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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on December 17, 2019


Women have been at the dawn of the blues since Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey were singing about hard knocks and tough love in smoky bars. This book gives an overview of the early days of the blues and its development from the Mississippi Delta to the windy city, Chicago, to becoming the global musical movement it is today.


Ma Rainey

Shemekia Copeland

Rosetta Tharpe

Mavis Staples

Etta James

Janis Joplin

Bonnie Raitt

Susan Tedeschi

Big Mama Thornton

Koko Taylor

Bessie Smith

Kyla Brox

and many more…

Written by acclaimed music writer Zoe Howe, compiled by celebrated African-American blues singer Kat Pearson and Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, 2014 , Jennifer Noble, and featuring exclusive color photos from Noble’s fascinating collection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780993220784
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
Publication date: 12/17/2019
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

About the Author

Zoë Howe is a writer, musician and visual artist based in Essex. Current projects include a film and book about the life and work of X-Ray Spex singer Poly Styrene. Previous books include, Lee Brilleaux – Rock ‘n’ Roll Gentleman , the bestselling Stevie Nicks – Visions, Dreams And Rumours , Barbed Wire Kisses – The Jesus and Mary Chain Story , Typical Girls? The Story Of The Slits , How’s Your Dad? Living In The Shadow of a Rock Star Parent , Florence + The Machine – An Almighty Sound and Wilko Johnson – Looking Back At Me. She was a contributing author to British Beat Explosion – Rock ‘n’ Roll Island and to Julien’s documentary The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson. In 2015, Zoë joined the Doc 'n' Roll Film Festival jury, and as of 2016, she is The Blues Magazine ’s resident ‘rock ‘n’ roll agony aunt'.

Chicago Blues Hall of Fame inductee 2014 and the Director of Photography for the Chicago Blues Guide, Jennifer Noble has been photographing legendary blues artists for over 30 years. Her photos have been published all over the world and recently featured in an exhibition about Women in the Blues in Chicago. She has been a DJ with her own radio show in the USA and interviewed many blues artists over the years. She is now based in London and is a member of the UK Blues Federation.

Kat Pearson comes from a long history of African-American Gospel hymns, Blues hummers and Soul singers, and leads her band Kat & Co now in London. Kat’s face has graced the cover of ID Magazine and she has appeared in the video of the hit single “Block Rockin’ Beats” by the Chemical Brothers. She received a standing ovation from the crowd at Montreaux Festival and has guested on the hit single of D:Ream’s “Things Can Only Get Better”. Kathleen has shared the stage with LuLu, Mud Morganfield (Muddy Waters Jr), Jason Robello, Tony Remy, Lil Jimmy Reed, also with Chicago Blues Queens Peaches Staten and Deitra Farr to name a few.