Escaping the Delta Robert Johnson and the Invention of the

The life of blues legend Robert Johnson becomes the centerpiece for this innovative look at what many consider to be America's deepest and most influential music genre Pivotal are the questions surrounding why Johnson was ignored by the core black audience of his time yet now celebrated as the greatest figure in blues historyTrying to separate myth from reality biographer Elijah Wald studies the blues from the inside not only examining recordings but also the recollections of the musicians themselves the African American press as well as examining original research What emerges is a new appreciation for the blues and the movement of its artists from the shadows of the 1930s Mississippi Delta to the mainstream venues frequented by today's loyal blues fans


10 thoughts on “Escaping the Delta Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues

  1. m91ⵀ;ܜhjunx@n}\h횶hg7o.>bwSQvֈ?BWG%;-oLUںvsi0f\)=njٳv W@6Qj®^myח7khZg[MnƆ5hsѫף +b졌lN nXwijnmQ7nS]%^4Vzbͱ֮48tsԶMݜN͜F6W,[ %-l_kVJS,M2]h:vnyr1dXcd8EF5 9L0@@@@@@@=!gW@ӴcΡH۬&r뮬TV5ƶՎ-}+N5]O>ijrhdh@0 Oh  @[6.αK6s\!.ۃpy]xsxw\syqo6%q ;E @ @@AA@@@APH XAD Ԕ}-(r~)U FqCMR/᜝{_;װԡ_Sm$!Gt5D|_mQBXD]8&5ZlQ +ifr"+i$m-Ғo<K#Dyb[5)jPIeWމl<@1 @0!1"#h   C{PgxE].%ђ실.[9iIsl8OrPA"XS|FcB~q8Db仱J1Z%{uHO'}ܑb"-z7VHMSmyDB֟kDCC%IK+0Ye1cֈiB+6 1!A 2Qaq0B@Rѱ"#3P@@@/̈d sMd<&z{Hxlr4=z/pFJ i@urci 0:r$m}4/q } yDGuD_Qw!ɧ4dz=d6 =\N2/p\k! ϋF `5-I "l9Fc%!!{^HIBI%}ARpF&jA r;Wpp(dн(.ND;Jɪ"*4 a7ccn/5wGal@(P #09]8SBvZ#QC JQ r0p'+,,&4ME,[rr~ADبKSQP?RԬR{Cv젡ԟ/ѧ+!1AQaq 0@Pp@@Op _ʄW w |)۔"ڱ.b6|(A՟X2gZ= z;=l *c2U>[P6*^U06UP} .FGMb6io sX 9JDB`b=#Zų ;-b.UB+8t;eP:!A#tb#JҺBVXĶKB(ЋܺUS#q*/B 8VQHlĵo]/Ux 4e `C"*2 TY \7I -GĤ\s.|oQ*U$=c_<*h* 0 l147 , BJ]\,s0yÄ#)["Jzpq+h(=upo9 Ac5P0EtzpXHc9NTjsP:=q*^Ag0P@J a *&&PyBU!&D$Xx6=ǃ+(p^Q(IK`'3nhQ/C#1bT,@ }R 4( A%]P1[ֈƒMd''XUx1G$ڃx| \AYlo8 ҆1cONY" T7HCdR CӉ@D+9&a 7y*\j MJypTC@0CzFeASIY}%FKC+K4 ǃH/0@RHo|b? 2+aHKx ! "a] ' EO!.Tl8,Q[Rpt״#hFˡ2̃X] @1 z~q@f}ca'6%g-LgŜ  6 Նl8x1DI4+m,szR]@tC (+M,qP y'0#GTR6 yp7ׁ4p#AjBno3?HџN=qZLfX9JIu.6RcWʍy.7 ^*4O-ś|pD-VحkU\0/R,eWoWmFjkmRaG%gͽS$5Y!m ҜKqP91TH0tQfaØTIR2V4aJoIh9b6M48૶1 sFjT(`6NKi"lx:W5U2)4w$e]ȝXpX l<-\=E+:K#WN-)jV(zF`N*tM"M:0wŐ!nKORKI&R/9-z@j: T͘0ate$H #Y,1Q5CɜXMrC*ؒ<\r[GK 8 {%K-MI#}xTE~@y ZAoif9.