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eMusic Features

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Telling You About the Blues, in Texas, Atlanta and Detroit

By John Morthland, Contributor

Let me tell you about Let Me Tell You About the Blues, a series of three-disc packages (several of which are available on eMusic) that attempts to trace the evolution of the music by focusing on geographic areas. Results are mixed, as they almost always are on compilations, in this case due largely to the fact that anything recorded in a specific city or region is defined as belonging to that area. To cite one… more »

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Six Degrees of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska

By Yancey Strickler, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

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Six Degrees of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska

By Yancey Strickler, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

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Revering Revenant Records

By John Morthland, Contributor

You can't say Revenant Records doesn't do right by its artists. Consider Exhibit A, the label's spectacular Grammy-winning box set, Screamin 'and Hollerin 'the Blues - The Worlds Of Charley Patton. There's a copy sitting on the corner of my desk right now - taking up more space than the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, I might add. The box's binder, the kind that used to hold the 78 rpm records that made up an "album,"… more »

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Where Did the Blues Begin?

By John Morthland, Contributor

The biggest debate in blues circles these days is, "where did the blues begin?" Ever since the blues revival of the 50s and 60s, the answer has been "the Mississippi Delta." But in recent years, more than a few blues buffs have argued, that while the Delta is where the harshest form of blues indeed gelled, there is very little evidence to suggest that blues started there. Further, Delta blues in its heyday was almost… more »