Music Book News (23 March)

Album Art by John Foster

Music Book News (23 March)

A round-up of new and recent book news.

Featured below: the designers at the heart of contemporary sleeve design; the meaning of opera; music in Memphis; the Bakersfield sound;  and pioneers of the Blues revival. Please send information on new music books to editor [at] journalofmusic.com.

Album Art: New Music Graphics
John Foster
Thames and Hudson
8 March 2018

We are in the middle of one of the greatest periods in music packaging, says John Foster. Collectable packaging is back at the cultural vanguard: physical records are coveted by millennials, and hip clothing outlets devote massive amounts of space to record players and racks of LPs. Album Art profiles thirty-three designers at the forefront of this movement, among them Braulio Amado, Chris Bigg, Brian Roettinger and Jonathan Barnbrook. The book also reproduces and discusses sleeve designs for such artists as David Bowie, Tame Impala, Kesha, Kim Deal, David Sylvian, The Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age and more.

Visit www.thamesandhudson.com

What Opera Means: Categories and Case-studies
Christopher Wintle / Edited by Kate Hopkins
Plumbago Books 
15 March 2018

An enquiry into the elusive character of opera, unfolded through categories and case-studies, with an emphasis on historical background, psychology and performance. Christopher Wintle is Emeritus Senior Lecturer in Music at King’s College London and General Editor of the series Defining Opera (Plumbago Books). Kate Hopkins (Editor) is Content Producer for Opera at the Royal Opera House and Senior Assistant Editor of Plumbago Books. 

Visit www.plumbago.co.uk

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Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music’s Hometown
Robert Gordon
Bloomsbury
6 March 2018

The fabled city of Memphis has been essential to American music – home of the blues, the birthplace of rock and roll, a soul music capital. Readers may know the hits, but Robert Gordon visits the people and places history has yet to record. A Memphis native, he spends time with blues legend Furry Lewis, barrelhouse piano player Mose Vinson, and Junior Kimbrough. 

Visit www.bloomsbury.com

The Bakersfield Sound: How a Generation of Displaced Okies Revolutionized American Music
Robert E. Price
Heyday Books
6 March 2018

In California’s Central Valley, two thousand miles away from country music’s hit machine, the hard edge of the Bakersfield Sound transformed American music in the latter half of the twentieth century. It turned displaced Oklahomans like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard into household names, and it pushed style, instrumentation, and attitude that countered the orchestral country pop from Nashville. In this book, Robert E. Price traces the sound’s roots from the Dust Bowl and World War II migrations through the heyday of Owens, Haggard and Hee Haw, and into the twenty-first century.

Visit www.heydaybooks.com

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Pioneers of the Blues Revival – updated edition with new interviews
Steve Cushing
University of Illinois Press
February 2018

Steve Cushing has spent more than thirty years observing and participating in the Chicago blues scene. In the expanded second edition of Pioneers of the Blues Revival, Cushing adds new interviewees to the roster of researchers and enthusiasts whose advocacy spearheaded the blues’ crossover into the mainstream starting in the 1960s.

Visit www.press.uillinois.edu

Please send information on new music books to editor [at] journalofmusic.com

Published on 23 March 2018

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