugger 21 Feb 00 - 03:57 AM
Peter T. 21 Feb 00 - 02:53 PM
wysiwyg 21 Feb 00 - 02:59 PM
Peter T. 21 Feb 00 - 03:07 PM
wysiwyg 21 Feb 00 - 03:14 PM
Amos 21 Feb 00 - 03:15 PM
wysiwyg 21 Feb 00 - 03:29 PM
Willie-O 21 Feb 00 - 03:59 PM
wysiwyg 21 Feb 00 - 04:10 PM
sophocleese 21 Feb 00 - 04:16 PM
Peter T. 21 Feb 00 - 05:21 PM
Rick Fielding 21 Feb 00 - 05:36 PM
wysiwyg 21 Feb 00 - 07:31 PM
The Sugar Dog (inactive) 21 Jan 01 - 03:22 PM
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Subject: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 12:06 AM

A recent thread asking about the different types of blues reminded me of the time, not so long ago, when I "desperately" wanted to learn the whole genre of Christian praise music. I had only heard a bit of this music, and I was so hungry to dive in that I didn't know where to start. What I ended up doing was buying many songbooks and their accompanying tapes. I listened, sang, and learned until I had a good grasp of the breadth of the genre.

I guess some of us learn our music at someone's knee, by osmosis, and some of us come to it later in life and have to inhale it in big chunks like the overdue noursishment it is.

I found a book today that fills that beginner's hunger for grasping that wonderful genre, the blues. This is a foundational reference book, not a songbook:
BLUES FOR DUMMIES by Lonnie Brooks,
IDG Books worldwide, Inc.,
Foster City, CA or:
www.dummies.com
... or Click here

IMHO, this reference includes what you would need to know to use a good songbook well, and to make sense out of all the tune-trading that we blues lovers love to do.

Included:
Why This Book Is for You
How to Read (And Listen to) This Book
Part I: What Are the Blues and How Do I Know I Have Them?
Part II: Who's Who in the Blues
Part III: Listening to the Blues
Part IV: Playing the Blues
Part V: The Blues Community
Part VI: The Part of Tens

There is even a sampler CD.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know more about the blues. The biographies and photos alone would be worth the $24.99 cover price.

In case you still don't know why this book mught be for you, here's an excerpt from the website's promo copy

"Get your mojo working as you take a musical trip from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago's gritty South Side and points beyond with Blues For Dummies, an insightful, toe-tappin', music lovers' guide to the blues. Popular blues guitarist Lonnie Brooks serves as your tour guide through the life and times of the blues, from the acoustic mystique of Robert Johnson and Son House to the urban blues men and women of today: John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, B.B. King, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and, of course, Brooks himself.

"Blues For Dummies travels from sad to glad, with stops along the way at heartache and despair, hope and joy, on the road to great music. Get hip to the different styles and eras of the blues; discover what makes the blues so blue; find out "Who's Who" among four generations of blues musicians; and make tracks to the best blues clubs on the planet with this great, easygoing reference. Plus, take a listen to some of the greatest blues recordings of all time (from Muddy Waters and Little Walter to Bobby "Blue" Bland, Buddy Guy, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown) on the exclusive audio CD that comes with Blues For Dummies."

--Praise--


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 02:30 AM

I suppose this is a fine thing, but I have to confess to wincing to think that a title like this was now on the public bookshelf. The WASP machine rolls on, packages everything from owl-shit to the western wind, and places it on shelves with labels, a very nice way to deal with existence, I am sure.

I mean no offence, but I gotta say, as I know it has been said, that the blues is something you earn. This may sound like a conceit, I guess, but I ...well hell, I guess I will sit down and pen a best seller of my own -- maybe two -- Intelligence for Dummies and Passion for Dummies. My my, I can just imagine what I'll do with all that loot! K-Mart, look out!

A


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Escamillo
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:12 AM

Amos, that title could be an indispensable hook for sale nowadays, even for excellent works. If I had to publish such book would I title it "Introduction to Blues" ? or "Blues in History" ? No ! :)))
Some suggestions:
For any introductory text: "WhatYouWant for Dummies"
For an exposition:"Folklora 2000", "Musicata 2000"
For a currency: "Americo"
For a song: "Come hit me"
For a movie: "Looking for Mrs.Bloody"
For a trade mark of cookies: "Shitties"
and so on..

Praise, I'll be one of the dummy readers !
Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Crowhugger
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:57 AM

If you are even a slightly piano-literate, I'd recommend "Blues Hanon" by Leo Alfassay. Making the music comes before naming it, IMHO. Get a feel for the different sounds, then go wear out your library card. Even our piddling small-town library has plenty of books, CDs and videos on the genre.

If you're a guitar-type, well, skip the Hanon and go straight to the CD section of your library,and start playing along with a variety of (yes, Amos, I daresay "black") artists. Chances are that if the artist is non-black, the music was sanitized for broad commercial appeal. As you make the music and read liner notes, you'll figure out what's what.


