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In 'The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good' Marie B. Trout combines her own experience and the words of fans, musicians, and industry professionals to look at the blues in a most professional, unusual and interesting way.

Book Review: ‘The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good’ by Marie B. Trout, PhD

Dr.Marie Trout, PhD, sounds like a serious academic, and she is. When she decided to write The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good to explore the mystery of the connection between blues music and the modern blues fan,as well as their bond with each other in the widespread blues community, her research study was put together with meticulous care, using a Grounded Theory approach and questioning thousands of fans, musicians and professionals.

Courtesy of Mark pucciMedia
Courtesy of Mark pucciMedia
But Dr. Trout is not just someone looking at the blues from the outside. As the wife and long-time manager of blues great Walter Trout, she has lived the music for many years, and she is a true fan herself. But it was when Walter nearly died two years ago and was only saved at the last moment by a liver transplant that she actually was overwhelmed by the love and devotion of the blues community, who provided both emotional and financial support, she experienced the healing power of the music herself. Walter has since made an amazing recovery and continues to thrill his own devoted fans. It was because of this experience that she decided to write this book.

The whole purpose of the book is to look deeply at what exactly blues music does and why it appeals in these days to predominately white, mostly male middle-aged fans. What needs does it feed? Why does it provoke such fierce devotion? Why do the fans want so desperately for others to love it, too? And how does to bond fans and musicians to each other?

Dr. Trout combines her own experience and the words of fans, musicians, and industry professionals to answer these questions and to look at the blues in a most unusual and interesting way. Blues lovers who read the book will understand themselves and the music better than they ever have, and learn so much more besides. Other people interested in the issues that face ordinary people in the modern world will find fresh new insights to explore as well.

As a way of giving back, Dr. Trout will donate all proceeds from The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good to The HART Fund, which helps musicians who do not have health insurance in times of need.

About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T’ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, Southern Crossroads: Georgia Bluesand Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.

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