Read Tony’s Latest Articles

Robert Johnson: The Legend vs. The Man vs. The Devil

There’s Robert Johnson the country blues legend and Robert Johnson the man and somewhere in the mix is the devil. With the help of blues researchers and latter-day biographers, Anthony Mostrom makes a deep dive into the musical past to give Robert Johnson—cited by the likes of Keith Richards and Eric Clapton as a near demigod—his due but he also sets him in context alongside contemporaries (and mentors) like Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James and Willie Brown. Like many figures of legend (Morrison, Joplin, Hendrix), Johnson was dead at 27, but his music continues to haunt and inspire.

Guitarist Derek Bailey: Free for All Improvisor

Derek Bailey (1930-2005) was a successful guitarist playing pop music in dance halls and jazz in nightclubs in England when he had his ‘road to Damascus’ collision with Anton Webern and free jazz. From the mid-1960s until his death, Bailey worked with such avant-garde giants as Anthony Braxton, Gavin Bryars, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, King Crimson’s Jamie Muir and Keith Tippett, among others, spreading a free improvisation gospel. Players like Henry Kaiser, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred Frith, John Zorn and Thurston Moore have picked up the trail in Bailey’s wake.

Mississippi Delta Blues Museum

The Delta Blues Museum of Clarksdale, MS is currently hosting a one-man drawings show of Tony’s original portraits culled from the “Rise & Fall of Paramount Records.”

The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records Illustrated by Tony Mostrom


Visit Artwork on this site to see Anthony Mostrom’s original drawings for sale

Here’s a first-look opportunity to experience an historic Grammy award winning collaboration between Jack White’s Third Man and John Fahey’s Revenant: ‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records Volume 1, 1917-27.’ Both volumes won Grammy awards for ‘Best Historical Box Set’ and for Art Direction.

Calling this a boxed set would be like calling the Grand Canyon a hole in the ground. It is a 2-volume omnibus of words, images and music – including books, LPs, a proprietary app and more – all housed in a cabinet-of-wonder handcrafted from oak that tells the curious tale of Paramount Records.  The label, founded by the Wisconsin Chair company, amassed one of the most potent archives of American music. Volume 2 was released in Nov 2014.

Paramount Records Discussion on Charlie Rose:

Charlie Rose

Other Paramount Records links on YouTube:

Volume 1 

Volume 2 

Links from Jack White’s Thirdman Records:

Volume 1

Volume 2 

The NY Times ran an in-depth feature in the Sunday Arts section, calling it “spectacular,” and Rolling Stone has deemed it “unprecedented.”

The Wall Street Journal and The LA Times ran pieces as well.