This reference volume is intended for both the casual and the most avid blues fan. It is divided into five separately introduced sections and covers 50 artists with names like Muddy, Gatemouth and Hound Dog who helped shape 20th-century American music. Beginning with the pioneering Mississippi Delta bluesmen, the book then follows the spread of the genre to the city, in the section on the Chicago Blues School. The third segment covers the Texas blues tradition; the fourth, the great blueswomen; and the fifth, the genre's development outside its main schools. The styles covered range from Virginia-Piedmont to Bentonia and from barrelhouse to boogie-woogie. The main text is augmented by substantial discographies and a lengthy bibliography.