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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vital book for anyone who's ever listened to rock., 17 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
I write this from the perspective of someone who lives as far away from the Mississippi delta as you can get - I was born, brought up and live in India. I listened to The Beatles and everything that went after, for years, and thought the blues was boring guitar exhibitionism!
I happened across Robert Palmer's book at the local American Center library and to invoke a hoary old cliche - my life was not the same again. It was briliiant, powerful and very revealing.
Today, as I listen to the Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson, or the early Muddy Waters, I have Mr. Palmer to thank for showing me the Majesty of the Blues.
Thank you!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Engrossing History of America's Most Influential Music, 22 Sep 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
From the steamy cotton fields of Mississippi, to the mean
streets of Chicago and beyond, the history of the blues
mirrors that of African American society in the 20th century.
Respected music writer, historian, and record producer
Robert Palmer traces the history of the music that begat
every other form of American popular music in rich detail,
blending first-hand accounts, interviews, and historical
narrative into a seamless, eminently readable and enjoyable
historical work of great importance. This book should be
required reading for highschool history students, fans of
popular music, and anyone who enjoys engrossing and
entertaining non-fiction writing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No waffle just a comprehensive story of the blues, 22 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
Robert Palmer has written a lucid and entertaining read on the story of the blues and the culture.Crammed into 310 pages, you couldn't wish for anything more comprehensive for anyone who has even a passing interest.From the Mississippi Delta to Chicago's Southside and beyond.Great stuff.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the BIBLE of juke joint fables!, 4 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
Robert Palmer wrote the most colorful stories on the blues I have ever read. The way he describes the way Ike Turner "accidently" discovers distortion/fuzz by having his amps fall off of the top of his station wagon as he is racing across state lines (narrowly outrunning the local law enforcement) in order to catch the last ferry crossing the Mississippi to make it to a second gig, wow! I would have loved to have knocked back a few tall cool ones with this guy!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best, 8 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
There's no other way to put it, this is simply the best book out there on the blues both as a music form and as force in shaping American culture. At once simple and concise, yet broad and in depth enough to tell a very complete story, this one work should satisfy everyone from the novice to the experienced blues fan.
Meticulously researched, Palmer uses Muddy Waters as a jumping off point to explore the history and evolution of the blues as music as well as the society and culture from which it sprang. He peppers his work with amazing anecdotes, from the story of Robert Johnson, the Band meeting a dying Sonny Boy Williamson, an aging Howlin' Wolf giving a phenominal concert that add color to his story and helps make his frequent forays into musicology more tolerable to the non-musician. Best of all is the sense of time and place the book evokes, from plantations and dark swamps in rural Mississippi, to the noisy, crowed streets of South Chicago at the peak of the Great Migration, to small clubs and long forgotten juke-joints.
I read this book for the first time 10 years or so ago and have probably reread it 5 times since. I keep coming up with new things to admire about the book every time. That so much richness can be packed into such a short readable work is amazing. This book triumphs over everything else written on the subject and only leaves you wanting to explore further.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to understand the blues, buy this book!, 12 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
I've read quite a few books on the blues, but haven't read anything quite like this excellent book. Palmer very effectively analyzes the blues and explains the unsung role played by Robert Lockerwood in bridging the various guitar styles. Palmer also provides a very interesting insight into the complexity of blues singing--something that will make people realize that the often repeated phrase "all blues songs seem to be the same" is simply not true. Whether you are a blues connaisseur or wanting to learn something about the blues, do buy this book. Cheers
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Aussie heads for Clarksdale, 7 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
I read this wonderful book here in Canberra, Australia's national capital, far far away from the Delta. It was hard to put it down. But I did so just long enough to revisit favourite blues tracks by The Masked Marvel [aka Charley Patton] and Henry [Texas]Thomas...so evocative was Palmer's text that their voices crossed the decades and brought me to tears. Palmer surmounts the tyranny of time and distance and brings the Delta and its music to life for me on the other side of the world. My Road Atlas of the USA is open in front of me...Clarksdale here I come.
Phil Teece Canberra Australia
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It stays with you, 4 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
I read this book about 15 years ago, sometime after it first came out, and have probably re-read it three or four times since then. I haven't read it in about 10 years, but continually recommend it to friends who want to know something about the blues. A great read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a novel. Parker is a wonderful writer., 27 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
As a student of music history for 30 years, I can say I have never read a more enlightening book, with wonderful insight and a true sense of style in every sense of the word. For the reader who wrote to Palmer c/o Rolling Stone and did not receive an answer, you should know that Robert Palmer died in 1997 at the age of 53 awaiting a liver transplant. He never got an organ. When the reader wrote to him, he was already terribly ill, hospitalized down south, and most likely could not respond. I work at the hospital in NY where he died, and I can tell you, if he could have responded, he was the kind of man who would have. We'll all miss him. Makes the plight of organ donation in this country all the more real. Consider all those who could be helped if we all took organ donation more seriously.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As good as they say!, 11 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deep Blues (Paperback)
A highly detailed and well written book charting the development of the Blues from African roots to global influence. It is particularly informative about Charley Patton and, of course, Muddy Waters, who speaks through this book almost like an autobiography. Palmer had an ability to put things into context and to draw many divergent strands together.

A truly excellent book.
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Deep Blues
Deep Blues by Robert Palmer (Paperback - 9 Mar 2001)
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