Best Book by a Local Author - 2003
Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues by Roger Wood
It's been said that Houston doesn't hang on to its history, but longtime resident Roger Wood is out to challenge that theory with his new, lovely book, Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues. Wood, a Houston Community College literature professor (and sometime Press contributor), has woven together a masterful piece of art that covers nearly every important Houston blues musician, from the legendary Lightnin' Hopkins to guitarist Little Joe Washington, who still plays local clubs. The 300-plus-page book, which includes great black-and-white photography by James Fraher, is comprehensive enough to impress any hard-core blues fan, but eloquent enough to draw in any novice to the genre. But the best thing about the publication is the way it unearths and documents a treasure that so many native Houstonians aren't even aware of: one of the strongest blues communities to ever exist in America.