Posted:  Nov. 1, 2013

Crossroads by John Milward The blues revival of the early 1960s brought new life to a seminal genre of American music and informed a vast new world of singers, songwriters, and rock bands. The Rolling Stones took their name from a Muddy Waters song; Led Zeppelin forged bluesy riffs into hard rock and heavy metal; and ZZ Top did superstar business with boogie rhythms copped from John Lee Hooker. Crossroads tells the myriad stories of the impact and enduring influence of the early-60s blues revival: stories of the record collectors, folkies, beatniks, and pop-culture academics; and of the lucky musicians who learned life-changing lessons from the rediscovered Depression-era bluesmen that found hipster renown playing at coffeehouses, on college campuses, and at the Newport Folk Festival. The blues revival brought notice to these forgotten musicians, and none more so than Robert Johnson, who had his songs covered by Cream and the Rolling Stones, and who sold a million CDs sixty years after dying outside a Mississippi Delta roadhouse. Crossroads is the intersection of blues and rock 'n' roll, a vivid portrait of the fluidity of American folk culture that captures the voices of musicians, promoters, fans, and critics to tell this very American story of how the blues came to rest at the heart of popular music.


In this book it is about the blues music and the men who played or made the music and how it affected rock and roll. Of course like most blues books you must start with Robert Johnson and how his music effected everyone. But between him and Muddy Waters there was a blues. Folk, gospel or anything they needed to be that time of the day. The recordings from that period are mostly gone. The 78;s did not make it and each musician really kind of shared songs making them their own. Folkways made a blues record and so did the Smithsonian. Then the 50’s was the big blues decade. Towards the end of the 50’s blues was over and rock & roll was taking its place. Records though had been showing up in the U.K. and then after Muddy Waters performed at the Newport Jazz festival, he became popular again. After him and Howlin wolf toured in England. We had a bunch of rock band bands from the Stones, Clapton, and Zeppelin just to name a few. From the 60’, 70’ and beyond even I did not know how much the blues effected rock music. This book even take you up to ZZ TOP and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Today there are many new blues musicians and they are all good. But listen to some of the old ones T-Bone Walker, Honey Boy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, and Jimmy Rogers just a few names. Their music still is just as good as or even better than some of the music that is out there now. I really liked this book.

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