Blues Bytes

March 1998

Pick Hit
What's New
Back Issues
Home Page

Pick Hit

Music Hound Blues
The Essential Album Guide
Visible Ink Press

Music Hound Blues - The Essential Album GuideOur Pick Hit for this month is not a new CD, but rather one of the most comprehensive blues album guides I've ever seen. Music Hound Blues - The Essential Album Guide is a 501-page book, arranged alphabetically by artist, with both biographical and discographical information for over 600 blues acts.

What separates this guide from similar publications is the impressive depth of artists. We find not just straight blues musicians, but soul singers like James Brown and Al Green, and rockers like Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers. The only major shortcoming with the book is the absence of most zydeco artists; the only ones I could find were Clifton Chenier and son C.J.

Each artist is reviewed by one of several dozen notable contributors. Among the best known are New Orleans writer Jeff Hannusch, Chicago freelancer Steve Knopper, Texas writer Tim Schuller, Blues Access publisher and radio host Cary Wolfson, and Belgium music scholar Robert Sacré.

In addition to the artist biographies and influences, the critics recommend which album(s) to buy first for the artist. Each album is given a "bone"rating by the Music Hound, with the best being given five bones. For the collector's convenience, all "five bone" albums are listed in a special section at the back of the book.

Scattered throughout the book you'll also find "monster solos," those hottest of hot licks from the history of blues recordings. There are 48 of these smokin' jams listed, from the well-known (Muddy Waters' guitar work on "Honey Bee") to the obscure (Piedmont guitarist Etta Baker's "Knoxville Rag").

There's also a wealth of general blues information in the back of the book, including a list of blues-related web sites (including Blues Bytes!), festivals and compilation albums.

If you've just got to have some music to read by, a seven-song House of Blues sampler CD comes with the book.

The information in the book is still relatively current, and I only found a few inaccuracies. Music Hound Blues - The Essential Album Guide should find its way to every serious blues fans bookshelf or coffee table soon.

- Bill Mitchell

[Pick Hit][What's New][Surprise][Flashback][Feedback][Back Issues][Home Page]

The Blues Bytes Web Site has been developed by Blue Night Productions. For more info, send an e-mail.

The Blues Bytes URL...
Revised: March 1, 1998 - Version 1.00
All contents Copyright © 1998, Blue Night Productions. All rights reserved.