Skip to main content

Richard Koechli's books

An English translation of the original German edition is now available (hardcover, softcover, large print book, e-book); --> book trailer (Youtube)

Tampa Red - The Forgotten King Of Blues

The very first biography about the pioneer of Chicago Blues


--> order directly from the publisher (worldwide)


Hardly any book tells more about the history of Chicago Blues. Hardly any biography reveals more anecdotes and secrets of the Blues. Tampa Red (ca. 1903 - 1981) should be mentioned in the same breath with legends like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters or B.B. King. For more than 20 years Tampa Red set the tone in Chicago; the first with a brass guitar, one of the first with an electric guitar, pioneering slide virtuoso, author of more than 300 song pearls, mentor of many later stars. But Hudson Whittaker, as his real name was, lost glory and health towards the end of his life, died lonely as a forgotten man. To this day, no comprehensive book has been published, no film, nothing!

Now, finally, this great gap in blues literature is filled. The award-winning Swiss specialist book author and blues musician Richard Koechli traces Tampa Red's life sensitively and historically precisely and prepares a worthy end for him with the help of a literary trick. Embedded in a fictional conversation with the young nursing assistant Anna and her music-obsessed friend Eric, Koechli lets Hudson Whittaker tell his own story right before his death: About life in Chicago, about love, about his music and his songs, about famous and less famous colleagues, about grief, despair, about the fear of dying – and finally about the happiness of reconciliation with his own history. "Thrilling like a thriller, touching like a drama, clarifying like a history book," raves the online magazine "With this book, Koechli makes public an important and hitherto hardly noticed chapter in music history; for Blues fans a bubbling source of knowledge with plenty of aha moments."

ISBN Softcover: 978-3-347-62428-3
ISBN Hardcover: 978-3-347-62429-0
ISBN E-Book: 978-3-347-62430-6
ISBN Large Print: 978-3-347-62431-3



--> Press Review

Holy Blues - The 400-year trip of a musical soul

--> order directly from the publisher (worldwide)   


Two wonderful videos (for the songs "Feel Like Going Home" and "Schacher Sepp") were produced by "Relaxing Blues Music" (USA)!

--> "Holy Blues" wins the PrixPlus 2022 (Swiss art and culture award)

What do blues, jazz, soul, R&B, rock'n'roll, folk, country, rock, pop and hip hop have in common? Their origin, their fire! Holy Blues was the source of fire. Holy Blues, also called Gospel, is the source of all the roots music we love. The history of gospel music is 400 years old; its spirit even much older, and without it we simply would not be able to be enchanted by soulful music today. Reason enough to trace this good spirit. Award-winning blues musician and author Richard Koechli (Swiss Blues Award, Swiss Film Music Award, German Music Edition Award) sets out on an adventurous trip through American cultural history and shows with countless concrete examples how high the influence of faith on the music and its producers has been throughout the centuries, how decisive and mysterious the divine dimension shapes the music at every moment. Koechli does this in a double package: as a blues artist with idiosyncratic interpretations of timeless Holy Blues songs, and as a book author with an inspiring, 150-page history trip.

--> Video-Trailer    --> Book Cover (print/web)

Both offer surprises: The book takes a passionate, precise and sometimes new look at the 400-year journey of our music, and the album shows how independently gospel music can be interpreted without betraying tradition. Koechli relies on mostly acoustic slide guitar sounds - and contrasts! Sometimes meditative and without words as in the title track «Holy Blues» or in «Nishlam» (together with the blind musician friend Gerd Bingemann), then again as a laidback and blues singer as in «Feel Like Going Home» (in a duet with the renowned jazz singer Bruno Amstad) or even as a courageous acapella singer of little-known spiritual hymns - and last but not least even with an idiosyncratic, touching version of perhaps the only Swiss Holy Blues song, the legendary «Schacher Seppli».

«Holy Blues» is available in music stores (as CD & german book) and simultaneously in bookstores (as english book & mp3 download link).

Music Stores (CD & german book): Fontastix 324227, EAN-Code: 7640149284508, Distributed by:

Book Stores (english book & free mp3-Download):

ISBN Softcover: 978-3-347-62750-5
ISBN Hardcover: 978-3-347-62751-2
ISBN E-Book: 978-3-347-62752-9
ISBN Large Print Book: 978-3-347-62753-6

Digital Music Retail (Streaming, Download): on all platforms   


Slide Guitar Instrumentals - the mulitmedia playbook

--> Youtube-Trailer  --> reading sample

Richard Koechli's guitar book «Slide Guitar Styles» has been the standard work in the German-speaking world for over 20 years. Now the Swiss author publishes as a supplement a playbook with extensive practice pieces: 12 instrumentals from different styles (Blues, Folk, Pop, Rock, Country) with a medium to high degree of difficulty. Tunes that are fun to play and don't need to hide from the audience. The book is multimedia, with video and audio download, QR codes, additional e-book and trilingual translation.

ISBN: 978-3-7482-6698-3 (tredition-Verlag)




Rest of the World:




All books by Richard Koechli ...

--> Richard Koechli's books  --> on Amazon    --> on AMA-Verlag   --> on MEL BAY    --> on Tredition

Books translated in English ...



--> Video-Trailer BEST IN THE WEST   --> Video-Trailer MASTERS OF BLUES GUITAR

German Original Editions ...