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Best Book by a Local Author St. Louis 2010 - Devil at the Confluence

With the announcement of the new blues museum downtown, maybe St. Louis will finally get its due as the music town that it always was. And if you aren't aware that St. Louis was an influential music city, you're not alone. Our city's musical history has not been well documented — until now. Last year Kevin Belford published Devil at the Confluence, a masterfully illustrated and documented book about the history of St. Louis blues. A graphic artist by trade, Belford lovingly lays out each beautiful printed page like a work of art. The book is dense with anecdotes and history about the bluesmen and -women who made St. Louis their home. If you have the slightest interest in our city's musical legacy, get a copy of Devil at the Confluence — it is quite possibly one of the most beautiful history books you'll ever find.

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Tom Burnham
Tom Burnham

"Devil At The Confluence" is a gorgeous book, lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched. I keep waiting for a response from some of the established blues historians as Belford makes a compelling argument that much of the published literature better reflects the personal tastes and obsessions of those historians then accurately depicting the development and growth of the music. In their effort to out 'hip' one another, they elevated the obscure and arcane over the artists who truly dominated their era. They created their own arbitrary distinctions and imposed their aesthetic judgements over the values and tastes of the people who bought the records and celebrated the artists in their time.Belford's book has been out for about a year now. After a time, the silence speaks it's own truth.Tom Burnham

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