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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
31
Deep Blues
Format: Paperback|Change


on 17 July 1998
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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on 27 July 2017
a great book for the blues fan. its good to read it and look up videos and tracks on youtube to add to the joy of the blues
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on 9 March 2017
was delivered as described
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on 9 June 2017
Really interesting read. Details black immigration to the US from Africa and the music that they brought with them at the time. Then onto the start of the blues and the great masters for the Delta. Not a biopic of anyone in particular rather a history of the blues.
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on 22 March 2011
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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on 7 July 1999
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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on 12 September 1999
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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on 8 February 1999
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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on 22 September 1996
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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on 27 March 1998
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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