Juke Blues

I bought Issue 2 of this British music publication 19 years ago at Tower Records, fell in love with it and soon began subscribing to it. Published “nearly quarterly,” it jams each issue with bios, interviews and CD, DVD, book and performance reviews devoted to—as it says on the mag’s subtitle—blues, soul, Zydeco, jazz and gospel. The focus is primarily on Stateside artists, many of whom, I must confess, I’d never heard of. Typical of its comprehensive outlook is the eight-page article in Issue 55 on soul/gospel singer Dorothy Moore that begins with her start in Jackson, Miss., singing gospel in church right on up to her latest release. Other highlights are a piece on jazz guitarist Charlie Christian; the editor’s own appraisal of the PBS series on the blues; three European festival reviews; an account of the April 2003 Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans (how many of us on this side of the ocean even knew of that?); and, sprinkled throughout, dozens of magnificent (mostly color) photos. This is truly a labor of love! (Subscriptions: $35 for four issues, airmail. Contact Dick Shurman, 3 South 321 Winfield Rd., Warrenville, IL 6055-3145).