Max Haymes is a well respected blues historian based in Lancaster, UK. His interests
lie in the socio-historical and economic background of blues music (explored via
the lyrics), as well as the philosophical / psychological aspects of the blues,
and the evolution of the genre in the 19th century.
He has a B.A.
in Independent Studies (a socio-historical study of the roots of the blues) from
Lancaster University, UK. He also spent time in the southern states of the USA
studying for his Masters Degree at the University of Mississippi in Oxford,
Max is a
part-time tutor with the American Studies Department at Lancaster University,
specialising in early blues. He also teaches for the Lancaster Department of
Continuing Education and is part of the Creative Arts Team.
Some of the
blues courses Max has produced and delivered include:
Deeper Understanding of the Blues”
“Just Got To
Ride” (Transportation and the blues – from flatboats to the automobile)
American Women’s Blues From the Deep South”
“I Wrote These
Blues, I’m Gonna Sing Them As I Please” (Relevance of blues lyrics to black
working-class life in the first half of this century)
“Got My Mojo
Working” (Superstitions in the blues)
Soul Music” (Early blues and gospel, 1920-49)
“I Want It
Awful Bad” (Sexuality in the blues, 1920s-40s)
Robert Johnson” (A study in Delta Blues, 1926-42)
I’ll Dust My Broom” (Urban development of blues from 1920s – 1960s)
Down” (Blues roots of Elvis Presley, from 1920s – 1950s)
gives guest lectures, examples are:
“So Glad I
Ain’t the Only One” (Universal themes in blues, 1927-40)
Shack” (Blues as entertainment, 1920s-40s)
“One Story of
the Blues” (1926-53)
Undertaker, Fry Your Ham ‘n Eggs Slow” (Attitudes to death in blues,
Like The Central, Wobbles Like the L. & N.” (Railroads and the blues,
Your Lights, Mama” (Autos, dirt roads and highways, 1920s-40s)
“I Could Have
Had Religion” (A study of early blues and gospel, 1890s-1942)
courses and lectures are illustrated with complete recorded examples,
predominantly from the pre-war era (1892-1943), together with OHPs, course /
lecture notes and references.
lectured in clubs, pubs, on the radio and at various universities (both in the
UK and USA). He has had several articles published in international Blues
magazines, and he was Editorial Assistant to the American bi-monthly publication
“Living Blues” during his time in Mississippi. Max is at present writing a
book on oral transmission of the blues via transportation systems in the Deep
South around the 1880s to the early 1900s.
promoted live blues on a non-profit making basis for the last 30 years which now
includes a weekly blues jam sessions in Lancaster and
organising the acoustic section of the renowned international annual blues
festivals at Burnley and Colne in Lancashire.
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