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Legends of the British Blues

Great news, blues fans!

Legends of the Blues has gone into a second printing. I used this opportunity to make a few corrections to the book (mostly birth and death dates).

My next blues book is Legends of the British Blues. I don’t have a publication date yet for that baby — but if you just can’t wait to see what I do with the Brits, then get a subscription to The Blues Magazine, a gorgeous music periodical out of the UK. The Blues Magazine is serializing Legends of the British Blues. The first entry is Chris Barber in the (current) February 2016 issue (#28). Chris is Ground Zero for the British blues. He’s the guy who first brought American blues musicians like Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy to the UK shores. The Chris Barber Band backed some of them, history was made, and a young audience consisting of the future members of Cream, the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann and the Yardbirds were inspired.

I have more space in The Blues Magazine, so my bios are longer and my portraits are bigger. I’ll be focusing on a different British blues musician every issue. Check it out!

8 thoughts on “Legends of the British Blues

  1. Bill,
    I look forward to the second volume of your amazing series. Will Long John Baldry and Tom Jones be included? While not considered a blues artist in his early career, Jones has released three phenomenal , as you are aware, blues albums within the last few years. Many tracks are just breathtaking in their earnestness and execution. Baldry had the pipes of of an old time delta bluesman. Amazing how the British can tap into that primal American music form.


  2. Just got the original Legends of the Blues. A brilliant follow-up to R Crumb’s work. The artwork is fantastic and the biographical information is more expansive. Can’t wait for the British Blues volume. I was delighted to see your portrait of local (to me!) unsung blues heroine Otillie Patterson! Is Irish blues legend Rory Gallagher also included?

  3. Hi Jim,
    Yes indeed; Long John and Tom Jones are definitely included. Tom has been making his best albums ever lately — ferociously great work, going back to his early blues, gospel and R&B roots. I consider Long John one of the Godfathers of British Blues. He was incredibly helpful to both Rod Stewart and Elton John in their salad days.

  4. Hi Mervyn,
    OF COURSE Ol’ Rory is included! I saw him at his peak at the Shrine Auditorium here in Los Angeles. Wonderful guitarist, singer and composer — and, from all reports, a kind and generous human being.

  5. …and yes, Mervyn, I agree: Otillie Patterson is truly an unsung heroine of British Blues. Eric Burdon said that in his youth, watching Otillie perform gave him a boner.

  6. Sorry The Blues Magazine went under. It was the most beautiful magazine on the blues being published. They were very generous in giving me that column each issue.

  7. This is excellent if it plays in your country! Ottilie at the top of her game!

  8. This Ottilie video is terrific! The ENERGY of her performance! Great version of a great song. THANK YOU for turning me on to this.

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