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 02:53 PM

It is hard to know whether to agree with Amos or not (I always disagree with him at my peril). I tend to think that any introduction is better than no introduction. Maybe the saving grace is that the blues really resists packaging. You can package it up -- lots of people have tried -- but three minutes of Son House or early Muddy Waters to any person ready for the blues is like giving a guy Sophia Loren wrapped in army blankets. The packaging is a minor inconvenience .
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 02:59 PM

Lonnie Brooks, one of the authors, IS the blues to some people in Chicago. It's not written at us from the outside.

The book is aimed at people who have had a taste of hearing and want to know more. Excuse me for trying to respond to a posted request.

BTW, Didn't this start out as a blues site?


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:07 PM

Still is a blues site, for some of us, including "Carpal Tunnel Tangerine" Max Spiegel.
yours, Peter T. (keep up the good work, O Praise!)


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:14 PM

Well do we want a review of Jerry Silverman's book on country blues, which is tunes and background and theory? Maybe I'll post it as a guest, renamed Dummie.


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:15 PM

Yes, Praise, to thee! I meant no disrespect tot he work and thought that must have gone into the book, and I cannot fault the authors for hopping on a bandwagon...my remarks reflect on the overtones of the title, more than the contents of the book or its intent.

Now, Peter T., most distinguished and esteem erudite Senior Intellect of all things muddy...what do you mean, disagree with me at your peril?? Bring out your steel, sir, and have at thee! I hope (seriously) that I have not trampled any sensibilities. I would prefer to enjoy the light and energy of a good disagreement well tendered. I trust I haven't done anything to discourage that.

A


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:29 PM

Watch the invisible kickboxers, boys! They attack in stealth, from below!


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Willie-O
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:59 PM

One thing I never ever do is buy books of distinctive colour proclaiming to the world that the reader (me) is either a "Dummy" or better yet a "Compleat Idiot". (The latter was mildly amusing the first time it was used on John Muir's VW handbook...then marketing took over)

But there is one out now, the Compleat Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex. D'ya think?

W-O


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 04:10 PM

To the tune, I HAD A ROOSTER

I had a book and the book pleased me
I reviewed it on Mudcat for all to see
The nerve of a new 'cat! to newbie doobie doo, be-doobie dedoobie de doobie dedoo

The 'catters saw red and review did not read
The reviewer saw red and began to bleed
The issue got murky and for this was no need
And then the review it became a debate...

I'm warning you now that if there's any more 'Catsh*t over this review I am going to have to write a blues song over it and get into Hearme to make you all pay for the lapses of a few!


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: sophocleese
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 04:16 PM

Well Willie O it would be tricky to market The Compleat Idiot's Guide to Barely Competent Sex; Boys have Dinkies and Girls Don't.


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 05:21 PM

Everyone must be having a bad Monday.
(1)Praise, no one was carping at you for your review or your newness. We were just picking up the theme and doing a blues riff on it.
(2) Amos, when I said I disagree with you at my peril, I meant it in swordsmanlike fashion: one must be en garde with a respectable adversary/colleague. Light and energy forever.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 05:36 PM

Hi Praise. Sorry I didn't get in a little earlier than this. Thanks for the review.

I've been earning my living for 31 years now playing a kind of folk music that is primarily blues/ballad/folk based..and I guess short of being born in Mississippi, I've kind of "earned" the right to play the blues. For a pretty smart fellow, one look at my bank balance tells me that I've played for the love of it, rather than the financial rewards.

Granted, books can't really teach you "how to play blues" but THEY CAN give you the technical grounding that you'll need to win acceptance from your blues playing peers. No matter how simply you play, if you absolutely know the proper timing and chord changes, everyone from B.B. King to Lonnie Brooks, to Eric Clapton, will play with you happily....They may be doing the fancy stuff but if you're making the RIGHT changes without hesitation....consider yourself "one of them". On the other hand, if you know a bunch of licks, but drop a beat, or a bar here and there, you will NEVER BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY among blues players. Sure John Lee Hooker and a few others NEVER played good timing, but they were famous for their voices, and whenever they hooked up with bands to record or play, it was a disaster.

A good book can give you the rules to follow. Once your aimed in the right direction, you can add the fancy stuff. Thanks.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 07:31 PM

Well I was having a bad Monday, and it was over a heath problem, so if I went on the r*g it was because I got the blues!!!

BLUE-GIRL BLUES

Well, I went to the Cat last Monday,
Thought I would have me a time.
Guess I didn't have my head on quite straight--
And dropped my own damn dime...

I got me some blue-girl blues,
I believe I would like to cry.
But without all my friends at the Mudcat,
I would lay me right down (yeah!) and die...

Now if all goes according to procedure,
These here blues are on their way out.
At my age, this cannot continue,
Cause I am way too old to pout.

I got me some blue-girl blues,
I believe I would like to cry.
But without all my friends at the Mudcat,
I would lay me right down (yeah!) and die...

So gentlemen and ladies--
I will close this song of woe.
I appreciate your kind thoughts most loving,
And that's really the best way to go.

You see I got me some blue-girl blues,
I believe I would like to cry.
But without all my friends at the Mudcat,
I would lay me right down (yeah!) and die...


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Subject: RE: Book Review--Blues for Dummies
From: The Sugar Dog (inactive)
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 03:22 PM

Refreshed in response to a Help Forum thread.

~S~


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