When I'm shopping blues CD's, I often notice that my hands are filling up with historical recordings: sure to please, carefully compiled by experts. Unfamiliar names are seldom picked, as my budget has its limits. I'm making a simple purchase, and casting a vote of economics at the same time. If I don't collect the new recordings, I'm pretty much killing off the chances of contemporary artists. Somehow the music has to come to the listener. The virtual absence of blues on the radio only compounds the problem.
Short of attending a festival, the best solution is to begin reading. As magazines devoted to blues are hard enough to find, this book is a substantial source of information for the fan who needs some help in staying current in the music.
The subtitle is very much to the point; The musicians are profiled individually, and the limit of 49 is the scope of the book. Each person is the subject of their own chapter, including some personal background, musical commentary, and quotations about their own music.
The main title is explained in the beginning, that the younger generation is the figurative musical offspring of the early 20th century artists. This is not so clear cut as the subtitle, as the musicians include some with 40 year careers. They were children a long time ago in any sense of the word. What they have in common is not so much age as a comparable degree of success in the business. If you have attended festivals regularly, or if you are well acquainted with the bigger blues recording companies, you will recognize most of the names right away.
If the point of children is confusing, the actual musicians selected are a worthy lot nonetheless, and the profiles are entertaining and educational. The scope of the book stops short of being an encyclopedia, but for the price of a CD and cup of coffee, it offers the unread music fan a well considered digest of modern talent.
As blues music fights to keep a commercial presence, I expect this book to be a most welcome vehicle for bringing an understanding of the music to the audience.
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