The Blues are rooted in the American mind and soul. Each era has its own, and each is both the same and different, just like the people who know them, and play them, and live them.
Here are five powerful stories exploring that mind and soul as they've evolved over the last seventy years.
“The content of these stories may be uncompromisingly specific (sexual abuse, incest, sadomasochism, racist assault and murder are all unflinchingly confronted), but the humanity and tenderness with which they are imbued (jazz playing a crucial role here — 'a great skein of notes woven into a crazy quilt of such otherwise-inexpressible beauty that it can only exist because he weaves it') render them universally relevant and American Blues is, as a consequence, a compellingly readable evocation of a hard, unforgiving world fitfully illuminated not only by art, but also by small acts of solidarity and kindness.” Chris Parker, London Jazz.
“American Blues is a terrific collection. Evan Guilford-Blake has the rare gift of capturing the reader's imagination with the very first lines of these stories, and the characters leap off the page with all their griefs and small triumphs. The settings are gritty and grubby, yet Guilford-Blake has infused them with a tenderness that is irresistible. You'll finish the book wanting more.” Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of Disturbances in the Field and The Writing on the Wall
“Evan Guilford-Blake masterfully weaves a melancholy suite, which pops and crackles with the warmth of old vinyl recordings replete with hope, sorrow, life, laughter, death, love, loneliness & longing” J. Scott Fugate, 'The Jazz Evangelist'.
“The characters in American Blues live in a world of bad choices and no choices. Evan Guilford-Blake shows us a hard world, yes, but also the tender spots within it and thereby leads us into a place where we might see our shared humanity.” Neil Ellis Orts, Writer and Performer,Author, Cary and John