Texas Blues
The Rise of a Contemporary Sound
Performing Arts - Texas History
8.5 x 11, 624 pp.
179 color photos., 316 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 10/09/2008
John and Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by the Center for Texas Music History, Texas State University
Price:        $40.00


Published by Texas A&M University Press

To Receive E-News

2009 Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research, presented by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections

Texas Blues

The Rise of a Contemporary Sound

By Alan Govenar

Texas Blues allows artists to speak in their own words, revealing the dynamics of blues, from its beginnings in cotton fields and shotgun shacks to its migration across boundaries of age and race to seize the musical imagination of the entire world. Fully illustrated with 495 dramatic, high-quality color and black-and-white photographs—many never before published—Texas Blues provides comprehensive and authoritative documentation of a musical tradition that has changed contemporary music. Award-winning documentary filmmaker and author Alan Govenar here builds on his previous groundbreaking work documenting these musicians and their style with the stories of 110 of the most influential artists and their times. From Blind Lemon Jefferson and Aaron “T-Bone” Walker of Dallas, to Delbert McClinton in Fort Worth, Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins in East Texas, Baldemar (Freddie Fender) Huerta in South Texas, and Stevie Ray Vaughan in Austin, Texas Blues shows the who, what, where, and how of blues in the Lone Star State.

ALAN GOVENAR is a writer, photographer, folklorist, and filmmaker who lives in Dallas. Through his nonprofit organization, Documentary Arts, Inc., he has worked in association with NOVA, La Sept/ARTE, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on a number of projects. The off-Broadway premier of his musical, Blind Lemon Blues, co-created with Akin Babatunde and based on the life of Blind Lemon Jefferson, received rave reviews in The New York Times and Variety.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Alan Govenar's new book, Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound . . . is the finest, most comprehensive roundup yet. . ."-Austin Chronicle

"Texas Blues has value that transcends music scholarship. . . The book does an admirable job of balancing range and depth. . . By relying on first hand interviews rather than dry biography, Govenar succeeds in giving his account of blues in the Lone Star State life and color. For serious blues fans and blues scholars at every level, Texas Blues will likely become that rarest of creatures, and indispensable reference book that is also a delightful read."-Living Blues

"As this massive, vibrant, and colorful study shows, the importance of Texas Blues is demonstrated by the number of musicians who have practiced or are practicing this art. . . These vignettes, along with a carefully chosen discography and bibliography, contribute to making this a special book on the blues field, particularly its Texas developments. Recommended for all libraries, especially those with large music holdings."-Library Journal

". . . Govenar presents here an in-depth oral history of Texas blues. . . The book is also filled with rare and beautiful pictures of the artists at leisure and at work."-Music Tomes

"This book is a unique collection of publicity photos, snapshots, and reproductions of concert posters, album labels and album covers."-Texas Observer

"Alan Govenar's book is easily the most ambitious, most sweeping volume specifically dedicated to the subject of Texas blues. No other book even comes close."--Joe Nick Patoski, author of Willie Nelson: An Epic Life

“This book manuscript . . . deepens further yet our understanding of Texas blues and its origins.” ---Gregg Andrews, Texas State University

“If you can afford only one book on Texas blues, make it this one.”—Texas Music


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