Friday, February 26, 2010

Illustrate Out the Jams, Mofo: "Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country" by R. Crumb [book review]

A couple of good friends were kind enough to give me a wonderful addition to my music book collection last month. R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country was first published in 2006.  The book contains the collected prints (108 of them!) by Crumb from his 1980s illustrations that were featured on 3 different sets of trading cards of classic blues, jazz, and country musicians.  Each illustration is accompanied by a capsule biography of the artist in question.  A fan of these types of music, Crumb pays his tribute to the legends of the genres, but also selected some relatively obscure artists.  Every turn of the page is a feast for the eyes.  The book also comes with a CD of some of Crumb's favorite selections from 21 of the artists--7 each from the jazz, blues, and country sections. 

Here is a cut from one of Crumb's featured artists--"Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues" by Skip James from 1931. It is a favorite song of mine as well:

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