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Keeping the Blues Alive - with Art

Posted on June 30 2017

Art of the Blues

Everyone is familiar with the blues as a genre of music – but how many know it as an art form, with its own visual style? 

When the blues music industry was at its peak, during the days of live performances and vinyl recording, with rising stars from all parts of the country arriving in Chicago, the artwork of the blues was also ascendant. This art ranged from album covers, record labels, concert posters, sheet music covers, ticket stubs, and print advertisements, to headshots of performers, and everything in between.

In this pre-digital age, art held sway, attracting and captivating audiences. Many fans treasured every bit of ephemera that reached their hands, saving it as memorabilia of their experience with live or recorded music.

Now a book called the ART OF THE BLUES has compiled this nostalgic artwork into a beautiful hardcover edition that is a tribute to be enjoyed by fans and musicians alike, a scrapbook of memories to be shared with your blues family.

This chronological book shows how music-related artwork used the visual language of the time, stretching from art deco graphics, to 1960s psychedelia and beyond. This graphical guide features detailed captioning of more than three hundred and fifty lavishly reproduced images.

Author Bill Dahl is a Chicago-based music journalist, with an archivist’s eye for identifying anything related to the blues industry that is worth saving.  Dahl is a blues specialist, who has written liner notes for countless reissues of classic blues, soul, R&B, and rock albums. His previous book was Motown: The Golden Years, 2001. With his deep expertise and incisive commentary, this Grammy-nominee keeps the blues alive.

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