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Mike Mattison of the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Professor Ernest Suarez invented the musical genre that blends popular music and blues-based poetry, finding its rhythm in the 1960s with the help of Bob Dylan.

Mississippi University Press

A new book invents a new musical genre.

“Poetic Song Verse: Blues-Based Popular Music and Poetry” explores the connection between poetry and music, beginning in the late 1950s before finding its way with Bob Dylan and a generation of musicians who followed.

Ernest Suarez is a professor in Washington, DC who wrote the book with Mike Mattison, who is the lead vocalist for the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

“We invented it to explain a type of music that occurred when poetry came into contact with popular music. Is it literature or is it music? It’s both. – Ernest Suarez


Listen: Authors Ernest Suarez and Mike Mattison discuss their book “Poetic Song Verse”.

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  • Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on Detroit’s NPR 101.9 WDET-FM station. As a longtime arts and culture journalist and photographer, Hooper has covered articles for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN, and Paste magazine.

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