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Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the…
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Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues (vuoden 2004 painos)

– tekijä: Elijah Wald (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
246982,116 (4.06)5
Robert Johnson's story presents a fascinating paradox: Why did this genius of the Delta blues excite so little interest when his records were first released in the 1930s? And how did this brilliant but obscure musician come to be hailed long after his death as the most important artist in early blues and a founding father of rock 'n' roll? Elijah Wald provides the first thorough examination of Johnson's work and makes it the centerpiece for a fresh look at the entire history of the blues. He traces the music's rural folk roots but focuses on its evolution as a hot, hip African-American pop style, placing the great blues stars in their proper place as innovative popular artists during one of the most exciting periods in American music. He then goes on to explore how the image of the blues was reshaped by a world of generally white fans, with very different standards and dreams. The result is a view of the blues from the inside, based not only on recordings but also on the recollections of the musicians themselves, the African-American press, and original research. Wald presents previously unpublished studies of what people on Delta plantations were actually listening to during the blues era, showing the larger world in which Johnson's music was conceived. What emerges is a new respect and appreciation for the creators of what many consider to be America's deepest and most influential music.Wald also discusses how later fans formed a new view of the blues as haunting Delta folklore. While trying to separate fantasy from reality, he accepts that neither the simple history nor the romantic legend is the whole story. Each has its own fascinating history, and it is these twin histories that inform this book.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:jbjohnsonius
Teoksen nimi:Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues
Kirjailijat:Elijah Wald (Tekijä)
Info:Amistad (2004), Edition: Book & CD, 368 pages
Kokoelmat:Campbell
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Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues (tekijä: Elijah Wald)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
A history of blues anchored on the short life of the iconic Robert Johnson. A very interesting and lucid view on the blues, trying to dispel the myths and focus on what blues really meant to the people who listened to the music across the years, from its origins to the revival of the 1960s and then to modern day.
Well worth the read for anyone who loves this musical genre. ( )
  espadana | Jun 24, 2015 |
Good historical overview of the blues, particularly notable in addressing common misperceptions about early blues artists. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Der Autor zeigt an Hand der Geschichte des Musikers Robert Johnson auf, dass es bei der Rezeption der Bluesmusik durch das weisse Mainstream Publikum in den sechziger Jahren zu einer Reduktion der Musik auf primitive, sogenannt authentische und einfache Muster gekommen ist. Im Gegensatz zu dieser Mystifikation war die Musik der schwarzen Gemeinden im Mississippi Delta der zwanziger und dreissiger Jahre vielfältiger als später behauptet und umfasste alle Formen und Stile der jeweiligen Zeit, also Einflüsse aus Jazz, Pop und Folklore. Die Genres waren noch nicht so definiert und differenziert, die Musiker spielten, was gefiel und verlangt wurde, sie mussten vielseitig und an allem interessiert sein, um an den verschiedenen Orten der Auftritte die Leute zu begeistern und kommerziell erfolgreich zu sein. Die These ist einleuchtend und an vielen Beispielen ausgeführt. ( )
  Markus.bauer | May 29, 2014 |
This history of the blues places Robert Johnson in the context of his time and the music of his time and place. Therefore, it corrects the widely held impression that Johnson in particular and the Delta bluesmen in general were recognized as tortured geniuses and were popularly acclaimed. At the same time, Wald respects and loves the Delta blues recordings and his chapters on Johnson's sessions are a sensitive track by track appreciation and evaluation. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
The legend of the wandering bluesman from the Mississippi Delta is one of those enduring images we have from early 20th century America. Even if Robert Johnson didn't sell his soul to the Devil to get a supernatural ability to play blues guitar, that sort of music burst out of the Delta to become R&B, infect jazz, and eventually lead to rock 'n roll. And it all started with these few musical geniuses that grew out of the poor black culture of the previous century, right?

Well, maybe not, if you believe Elijah Wald. In Escaping the Delta, he makes three main points: (i) the blues that was most popular was the more urban, professional, often large-group music heard first on records and then on the radio, (ii) most blues musicians, including those from the Delta were quite versatile musicians that played a wide variety of music, an image not generally recognized today, and (iii) the mystique that's grown up around acoustic Delta blues is mostly that - mystique - and came from the attention mostly white, mostly urban folklorists and preservationists paid to a relatively minor group of artists.

Just so you know, this is a fairly contrarian view of the history of the blues, and one that makes quite a bit of sense to me. Some of today's most highly revered blues musicians were pretty much unknown in their day and had marginal impact on audiences and other musicians. Yet these are the ones that are considered "Father of the Blues" or "King of the Blues". How did this drastic shift in thinking happen? Wald describes a process by which folklorists in previous decades, in trying to preserve the source of the blues, artificially selected unique material or songs that were considered "closer" to the source material instead of the wider selection of what blues artists actually played to audiences. This has distorted what we now view as pure blues and our consideration of the relative importance of various artists and styles.

Escaping the Delta is not a history of the blues. Instead, it's a study on the study of blues history. As such, it's helpful to know something about the music and its history ahead of time. But it's not required. If nothing else, Wald's work is an interesting discussion of how researchers can inadvertently influence the results of their work in unintended ways and how that can ripple into legend and folklore. ( )
3 ääni drneutron | Jan 28, 2010 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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To the memory of Dave Van Ronk, so often my mentor in both music and writing, whose ideas formed the foundation of this work.
Ensimmäiset sanat
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For its first fifty years, Blues was primarily black popular music.
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Robert Johnson's story presents a fascinating paradox: Why did this genius of the Delta blues excite so little interest when his records were first released in the 1930s? And how did this brilliant but obscure musician come to be hailed long after his death as the most important artist in early blues and a founding father of rock 'n' roll? Elijah Wald provides the first thorough examination of Johnson's work and makes it the centerpiece for a fresh look at the entire history of the blues. He traces the music's rural folk roots but focuses on its evolution as a hot, hip African-American pop style, placing the great blues stars in their proper place as innovative popular artists during one of the most exciting periods in American music. He then goes on to explore how the image of the blues was reshaped by a world of generally white fans, with very different standards and dreams. The result is a view of the blues from the inside, based not only on recordings but also on the recollections of the musicians themselves, the African-American press, and original research. Wald presents previously unpublished studies of what people on Delta plantations were actually listening to during the blues era, showing the larger world in which Johnson's music was conceived. What emerges is a new respect and appreciation for the creators of what many consider to be America's deepest and most influential music.Wald also discusses how later fans formed a new view of the blues as haunting Delta folklore. While trying to separate fantasy from reality, he accepts that neither the simple history nor the romantic legend is the whole story. Each has its own fascinating history, and it is these twin histories that inform this book.

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