When Patterns Are Broken, New Worlds Emerge

The book traces the most important events in history from before 1830 to 1965 and links them to the musical innovations within the African American community. It explores the direct connection between bad conditions in which the black population had to survive, and the emergence of so many new forms of music. Black people's search for a better life, their willingness to integrate into American society as free citizens, without giving up their own African culture, seemed to be the main drivers of the emergence of new music. This correlation is the focus of this book.

People talking about the new book

William Ferris talking about the book

When Patterns are Broken, New Worlds Emerge: The History of Music in the United States: A Cultural Revolution Born Out of Hardship takes a long view of American Music-- From Indian settlements in 10,000 BC to blues, rock and roll, and soul music in 1965. The book reflects the global interest in American music as Luc Borms, a Belgian, explores the musical history of blues, a music that transformed his life. An accomplished blues harmonica musician, author, and painter, Borms divides his time between homes in Erembodegem, Belgium, and Natchez, Mississippi, and he offers the reader an exciting, thoughtful perspective on Blues.

William Ferris
Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History Emeritus
Senior Associate Director Emeritus
Center for Study of the American South
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dave Sherman talking about the book

I can attest that it is a GREAT book well worth the investment. I was born in Greenville, Mississippi in '55. I grew up in the Mississippi Delta and it was amazing getting thoroughly researched third person account of the origins of The Blues from When Patterns are broken New Worlds emerge. Luc Borms has the unique talent of describing the historical events in a way that is easy to understand. You'll enjoy every bit of it!

Dave Sherman

Chris Davies talking about the book

This wonderful book has truly enlightened me. I know at times I have fallen into the trap of romanticising the development of the blues and have been too shallow in my understanding of African American history and how this shaped the music. I have picked up fragments of information from the internet, African American Newspapers etc. but it is through Luc's book that all the pieces have come together and bought great clarity. 

Chris Davies

Jackie Cowan talking about the new book

'When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge' - what a powerful statement that is! It is the epitome of truth and can apply to so many situations. The emergence of a new form of music is no exception. All genres of music can find their roots in the evolution of peoples and cultures. These changes are mandated by situations and experiences over time. The blues is one such genre.

In his new book, Luc takes an in-depth look at the long history behind the music, one which goes far beyond the cotton fields so broadly associated with the blues. "When Patterns Are Broken, New Worlds Emerge" explores the various peoples and cultures of the southern United States - before, during and after the long-standing institution of slavery left its ugly mark. It is packed with information and facts and will no doubt leave its reader with a deeper knowledge, not only of the music, but quite possibly, of themselves.

As a proof reader of the manuscript, I was immediately drawn into the timeline which begins long before the days of W. C. Handy and the 'strange music' he discovered at Tutwiler.

Jackie Cowan

Lalivre talking about the new book
An excellent all encompassing history of the blues in America with the acute perspective of a Belgian equals a masterful and impressive reference book on the blues. A must for all music lovers and aficionados. 


Franky Bruneel talking about the book

The blues is a universal language. However, there is no denying that it has a certain stratification to it. For some, the blues is just fun music and its rhythm is like an energetic heartbeat. Others delight in the musical and instrumental virtuosity of blues musicians and dazzle themselves immensely at yet another impressive guitar solo. For many people, the blues is music that nestles in their heart and soul—music with a message that houses cartloads of life's wisdom. The blues has also taken on a new dimension, a unifying factor that may well be part of the basis for the final reconciliation between white and black. This is exactly why it is so important that we really learn to understand the universal language of the blues. Everyone has the blues sometimes. Those who eat high on the hog may also find a mule kicking in their stall. However, it is essential to know how that mule got into the metaphor. Even the modern bluesman, white or black, makes his mojo work by rubbing his John the Conqueror root. In today's world, with a political climate that often seeks to divide people, it can't hurt at all to take a closer look at who John the Conqueror was, or at least learn to understand the climate in which this folk hero of African American folklore was able to thrive. To do so, we must return to the origins of this cultural revolution born of hardship. With When Patterns Are Broken, New Worlds Emerge Luc Borms gives us a golden guide in this regard.

Franky Bruneel
Belgian blues writer
photographer, tour manager
editor in chief of Back To The Roots Blues magazine

Charm McSwain Powel talking wbout the book 

Attention, my music lover friends. This is an awesome read. Luc does not disappoint! 

Charm McSwain Powel