The Reverend has long been a fan of Classic Rock magazine, the monthly music rag from England's Future Publishing. The magazine offers up writing from some of the best music journalists and critics in the U.K. (with a few Yanks thrown in for good measure) and covers not only the "classic rock" era of the 1970s, but also newer, classic-sounding bands as well as progressive rock and, something near and dear to our hearts, blues music.
A few months back, the good folks at Classic Rock spun off a new publication, titled Classic Rock Presents The Blues, and let me tell you readers, this is one worth its cover price (which is a stiff $12.99 at a Barnes & Noble or other largish bookstore). First off, every issue includes a cover-mounted CD, and not some cheap-o four-track promo EP, nosirree...the disc offered with the magazine's third issue includes hot new songs and steamy archival tracks from the likes of Bob Corritore, the Mannish Boys, Big George Brock, and Hound Dog Taylor as well as lesser-known (in the U.S.) talents like Steve Hooker and Giles Robson - 15 songs in all for about the same price as a regular new blues CD.
But it's the magazine that we keep coming back for, an over-sized, photo-heavy music-lover's delight that includes interviews, album reviews, blues news, and much more every month. Again, the third issue that sits in my hot little hands includes features on the legendary John Mayall, the visionary Chris Barber (who first brought a lot of essential bluesmen to the U.K.), Lazy Lester, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, among others. The upcoming fourth issue of Classic Rock Presents The Blues, now available for pre-order on the Classic Rock website, includes a cover story on the late, great Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher as well as features on the Rolling Stones, Otis Grand, Andre Williams, and more!
Now the Reverend isn't asking you to forsake our humble About.com Blues website, but if you're a true blues fanatic like yours truly (and I suspect that you may be), you can supplement your blues intake with a monthly issue of the thoroughly excellent Classic Rock Presents The Blues magazine. You'll discover new artists, hear some great music, and enjoy reading about the music you love from a different perspective.
Photo courtesy Classic Rock magazine