Legendary visual artist William Stout guests on Over Under Sideways Down – LuxuriaMusic.com, Wednesday May 1 3-5 PM Pacific. He will be signing his new book, Legends of the Blues at La Luz de Jesus Gallery on Saturday, May 4 from 6 – 9 PM.
William Stout has a long and varied resume including paleontological illustrations, art exhibitions, feature film storyboards and production art, theme park design and a stint in radio with Firesign Theater. Close to the heart of music fans and record collectors, Stout was the guy who did the fabulous illustrations on the paper inserts and later, deluxe covers that adorned the legendary Trademark of Quality bootlegs in the 1970s (well documented in the book Bootleg: The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry and on Stout’s website.) He also did a stint as art director for Bomp! Magazine.
Stout has just released a book / CD called Legends of the Blues. Inspired as most baby boomers by the British Invasion of the 1960s, Stout took a particular liking to The Yardbirds and ended up with the Sonny Boy Williamson and The Yardbirds LP which had a huge impact on him. He purchased a harmonica and dug deeply into the blues – both old and new, amassing quite a bit of blues knowledge and a substantial record collection. Decades later, Stout was recruited to create some artwork for Shout! Factory’s series of CDs by prominent blues artists. The label had licensed the Heroes of the Blues Trading Cards images created by R. Crumb for the series, but there were several musicians that he hadn’t drawn for the card set. Crumb did not want to create any more blues art so Stout was contacted and asked draw a few images for the series in the same format as Crumb’s card set. And, after he finished the CD art, he kept going – creating more and more images of blues legends and unknowns, even branching out to British and contemporary American bluesmen and women, while recovering from cancer surgery.
Stout loves and is passionate about this music, and it shows in his beautifully illustrated portraits and enthusiastic and loving one-page biographies of Robert Johnson, Ma Rainey, Billie Holiday, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Johnny Otis, Champion Jack Dupree and others. With the exception of Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson, none of the artists in this book are repeated from Crumb’s Heroes of the Blues card set. This book, including only performers born before 1930, will hopefully be the first of three blues books.
The Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – Legends of the Blues bonus music CD compiled and sequenced by Wiilliam Stout features tracks by Big Joe Williams, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Nighthawk, Bukka White, Robert Wilkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell “This Little Light of Mine, Bukka White, Cow Cow Davenport, Big Joe Williams, Bukka White, Robert Wilkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Blind Willie McTell, and Buddy Moss.
Give a listen to William Stout this coming Wednesday, May 1 on LuxuraMusic.com and come to La Luz de Jesus Gallery to meet the artist in person on Saturday, May 4! La Luz de Jesus is located at 4633 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027, www.laluzdejesus.com. If you can’t make it and would like to purchase a signed book via mail, contact the shop at (323) 663-0122 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of William Stout’s Trademark of Quality covers…