Bastin, Bruce: Red River Blues

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Bastin, Bruce: Red River Blues


Published: 1986 University of Illinois Press, 379 pages
ISBN 0-252-06521-2

A detailed study of blues traditions in the southeastern United States. After some introductory chapters on the background of and emergence of the blues and some discussion of the general geographical area, Bastin starts in Atlanta and moves up the east coast to Virginia, then follows the musicians and their audience as they migrated to the cities of the northeast. Along the way, Bastin discusses dozens of performers: the recording stars, of course, but also both those whose recorded output was meager and those who never made it to a recording studio.

Pros: One would wish that every geographic region which produced blues artists had an author of Bastin's caliber to document its history. Well written, well organized, well illustrated, and thorough.

Cons: A bibliography and discography would have been nice.