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About the Author

JOHN MILWARD has been the pop music critic of the Chicago Daily News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today, and has contributed articles and reviews to Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among many others. He lives in Woodstock, New York.


"There has never been any underestimating the influence that blues had on rock music. But Milward makes the connections seem fresh and as alive as when they were happening and evokes the openness that enabled blues to get 'in the bloodstream of generations of musicians.'"--Chicago Tribune

"Crossroads is both an important and immensely enjoyable read. Milward beautifully illuminates the relationship between the two musical genres. It's a fascinating presentation that makes listening to the music even more meaningful and gratifying."--Fretboard Journal "Rich in anecdotes and insight, 'Crossroads' offers a welcome tribute to the blues revival's most important legacy: the collaboration--across race and class and generations--that galvanized a music that had been left to wither and die."--Wall Street Journal "If R&B provided an early sonic template for rock & roll, it was Chicago's all-in-electric wail and the terrors of the Delta that birthed the great monolith of blues rock. First came the Newport Folk Festival, coffeehouses and the rediscovery of blues sages like Mississippi John Hurt and Fred McDowell--huge players in this tale of how a strain of music from pre-Depression times jolted the 1960s. John Milward, a longtime RS contributor, taps into how talismanic that music was: perfect stuff for firing the imaginations of Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Cream. It's no wonder rock was galvanized in a whole new way, with reborn tales of passway stones and unkempt graves underpinning it all."--Rolling Stone "For those who spent all or the majority of their informative teenage years in the 1960s this is a must read publication. . . . There is a terrific read here for everyone with its easy style and loads of really interesting information. Highly recommended."--Blues & Rhythm Magazine "Milward's approach helps readers appreciate the complex tapestry of blues-rock evolution through the eyes of the musicians and the music's most avid followers . . . ."--Choice "The real joy of Crossroads is well-tuned prose that illuminates the music along with its history."--Chronogram "Which acoustic guitarist had the greatest influence on rock 'n' roll -- arguably as significant as electric counterparts like Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, B.B, Albert and Freddie King, and Buddy Guy? Judging from John Milward's new book Crossroads: How the Blues Shaped Rock 'n' Roll (and Rock Saved the Blues), I'd say the honors go to fingerpicking Piedmont bluesman Rev. Gary Davis. . . . These are the kind of connections Milward makes in Crossroads as he traces the earliest exposure of masses of white kids to country blues."

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