Sunday, August 26, 2001
Rock legend's 'Blues Odyssey' offers in-depth look at the blues
Rolling Stones founder Bill Wyman will sign copies of book Friday in Oxford.
Special to the Daily Journal
"Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey" is a legendary musician's personal tribute to blues music and to the inspiring musicians who created it.
"Blues Odyssey" (DK, $40) chronicles the origin, development and proliferation of the blues from its roots in the music brought by the African slaves to the New World to the present-day recordings of blues-influenced musicians like Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt.
Who better to pen such a tome than Wyman, the legendary bass guitarist of The Rolling Stones?
In "Blues Odyssey" Wyman has gone to great lengths to document the growth of the music genre that has obviously had a tremendous impact on his career.
Wyman will be at Square Books in Oxford at 5 p.m. Friday to sign copies of "Blues Odyssey." The trip to the United States is Wyman's first since The Rolling Stones made their "Steel Wheels" tour in 1989.
"Blues Odyssey" is an intensely personal history of the blues, compiled from the notes Wyman kept while travelling the world as a founding member of The Stones. Throughout his career, Wyman has known and played with legendary musicians around the world, and this personal knowledge and unprecedented access give his book an authenticity almost impossible to match.
Throughout "Blues Odyssey" are location shots of smoky juke joints, railroad stations, and endless highways combined with beautifully crafted maps, photographs from Wyman's personal collection, and a showcase of the greatest blues performers and their key recordings.
"I wanted the opportunity to tell people more about why I love this music and to share with them its heritage," Wyman says. "The blues has taught me so much about history, social issues and even life itself."
In the introduction to "Blues Odyssey," Wyman writes:
The blues isn't just a style of music: it's an attitude of mind ... blues is life and life is the blues.
The blues, Wyman states, is an art form born of experience. Hence, this particular odyssey is no superficial history.
Following the growth of blues music out of the Mississippi Delta and the troubled South via Memphis to St. Louis and Chicago, "Blues Odyssey" reveals a society where poverty and injustice as well as love and faith found their expression in a knowing musical style that gave birth to rock 'n' roll.
Wyman brings the story of the music to life with short biographies of blues legends from Mississippi John Hurt, to Robert Johnson, to Sonny Boy Williamson, to Lead Belly, to Blind Lemon Jefferson, to Albert and B.B. King, to Eric Clapton - among many.
"Blues Odyssey" is not a perfect book - there is this deal about Howlin' Wolf being born in West Point in the heart of the Mississippi Delta and some other minor glitches - but it's a noteworthy book.
And when it's all said and done, it's fun and downright interesting.
Other dates for the "Book-Signing Tour" from Bill Wyman's official site:
8/24/2001 4:36:50 PM
Bill Wyman on Book-Signing Tour for his new book Blues Odyssey
The following itinerary has been scheduled for Bill Wyman`s Blues Odyssey book-signing tour:
Tuesday 28th August - 7:00pm - Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Memphis, TN
Thursday 30th August - 7:00pm - Tower Records, Memphis, TN
Friday 31st August - 5:00pm - Square Books, Oxford, MS
Saturday 1st September - 1:00pm - Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville, TN
Monday 3rd September - 1:00pm - Tower Records, Washington, DC
Tuesday 4th September - 12:00pm - Borders Book Shop, Philadelphia, PA
Thursday 6th September - 7:00pm - Virgin Megastore, Union Square, New York, NY
Keep checking back with us for any further information.