This book marks Blake's 6th book. Blake's work has been compared with Bill Eggleston, Diane Arbus, Huger Foote, Bill Marshall, & Ernest Withers. This work evokes the spirits of those mentioned.
Blake's unique vision of southern music and his access to many musicians has provided an opportunity for this work to be published. This book is about music - real music, not that synthesized pablum that is fed to the masses as the crap you hear on the radio every day.
This book is about the smoke, drugs, noise, and lifestyle that is a part of the musicians' life. There are many musicians in all phases of their career - big stars at the top of their game, unknowns playing gigs in dives every night waiting to be discovered, and fallen rock stars who used to be somebodies.
The names are not important - not really. It's all Rock and Roll.
Memphis is a city crawling with character. You will find the night illuminated by Beale Street.. By daylight, the neon glow fades to reveal a troubled city in the process of a post apocalyptic decay brought on by the heat, the tensions in the community, and the Mississippi river. Our city is fueled by a dirty, funky beat of Stax, Sun, and Hi records.
This city is the canvas for my art. Many days will find me strolling around decrepit neighborhoods with cameras in tow - the every day activity of our residents may seem mundane to the natives, but to an outsider, there lies a compelling story of poverty, hustle, hope and religion.
Long Live Rock!
Mr. Billings is a professional photographer with 34 years experience. He has been published in Mad Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the Dallas Sundowner, The Memphis Flyer, and several other prominent magazines around the world. His art has been shown in numerous galleries and is in several private collections. His photographs have also appeared in numerous books and cd's.