A very well presented book, packed full of knowledge, written by someone who clearly knows what he is doing and what he is playing. Each chapter focuses on a different style of blues (Acoustic, Chicago, Memphis, Texas, Jazz... etc.) and, as you go through each, you also learn more about blues theory... so far so good, but there is a "but"...
The first acoustic chapter was fine, learning a few finger picking songs and a little theory. With a few years finger picking behind me I found it pretty straight forward, though I'm not sure it led anywhere once completed. The next "electric" chapters are for styles requiring a pick and, even though my pick playing is as good (or as bad) as my fingerpicking, from chapter 3 I found things much more difficult. This is where the book doesn't add up for me: at the same time as you are learning some really basic theory, like the first couple of simple pentatonic shapes, the practice pieces are high speed blues expresses. John Wheatcroft plays them fantastically, but it's advanced stuff and I bought this book to learn, not to be dazzled by someone else's undeniably excellent playing.
I can't help thinking the book will bore advanced guitarists because of its basic theory but frustrate relative newbies with its virtuoso expectations. I'm somewhere in the middle, the theory is OK for revision with a fresh perspective, but the pieces are too fast to play along with, at least in Chapters 3 and 4 (where I have reached, Chapter 2 I handled OK). I've resorted to playing them against a drum machine rather than the CD, which is not as enjoyable and doesn't help with learning the more complex rhythms and tricky techniques.
So mixed feelings about this book, there is something about it that exudes class and knowledge, but there's no escaping the fact that I've found the pieces (which should be the fun bit) frustrating, and therefore the book disappointing overall. It's a mistake to try to learn while playing things too fast, you buy speed at the price of accuracy and technique, things which in good time lead to speed anyway. I've played the CD through subsequent chapters but tempos seem to stay very pacey from here on in, and so I've decided to refocus elsewhere.
This is review number six of this book on Amazon UK and, not for the first time with my reviews, I find myself in a minority of one. Also I admit it's not the first time I've criticised a book/CD on Amazon for overambitious speeds, so may be it's me, perhaps I'm simply not that good at guitar... but, if that's the case, I want a book that inspires rather than demoralises. Anyway, in fairness you should read those other reviews as others love this book, but for me it was more frustration than fun.