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I'm in Mississippi with mud all on my shoes, my gal in Louisiana with those high water blues. That's why I'm crying, Mis'sippi heavy water blues - Barbecue Bob Hicks, Mississippi Heavy Water Blues

Author Topic: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?  (Read 890 times)

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Offline Pontius2000

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Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« on: January 24, 2017, 05:02:16 AM »
Honeyboy's book has been my favorite blues book and I'm looking for others in that same vein, where the book isn't just about the subject but instead tells a lot of firsthand accounts and stories of other famous blues men that the subject knew. Any recommendations?

Offline harry

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 05:20:30 AM »
Me And Big Joe by Mike Bloomfield.

Has been discussed earlier here at Weenie
http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=9493.0

Offline eric

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 08:54:45 AM »
Escaping the Delta and Mayor of McDougal Street by Elijah Wald
Say No the The Devil by Ian Zack
--
Eric

Offline oddenda

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 06:52:44 PM »
I have vague recollections of a book on/by Henry Townsend having existed back in the day.

pbl

Offline Pontius2000

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 07:20:32 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations. I've thought about the Escaping the Delta book. But is this firsthand accounts of Johnson, or is it some academic's take? I want firsthand stuff.

I read about half of the first recommendation, by Mike Bloomfield. But at one point, he writes "Big Joe told me about Robert Johnson and Willie McTell" and then moves on without telling ANYTHING that he said about them. Wth? I lost interest at that point.

What about the Skip James book "I'd Rather Be the Devil"? Is it entirely about James, or does it have firsthand info on other Blues men?

Offline Stuart

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 07:51:42 PM »
I have vague recollections of a book on/by Henry Townsend having existed back in the day.

pbl

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Life-Music-American/dp/0252025261


Offline eric

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 08:51:00 PM »
I'd say Escaping the Delta as a really good analysis of Robert Johnson as the great and influential player he was, as well as addressing the enormous amount of...stuff...that has been written about him over the years.  Elijah Wald is a good writer and well versed in subject.

I'd Rather be the Devil: This book paints a pretty cynical picture of Skip and the blues rediscovery scene in general.  I don't know anything about Stephen Calt, the author, but he comes across as a rather bitter about his acquaintance with Skip, to me anyway.

If you're looking for just biographical information, the bios of John Hurt and Big Bill will cover that.  There's an "as told to" autobiography of Mance Lipscomb in which the writer, who clearly idolized Mance, transcribes him  talking about his life in dialect, which I think was off-putting to some people.
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Eric

Offline Pontius2000

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2017, 11:05:22 PM »
I'd say Escaping the Delta as a really good analysis of Robert Johnson as the great and influential player he was, as well as addressing the enormous amount of...stuff...that has been written about him over the years.  Elijah Wald is a good writer and well versed in subject.

I'd Rather be the Devil: This book paints a pretty cynical picture of Skip and the blues rediscovery scene in general.  I don't know anything about Stephen Calt, the author, but he comes across as a rather bitter about his acquaintance with Skip, to me anyway.

If you're looking for just biographical information, the bios of John Hurt and Big Bill will cover that.  There's an "as told to" autobiography of Mance Lipscomb in which the writer, who clearly idolized Mance, transcribes him  talking about his life in dialect, which I think was off-putting to some people.

Basically, I'm looking for something in the vein of Sonnyboy's book, telling stories as they saw it firsthand, not some person with an overly romanticized larger than life version of how they see these people. I'm looking for stuff like Howlin Woof talking about how he liked Jimmie Rodgers and turned it into his own style, and how Bukka White first saw Patton, etc. and any firsthand accounts of people like tommy Johnson or Robert petway. Or interviews of people who knew Frank Stokes. Stuff like that

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 01:57:19 AM »
It's ages since I read it (and come to think of it, my son borrowed it and never gave it back), but I remember really enjoying David Evans' book "Tommy Johnson", published by Studio Vista here in the UK. They put out an interesting collection of books on country blues and I think I probably own them all. The John Fahey book on Charley Patton is (I believe) his university thesis on the subject and as so, I found it very dry and rather boring (even down to analysing what notes Patton was singing in terms of concert pitch - who cares? I don't.) The Tommy Johnson book brings to life images of him playing with other people like Ishmon Bracey - well at least for me it did.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
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Offline Pontius2000

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 08:57:15 AM »
Thanks, I'm gonna try to find that one. Tommy Johnson is one I'm very interested in

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2017, 01:00:18 AM »
FWIW David Evan's in 1983 researched a mammoth book based on the Tommy Johnson paperback.

This was entitled Big Road Blues: Traditions and Creativity in the Folk Blues. It's a stonking  great hadback which cost me 25GBP.


CONTENTS

ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES   IX

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS XIII

INTRODUCTION 1

ONE
Folk and Popular Blues
16

TWO
The Blues Singer
106

THREE
The Local Tradition
167

FOUR
The Traditional Blues Song
265

FIVE
Folk Blues and the Study of Folklore
312

NOTES   321
BIBLIOGRAPHY    351
INDEX   365

Offline tinpanallygurl

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2017, 02:10:59 PM »
"me and big joe" is very interesting and get it interlibrary loan.  not worth the $500 price tag.  try to ignore the fact that bloomfield had a barely functional grip on grammar and spelling and you will enjoy the stories, especially the story of BBQ pig snout.  Preachin the Blues Son House is awesome.  Preachin that devils music by GDW is must own for a blues lover, and he has been working on an up dated version of his Patton book.  The howlin wolf book is good.  Muddy Waters is awesome too.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2017, 03:48:32 PM »
Preachin that devils music

A slight correction, TPAG:

https://www.amazon.com/Chasin-Devils-Music-Searching-Blues/dp/0879305525

I second your recommendations--they're all good. I especially enjoyed, "Me and Big Joe."--Great first hand accounts of some real adventures: Life as it's lived.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 04:50:44 PM by Stuart »

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2017, 11:45:29 PM »
I had Big Road Blues and didn't care for it. I couldn't finish it. It has been a long time, but I found something about Evan's analysis of the guitar playing annoying. Maybe the notation, maybe found it kind of anal. Probably both.
I've not read most of the others named here, except the Mance Lipscomb bio which is pretty good. Also Woman With Guitar, about Memphis Minnie I didn't care for much.
I don't know if this is worth much to you though - I'm not much for bio's in general.

Dave

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Books similar to Honeyboy Edwards'?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2017, 05:43:15 AM »
Also Woman With Guitar, about Memphis Minnie I didn't care for much.
I don't know if this is worth much to you though - I'm not much for bio's in general.
Dave
It fell to me to review it for Blues & Rhythm and was somewhat harsh. I think Paul was taken aback by this "attack" of mine. Blues & Rhythm published a reader's letter about my "attitude".

If the powers that be will allow I'll unearth said review. For all I know it might have already found it's way to Weenie Land.

In 2014 Paul revised it and was published by City Lights (?11). There's a very touching photo of Bukka White visiting Minnie at her nursing home in July 1968.

OK off my soap box.......

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