Chicago blues musicians parlayed a genius for innovation and emotional honesty into a music revered around the world. As the blues evolves, it continues to provide a soundtrack to, and a dynamic commentary on, the African American experience: the legacy of slavery; historic promises and betrayals; opportunity and disenfranchisement; the ongoing struggle for freedom. Through it all, the blues remains steeped in survivorship and triumph, a music that dares to stare down life in all its injustice and iniquity and still laugh--and dance--in its face.
David Whiteis delves into how the current and upcoming Chicago blues generations carry on this legacy. Drawing on in-person interviews, Whiteis places the artists within the ongoing social and cultural reality their work reflects and helps create. Beginning with James Cotton, Eddie Shaw, and other bequeathers, he moves through an all-star council of elders like Otis Rush and Buddy Guy and on to inheritors and today's heirs apparent like Ronnie Baker Brooks, Shemekia Copeland, and Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Insightful and wide-ranging, Blues Legacy reveals a constantly adapting art form that, whatever the challenges, maintains its links to a rich musical past.