Visualizing the blues: Images of the American South

 
9780945064046: Visualizing the blues: Images of the American South
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The blues, a distinct and powerful music most associated with the Southern Mississippi Delta region of the United States and emanating from that region's African-American culture, is appreciated the world over. Its ability to bridge cultural differences is partly due to its deeply emotional content and its unique musical form, derived from traditions of African and gospel music among others. It is characterized by musical sophistication, philosophical profundity, and lyrics that are frequently constructed from an unmatched poetic economy. The blues remain the premier musical form of the disenfranchised and downhearted.

Visualizing the Blues brings together photographs by world-renowned masters, among them Margaret Bourke-White, Mathew Brady, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ralston Crawford, Jack Delano, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Clarence John Laughlin, Gordon Parks, Andres Serrano, Doris Ulmann, Eudora Welty, as well as a number of emerging artists including, Huger Foote, Birney Imes, and Ashley T. Mitchell. The intense visual texture created by the diverse talents of these photographers attests to a rich soup of experiences, social and geographical roots, and collective soul that contribute to the beloved culture of the American South. Hard truths, legendary humor, and depth of spirit for which blues music is well known comes to life in these images and provides a new way for appreciating and understanding the complex mix of influences that culminates in such an extraordinary musical expression.

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About the Author:

John Grisham is a best selling author of novels set in the American South including The Firm, The Rainmaker, The Brethren and Testament.

Peter Guralnick has written extensively on American music and musicians. His books include the prize-winning, two-volume Elvis Presley biography, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love; an acclaimed trilogy on American roots music, Sweet Soul Music, Lost Highway, and Feel Like Going Home; and the novel, Nighthawk Blues. He is currently at work on a biography of Sam Cooke.

Jay Kamm is Director of The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee.

Wendy McDaris is an independent curator and cultural critic. Among her credits, she was curator of Elvis + Marilyn: 2 x Immortal and a contributing essayist to the catalogue for the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf's exhibition Heaven. She is currently working on an exhibition of contemporary portraiture.

Deborah Willis Kennedy is the author of Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840-to the Present. A photographer and curator at the Smithsonian Institution, she has written widely on the history of black photographers.

Charles Reagan Wilson is Director of The Center for the Study of Southern Culture and Professor of History at The University of Mississippi, Oxford. He is author of Judgement and Grace in Dixie and co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Presently he is writing a history of how Southerners became Southerners.

Bill Wyman is an original band member of The Rolling Stones. At present, he is at work on a video series and book project entitled Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey with writer/producer Richard Havers that will premier in the U.S. in Fall 2001.

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9780789305244: Visualizing the Blues

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ISBN 10:  0789305240 ISBN 13:  9780789305244
Publisher: Universe, 2001
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