The Blue Series Book: The Story Behind the Color


Street Date: 04/22/2017




The SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION of 500 will be available at TMR's Nashville and Detroit storefronts plus select record stores on RECORD STORE DAY. The Special Edition is 282 pages of behind-the-scenes stories, information, and interviews about the Blue Series singles.  A 7" of unreleased Blue Series session songs by First Aid Kit and Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers) on exclusive blue vinyl is also included in the Special Edition, and every Special Edition will be signed by Editor — and TMR's own Psychedelicc Stooge — Ben Blackwell.

As the brainchild of Jack White, the Blue Series started in tandem with Third Man Records, White’s Nashville-based record label founded in 2009. Built on the simple premise of 7” 45rpm singles all recorded in the same studio, with the same producer (White), with photos taken in the same locale (Third Man Records’ onsite Blue Room) and manufactured at the same pressing plant (United Record Pressing), a stone’s throw from TMR’s offices) the resultant 40 singles impressively run the gamut of artists and styles. Whether it’s the wildly popular like Beck, the classic veteran Tom Jones, the character Stephen Colbert, the polarizing Insane Clown Posse, or previously unknown performers making their debut releases, the Blue Series is the perfect snapshot of what Third Man, and by extension Jack White, have focused on and championed for the past seven years.

The Standard Edition will be available at a bookstore near you on June 6 and features the 7-inch single on black vinyl. Both editions include a ten song sampler of Blue Series music curated by the book's editor Ben Blackwell and Foreword by award-winning Rolling Stone music journalist David Fricke.

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Blue Series Photographer Jo McCaughey and Editor Ben Blackwell


 * Includes extensive interview with Jack White covering the span of the Series, musicians involved, recording techniques, and the direct influence of the Series on his own career.


* Interviewees include Stephen Colbert, Dwight Yoakam, Courtney Barnett, Kate Pierson, Wanda Jackson, Insane Clown Posse, First Aid Kit, Mildred and the Mice, Dex Romweber, Lillie Mae, Ruby Amanfu and more Blue Series artists.


 * In these exclusive interviews, artists describe their Blue Series recording experience in a behind-the-scenes look at their own creative process and the creative process of producer Jack White. The immediacy of the recordings and unusual circumstances create stories rife with insight and interesting moments.


 * Features unseen photos of the artists, including Jack White, plus an interview with principle photographer Jo McCaughey.


 * A sample playlist of Blue Series songs  curated by editor Ben Blackwell will be included via download card.


 * Foreword written by David Fricke, who is one of the most recognizable names in music  journalism. Mr. Fricke witnessed the Dungen Blue Series session and is the only journalist who has been in the studio during one of the recordings.


 * Preface by TMR co-founder Ben Blackwell. The book also features contributions from TMR co-founder, Consigliere Ben Swank, long-time TMR Queen of Hearts Bonnie Bowden, and TMB editor Chet Weise.


* Over 100,000 copies of Blue Series 7" vinyl singles have been sold with digital streams and downloads combined actual consumption is over 1 million


* Artists covered in the book include best sellers such as Beck, Tom Jones, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes), and others.


* Grammy winning and multi-platinum musician Jack White produced every session.

About the Author(s):

  • Ben Blackwell is a drummer, journalist and record label executive. Originally from Detroit, Blackwell has been a member of the Dirtbombs since 1999, playing hundreds of live shows and on dozens of recordings. Blackwell's writing has been featured in numerous books and publications and won him the 2004 Rolling Stone college journalism award. As an executive at Third Man Records in Nashville, he's directly overseen the release of over 400 different titles and the pressing of over three million pieces of vinyl.