The Devil’s Music: A History Of The Blues

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Superbly researched and vividly written, The Devil's Music is one of the only books to trace the rise and development of the blues both in relation to other forms of black music and in the context of American social history as experienced by African Americans. From its roots in the turn-of-the-century honky-tonks of New Orleans and the barrelhouses and plantations of the Mississippi Delta to modern legends such as John Lee Hooker and B. B. King, the blues comes alive here through accounts by the blues musicians themselves and those who knew them. Throughout this wide-ranging and fascinating book, Giles Oakley describes the texture of the life that made the blues possible, and the changing attitudes toward the music. The Devil's Music is a wholehearted and loving examination of one of America's most powerful traditions.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 2nd edition (March 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306807432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306807435
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Customer Reviews

Get this book!

 on March 29, 2016
By Robert Keyes
Incredible read! The most thorough documentation of blues music I have ever read!

The devil must of had some great musical tastes because this book gives you all the …

 on April 11, 2015
By Warrenselby-jones
The devil must of had some great musical tastes because this book gives you all the little bits of information you need to find out some useful blues hx.

Five Stars

 on January 6, 2015
By Francisco Valente Castro
A book full of information and names. It is complemented by a TV documentary of the same name.


One person found this helpful.
 on December 7, 2013
By Soulman
This book was another good reference for anyone who is a student of the blues and it’s history. It was very informative and easy to read. The author’s writing style is pleasant and reflects an honest and objective account of the events and people who make up this slice of history.

Good Book

One person found this helpful.
 on January 13, 2014
By Joseph Green
Very informative, well-written piece. If the blues are your forte this is the book for you. Enjoy it and learn.

Five Stars

 on September 16, 2015
By James W. Kowalski
Good book.

Four Stars

 on November 23, 2014
By Leonora A. Perry
great book

Blues You Can Use

18 people found this helpful.
 on October 23, 2008
By Chris Luallen
For anyone interested in a learning more about the blues, including it’s history, different styles and most important musicians, this book is an excellent choice. It traces the music from it’s roots in work songs, gospel and tent shows through the country blues of the South and the electric blues of Chicago on to the modern era.

Five Stars

One person found this helpful.
 on February 18, 2017
By Ed
Comprehensive history of all the genres that became the Blues. A classic.

Great Read

One person found this helpful.
 on December 6, 2015
By Mechsteve76
Excellent read !!!! Recommend to anyone wanting to learn about the roots, and appeal of the Blues.

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