Blue Muse contains fifty photographs of blues, jazz, folk, and gospel musicians. It also includes ten more landscapes and close-ups of musical instruments. All use a tintype process that was popular during the Civil War.
The long exposures and judicious use of light and shadow make statements about the life of those depicted. All appear to be traveling a hard-luck road, whether from poverty or poor choices. The use of the old tintype process enhances this feeling. Some subjects clearly enjoy being photographed—others not so much.
Blue Muse is recommended for both photography and traditional music fans. The photographs are intense and beautiful. 4 stars!
Thanks to University of North Carolina Press and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.