Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
This is photographer Joe Rosen’s first book. He is a free lance photographer working out of New York City. His work has appeared in Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated among other publications. Rosen is also a fan of Blues music. Rosen began photographing the Blues in 1976. His photos have graced many album covers including Sugar Ray and The Bluestones 1991 recording “Don’t Stand in My Way”. In 2002 Rosen won the prestigious “Keeping The Blues Alive in Photography and Art Award” presented by The Blues Foundation.
In the “Introduction” Rosen states that occasionally he would shoot the musician’s hands and one day realized that this was the theme for a book. Some of the photographs were taken especially for this project while others come from Rosen’s “archives”. Three endorsements serve as additional “Introductions”, one each by Dick Waterman; Bill Wax; and Bob Porter.
The hands in these photographs display the character, and age of the musicians. More important to Rosen is the music which serves as a continual source of inspiration. On the book’s cover is a photo of Willie King playing an “A” chord. Johnny Winter and Roy Rogers hands are captured as they dramatically coax notes from their guitars. Singers Mavis Staples and Irma Thomas hands are seen expressively flailing as they reach for and hit those joyous notes. Page after page we see beautiful photographs, some black and white and some in color. No two photographs are the same. No one posed for these. Rosen has captured the essence of the music in the photos he shares.
The blues world is comprised of many individuals that together shape our community. Some are musicians; some are in the background producing albums or promoting festivals. Some of them are filmmakers and photographers who document our lives with visual reminders that once upon a time we could sit across from Mr. Pinetop Perkins and see those hands; those beautiful hands.
Rosen has captured these moments for all of us to share. Thanks Joe.