ͱTn$vMVK0U&h(W<;k@ѬE&(dلAsW̲=^'  |gmwsn@ۤ vdy a­ЃxZ6..#:}eJ{:`%wys6 VF|5U1R+ n(K+x8w!P w( Cb"첮(+b)5<#`~ay" i jW0 R(!(Zꐏ%AY/zJo#~~L{ԶRC'th2.L]MOYl&R8. rě^mnmDiT}c A eĖ()*#!Ah08)s6|<Fe{ fXAla_3AjiXr3֮%ӁBaLULIBz1veH]\L [&[E+ t/g2\]twƻ kLynl6x |M(KtKt%\+NbfahXFpt.ܲ 6o2lً^b7u76G-e  2.YB>zD2zRaD޸d^0DY$=0SQ9am -\Lkbacp{v[zeqz'rf&b2r<(IuʅzcJ+eM}D @DIEEIF  <%lJT8wv7ctxf2T9DuCeݕvJn[̻F;=y:SySJ3)&$U,M=)r*ҧ3+?`@ @@P0P! +-/h  $b%M 扏& / UxaQ'E@O\:΢EQm91ⵀ;ܜhjunx@n}\h횶hg7o.>bwSQvֈ?BWG%;-oLUںvsi0f\)=njٳv W@6Qj®^myח7khZg[MnƆ5hsѫף +b졌lN nXwijnmQ7nS]%^4Vzbͱ֮48tsԶMݜN͜F6W,[ %-l_kVJS,M2]h:vnyr1dXcd8EF5 9L0@@@@@@@=!gW@ӴcΡH۬&r뮬TV5ƶՎ-}+N5]O>ijrhdh@0 Oh  @[6.αK6s\!.ۃpy]xsxw\syqo6%q ;E @ @@AA@@@APH XAD Ԕ}-(r~)U FqCMR/᜝{_;װԡ_Sm$!Gt5D|_mQBXD]8&5ZlQ +ifr"+i$m-Ғo<K#Dyb[5)jPIeWމl<@1 @0!1"#h   C{PgxE].%ђ실.[9iIsl8OrPA"XS|FcB~q8Db仱J1Z%{uHO'}ܑb"-z7VHMSmyDB֟kDCC%IK+0Ye1cֈiB+6 1!A 2Qaq0B@Rѱ"#3P@@@/̈d sMd<&z{Hxlr4=z/pFJ i@urci 0:r$m}4/q } yDGuD_Qw!ɧ4dz=d6 =\N2/p\k! ϋF `5-I "l9Fc%!!{^HIBI%}ARpF&jA r;Wpp(dн(.ND;Jɪ"*4 a7ccn/5wGal@(P #09]8SBvZ#QC JQ r0p'+,,&4ME,[rr~ADبKSQP?RԬR{Cv젡ԟ/ѧ+!1AQaq 0@Pp@@Op _ʄW w |)۔"ڱ.b6|(A՟X2gZ= z;=l *c2U>[P6*^U06UP} .FGMb6io sX 9JDB`b=#Zų ;-b.UB+8t;eP:!A#tb#JҺBVXĶKB(ЋܺUS#q*/B 8VQHlĵo]/Ux 4e `C"*2 TY \7I -GĤ\s.|oQ*U$=c_<*h* 0 l147 , BJ]\,s0yÄ#)["Jzpq+h(=upo9 Ac5P0EtzpXHc9NTjsP:=q*^Ag0P@J a *&&PyBU!&D$Xx6=ǃ+(p^Q(IK`'3nhQ/C#1bT,@ }R 4( A%]P1[ֈƒMd''XUx1G$ڃx| \AYlo8 ҆1cONY" T7HCdR CӉ@D+9&a 7y*\j MJypTC@0CzFeASIY}%FKC+K4 ǃH/0@RHo|b? 2+aHKx ! "a] ' EO!.Tl8,Q[Rpt״#hFˡ2̃X] @1 z~q@f}ca'6%g-LgŜ  6 Նl8x1DI4+m,szR]@tC (+M,qP y'0#GTR6 yp7ׁ4p#AjBno3?HџN=qZLfX9JIu.6RcWʍy.7 ^*4O-ś|pD-VحkU\0/R,eWoWmFjkmRaG%gͽS$5Y!m ҜKqP91TH0tQfaØTIR2V4aJoIh9b6M48૶1 sFjT(`6NKi"lx:W5U2)4w$e]ȝXpX l<-\=E+:K#WN-)jV(zF`N*tM"M:0wŐ!nKORKI&R/9-z@j: T͘0ate$H #Y,1Q5CɜXMrC*ؒ<\r[GK 8 {%K-MI#}xTE~@y ZAoif9.ͱTn$vMVK0U&h(W<;k@ѬE&(dلAsW̲=^'  |gmwsn@ۤ vdy a­ЃxZ6..#:}eJ{:`%wys6 VF|5U1R+ n(K+x8w!P w( Cb"첮(+b)5<#`~ay" i jW0 R(!(Zꐏ%AY/zJo#~~L{ԶRC'th2.L]MOYl&R8. rě^mnmDiT}c A eĖ()*#!Ah08)s6|<Fe{ fXAla_3AjiXr3֮%ӁBaLULIBz1veH]\L [&[E+ t/g2\]twƻ kLynl6x |M(KtKt%\+NbfahXFpt.ܲ 6o2lً^b7u76G-e  2.YB>zD2zRaD޸d^0DY$=0SQ9am -\Lkbacp{v[zeqz'rf&b2r<(IuʅzcJ+eM}D @DIEEIF  <%lJT8wv7ctxf2T9DuCeݕvJn[̻F;=y:SySJ3)&$U,M=)r*ҧ3+?`@ @@P0P! +-/h  $b%M 扏& / UxaQ'E@O\:΢EQ says:

