I just received an advance copy of my new book, Legends of the Blues. It’s published by Abrams ComicArts and contains 100 full color portraits of my favorite blues musicians born prior to 1930. I also wrote bios for each entry with recommended songs for introductory listening and notes of interesting cover versions. The book also includes a blue CD with selections I personally chose and sequenced.
This was a real labor of love for me, a very personal project.
Although the blues is (are?) my favorite genre of music, the initial inspiration for the project came from Robert Crumb’s Heroes of the Blues trading card set. None of whom Robert drew for his card set (with the exception of Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson) are in my book. For the most part, I covered a much more recent generation of blues musicians and singers, including Robert Johnson and the legendary Chess Records recording artists, such as Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon, Little Walter, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
After getting Robert’s blessing on the project, my enthusiasm quickly carried me through to the end. The book is the same size and roughly in the same format as Crumb’s Abrams ComicArts book Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country.
My pal, writer Ed Leimbacher (Ed was the first person to purchase original art from me at a convention — it was at the first E. C. Convention in 1972), wrote the most perfect introduction for my book.
I see that it’s already available as a pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I believe the official street date is May 7, but I have a hunch it will be available much earlier than that.
If you get a copy, I’d love to know what you think.