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Review In Shepherd Express of Searching For Rock And Roll

Searching For Rock and Roll (Cengage), by Martin Jack Rosenblum and David Luhrssen

There has never been a more necessary time for a truly clear-cut chronicle of the great roving American beast called rock'n'roll. In Searching for Rock and Roll, Martin Jack Rosenblum and David Luhrssen hunt everywhere from the turn of the century Mississippi Delta to middle America garages to bring to light the idiom's twisted true story as it has moved from a pure vernacular of the downtrodden to a sonic form of high art. Searching is an essential text for those out-of-tune with the history of a powerful music that has played out as the soundtrack of salvation and damnation for some of the most culturally radical generations.

Seminal figures like Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan and Kurt Cobain are rightly highlighted as the revolutionaries of rock, while due credit is given to their mentors, peers and inferiors. Searching carefully traces the music's evolution while using it as a mirror of the shifting culture and the social landscape that produced it.

While Searching offers refreshing candor, it does leave some dark rock realms, especially the recent underground movements of punk and alternative, in need of a little more academic light. Physically, this book would be more appropriately packaged like a mini-Bible, because it is otherwise a comprehensive guide for the religion of rock'n'roll.

(John Figlesthaler) 2007, First Edition; book went into revised, Second Edition in 2008. In 2010 the Third Edition {vastly enlarged and revised} went into print.


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