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Crossroads
How the Blues Shaped Rock ’n’ Roll (and Rock Saved the Blues)
John Milward




Northeastern University Press
2013 • 296 pp. 19 illus. 6 x 9"
Rock Music / Blues


$29.95 Hardcover, 978-1-55553-744-9

$28.99 Ebook, 978-1-55553-823-1

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



“There has never been any underestimating the influence that blues had on rock music. But Milward makes the connections seem fresh and as alive as when they were happening and evokes the openness that enabled blues to get ‘in the bloodstream of generations of musicians.’”—Chicago Tribune

The blues revival rescued the creators of America’s most influential music from dusty obscurity, put them onstage in front of a vast new audience, and created rock ’n’ roll

The blues revival of the early 1960s brought new life to a seminal genre of American music and inspired 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 by 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.

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Reviews:

Crossroads is both an important and immensely enjoyable read. Milward beautifully illuminates the relationship between the two musical genres. It’s a fascinating presentation that makes listening to the music even more meaningful and gratifying.”—Fretboard Journal

“Rich in anecdotes and insight, ‘Crossroads’ offers a welcome tribute to the blues revival’s most important legacy: the collaboration—across race and class and generations—that galvanized a music that had been left to wither and die.”—Wall Street Journal

“More than just telling the story of the blues, Milward is concerned with its connection with rock, with how, as Muddy Waters sang, ‘the blues had a baby and they called it rock ’n’ roll.’”—Woodstock Times

Endorsements:

“After reading this book, you won’t ever listen to rock ’n’ roll music the same way again.”—Ted Gioia, author of Delta Blues

“John Milward has written an engaging, well-researched history of the all important connection between blues and rock. It’s a welcome and valuable contribution.”—Bonnie Raitt



JOHN MILWARD has been the pop music critic of the Chicago Daily News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today, and has contributed articles and reviews to Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among many others. He lives in Woodstock, New York.






Fri, 8 Aug 2014 12:17:21 -0500