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Chicago blues photo book

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by lexington125, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics
    I have a book recommendation for anyone interested in the history of Chicago blues: “Chicago Blues as seen from the inside - The Photographs of Raeburn Flerlage”.

    He was a photographer who covered the Chicago blues scene from the late 50s to the mid-70s and he became personal friends with many of the artists, resulting in many offstage or ‘at home’ shots that are not part of commercial photo shoots.

    I could mention half a dozen or more things that I learned the first time I picked up the book, but one recurring theme is that he was responsible for so many of the great shots that have come to define Chicago blues. The Howlin’ Wolf band live at Sylvios circa ’65 – yeah, that was him (my computer screen background image for many years). Muddy stopping by John Lee Hooker’s house during a JLH photo shoot; Muddy at home with his grandkids running around; Wolf at home w/ Hubert sitting nearby, and countless other shots that ended up on album covers, in magazine articles, etc.

    The Chicago blues club shots are what we paid for and what we were expecting. But it is all of the unexpected shots that make the book special. An unknown band rehearsing a new female singer in their apartment, with the singer singing straight into the microphone of an open reel tape recorder. Numerous shots in Chicago recording studios (not sure why there are not more of these – the jazz studio scene from almost the exact same years was extensively documented, with photographs taken at literally hundreds of sessions at a single recording studio – RVG in New Jersey). Shots of performers both unknown and extremely well known, performing outside at Maxwell street.

    It is not a lavish, hard bound coffee table book; but it doesn’t cost $100, either. Highly recommended for anyone who considers himself a serious student of Chicago blues.
    jerry likes this.

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