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.