Cover for WHITEIS: Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Blues Legacy

Tradition and Innovation in Chicago

Chicago blues artists performing against the backdrop of history

Chicago blues musicians parlayed a genius for innovation and emotional honesty into a music revered around the world. As the blues evolves, it continues to provide a soundtrack to, and a dynamic commentary on, the African American experience: the legacy of slavery; historic promises and betrayals; opportunity and disenfranchisement; the ongoing struggle for freedom. Through it all, the blues remains steeped in survivorship and triumph, a music that dares to stare down life in all its injustice and iniquity and still laugh--and dance--in its face.

David Whiteis delves into how the current and upcoming Chicago blues generations carry on this legacy. Drawing on in-person interviews, Whiteis places the artists within the ongoing social and cultural reality their work reflects and helps create. Beginning with James Cotton, Eddie Shaw, and other bequeathers, he moves through an all-star council of elders like Otis Rush and Buddy Guy and on to inheritors and today's heirs apparent like Ronnie Baker Brooks, Shemekia Copeland, and Nellie "Tiger" Travis.

Insightful and wide-ranging, Blues Legacy reveals a constantly adapting art form that, whatever the challenges, maintains its links to a rich musical past.


"Appealing to serious jazz fans, Whiteis’s history serves as a handy reference to Chicago blues. " --Publishers Weekly

"In his latest history on Chicago blues, Whiteis is as usual informative and stimulating, while addressing some considerably contentious issues. The author has long demonstrated that he is one of the best writers on blues. He has a way with words that can paint a vivid portrait of his subject or scene."--Robert Pruter, author of Chicago Soul

"It captures the changes that have confronted the Chicago blues community but also shows the continuity and affirmation of a viable, dynamic blues tradition. Whiteis remains one of the premier documentarians of the Chicago scene."--Barry Lee Pearson, author of Jook Right On: Blues Stories and Blues Storytellers

Publication of this book was supported in part by a grant from the Judith McCulloh Endowment for American Music.


David Whiteis is a journalist, writer, and educator living in Chicago. He is a past winner of the Blues Foundation's Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Achievement in Journalism. He is the author of Southern Soul-Blues and Chicago Blues: Portraits and Stories. Peter M. Hurley is a photographer, muralist, graphic designer, and songwriter, and an active contributing photographer to Living Blues magazine.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/68par6ch9780252042881.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
A Hero on Mount St. Helens - Cover
A Hero on Mount St. Helens

The Life and Legacy of David A. Johnston

Melanie Holmes

Butterflies of Illinois - Cover
Butterflies of Illinois

A Field Guide

Michael R. Jeffords, Susan L. Post, and James R. Wiker

Dizzy, Duke, Brother Ray, and Friends - Cover
Dizzy, Duke, Brother Ray, and Friends

On and Off the Record with Jazz Greats

Lilian Terry

American Music - Cover
American Music

Edited by Gayle Sherwood Magee

Music and the Moving Image - Cover
Music and the Moving Image

Edited by Gillian B. Anderson & Ronald H. Sadoff

Always the Queen - Cover
Always the Queen

The Denise LaSalle Story

Denise LaSalle, with David Whiteis

Jazzing - Cover
Jazzing

New York City's Unseen Scene

Thomas H. Greenland

A Cole Porter Companion - Cover
A Cole Porter Companion

Edited by Don M. Randel, Matthew Shaftel, and Susan Forscher Weiss

Jazz Internationalism - Cover
Jazz Internationalism

Literary Afro-Modernism and the Cultural Politics of Black Music

John Lowney

Right to the Juke Joint - Cover
Right to the Juke Joint

A Personal History of American Music

Patrick B. Mullen

Blues Before Sunrise 2 - Cover
Blues Before Sunrise 2

Interviews from the Chicago Scene

Steve Cushing

Cafe Society - Cover
Cafe Society

The wrong place for the Right people

Barney Josephson with Terry Trilling-Josephson