    This was painful Like I need some hippy blues nerd to tell me that black people listen to all kinds of music and that white audiences bring their racist baggage to how they hear the music All his points are valid but they are so belabored If you are after truth and authenticity then this dude is fighting the good fight in the culture wars If you just dig the blues and you know it's phony then this is going to hurt He should of just written a biography of Leroy Carr instead of gunning for all the claptonclones who'll buy this polemic because the unholy robert johnson is on the cover and in the subtitle Or maybe not I just don't care what most blues fans think of the blues I don't feel the need to convert the hoards of beer bellied white boys from worshiping chicken choking guitar solos to dancing to barrelhouse piano I guess if Elijah Wald broadens a few horizons that would be a good thing though Maybe the Chicago blues scene would unfreeze and start innovating again if the tiny bit of money it does make wasn't mostly coming from wannabe outlaw bikers who want to hear sweet home chicago a million times Part of the problem as the author keeps assuring us he's just like us he prefers the creepy outsider art obscure deep blues to the stuff that was popular at the time It's like he's trying to convince himself to stop thinking of his favorites as the most authentic and to recognize how his own whiteness has informed his taste in black music at the same time that he is trying to convince the reader There's a generational thing happening here too cuz if you're post civil rights like me then you didn't get into blues when bob dylan went electric at newport and yeah okay sure I followed british white rockers down their rabbit holes but Al Green singing Hank Williams didn't confuse my assumptions about race either I mean are there really still people who think an illiterate ex con blues man is authentic than say Dinah Washington? Knowwhaddimean? Pulling Yakub's white supremacy pins out of our devil brains is painful and this book brings the pain so if you can stand being lectured to this is good