Marie B. Trout, Ph. D book review…February 8, 2017….



Marie B. Trout, Ph. D, has a real-life doctorate, and she’s got a sho’ nuff honorary one in the blues.  She is the wife and manager of blues performer Walter Trout, and has been for the last twenty-five years or so.  In 2014, Walter had a life-threatening bout with Hepatitis C, and eventually needed a liver transplant to save his life.  During that time, Marie became his 24/7 caregiver.  Up until then,  Marie had been compiling a series of surveys from blues fans just like you and me, as well as industry leaders that would eventually result in this book, “The Blues–Why It Still Hurts So Good.”  While nursing Walter back to health, Marie found that immersing herself into the completion of this book was a cathartic form of release for her.  Thus, this book traces how those surveyed had stated that the blues was just as cathartic to them, and, along the way, we learn the various reasons why.

Marie uses the FACE acronym as one of the tools in the book to explain how folks relate to the blues.  The blues is seen as a source of Fun and entertainment, thru either listening to records or attending live shows.  Its Authenticity is next, as the blues genre’ was borne during an era when African-Americans had been sold as slaves or reduced to sharecropping to eke out a living.  They used the music as a poultice for their souls.  Next is the Connection that fans get from the blues.  We’ve all been there—relationship problems, money woes, or anything that weighs heavy on your mind.  Most fans could relate easily to the angst the singers brought out in the music.  And, there is blues music for Escape purposes.  Many of us have been there, too.  We need something , as Billy Joel once said, “to forget about life for a while,” and  blues music is seen as a healthy outlet in this respect.

There are many more examples that Marie uses to show how the blues is an art form that promotes healing and is a healthy release of emotion.  “The Blues–Why It Still Hurts So Good” is a unique and exciting look at the music we love, and is a must-read for fans everywhere!  Until next time…Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society,


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