collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

Don't you ever take a married woman to be your friend. She'll take all your money and go back to her other man - Sleepy John Estes, Diving Duck Blues

Author Topic: McTell Book  (Read 22855 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #75 on: February 14, 2009, 09:07:54 AM »
Evans also wrote the notes to the BMG release "When the Sun Goes Down - Blind Willie McTell - Statesboro Blues" in the unfortunately named "The Secret History of Rock and Roll" series (how many names can one CD have?). This is still worth picking up if you're a McTell obsessive and already have everything, because the remastering is excellent and the disc is usually cheap as dirt. Though I have no idea why they felt obliged to include two tracks from Alfoncy and Bethenea Harris (why include any) and two from "Ruby Glaze" on a single-disc compilation. Anyway, Evans' notes are fairly lengthy - for a bargain CD in particular - but I don't know that any new information is contained in them. Nothing that jumps out at me anyway.

Offline Mr.OMuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 2604
    • MuckOVision
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #76 on: February 14, 2009, 10:45:12 AM »
I hate the British because they ended slavery and instituted universal healthcare years before we did (still waiting....). We fought a revolution why?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline blueshome

  • Member
  • Posts: 1358
  • Step on it!
    • Blueshome
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #77 on: February 14, 2009, 11:46:07 AM »
We fought a revolution why?

It's so simple O'Muck - so that your ruling elite were free to exploit their own local proles, peasants and slaves rather than paying taxes to be allowed to do so. But I think you know that.

I find the criticism of David Gray solely on the basis that he is British very strange .There would be little coherent writing on the blues at all if Paul Oliver (British)  had not paved the way in the '50s & '60s when there were less people in the US giving a ***s for the music than in the UK and Europe.

We can only be thankful that a few of you colonials saw the light and that we have benefited from the belated research of our own Oddenda, George Mitchell, David Evans & others. You guys were late, but you got there in the end and the weenie is one of the splendid results.

Offline Mr.OMuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 2604
    • MuckOVision
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #78 on: February 14, 2009, 01:20:48 PM »
And don't forget Lonnie Donnegan coming over here and teaching Leadbelly everything he needed to know to sing the Blues! >:D
« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 01:21:59 PM by Mr.OMuck »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Richard

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2406
  • Drove this for 25 years!
    • weekendblues
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #79 on: February 14, 2009, 01:46:15 PM »
I saw Lonnie Donnegan back in the days of gas lighting and what bundle of energy he was, positively amazing
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline oddenda

  • Member
  • Posts: 597
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #80 on: February 14, 2009, 08:23:53 PM »
It's not just the English, but the FRENCH who led the way when it comes to studying vernacular musics in the US of A. The first major piece on jazz was by Swiss conductor Ernst Ansermet on Sydney Bechet in a travelling large Black orchestra! This was in the teens of the last century, way before all the N.O. focus of C.E. Smith, et al. African American music was first recorded in Europe in the late 19th Century!!! Well before in its homeland. While we could look down our noses at those less well-off, today we're all in the same damn boat, so give credit where credit's due and swallow it! Freedom Fries or Freedom Toast be damned. So few actually gave a damn, and far fewer actually did anything... let's be kind to each other and not be proprietary about all this stuff - share it equally. Unfortunately, this sort of thinking is in the minority.

Peter b.

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #81 on: February 15, 2009, 12:08:37 AM »
I saw Lonnie Donnegan back in the days of gas lighting and what bundle of energy he was, positively amazing
Lonnie Johnson appeared at London's Royal Festival Hall on 23rd June 1952, the support act was Donegan and his Jazz Band. Also on the bill was singer Neva Raphaello whom Johnson accompanied on her version of Prisoner Of Love.

Now that's irrelevant information if ever there were....

Offline blueshome

  • Member
  • Posts: 1358
  • Step on it!
    • Blueshome
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #82 on: February 15, 2009, 02:21:23 AM »
Donegan adopted the "Lonnie" to style himself after Mr.Johnson.

I've got an ancient Folkways album with songs by Leadbelly, Sonny & Brownie, Woody Guthrie etc, and this was clearly the source for the skiffler's first few records. I recollect seeing a few of the Donegan discs in someone's collection and he took writing credits (unless, as O'Muck surmises he'd spent the 40s in New York teaching the songs to those guys!!!)

Oddenda,
Let's not forget the Belgians who went to Chicago in the 50s and found Kokomo Arnold.

 Anyway you're right, we share the s*** evenly because the system makes sure its spread worldwide and what we need to do is maintain our sense of decency by building friendships through common interests such as this music. (Preaching over!)

Offline doctorpep

  • Member
  • Posts: 290
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #83 on: February 15, 2009, 09:32:41 AM »
Isn't there a 30 minute film done by a Belgian director which features Bill Broonzy singing and playing in a club? It's some amazing footage which can be found on Youtube. I believe it was filmed in the early 1950s.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10517
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #84 on: February 15, 2009, 03:28:25 PM »
Hi all,
I think it's great that it's been agreed that all the different nations should get along, but I think more to the point of the discussion here is that it is idiotic, on the face of it, to imagine that an individual's accomplishments confer some sort of shared status and sense of achievement on the residents of the city/state/country from which he hails.  Whenever I hear such statements being made, I'm reminded of Chicago Bulls fans during the Michael Jordan era, constantly telling everyone, "We whipped your butts last night!".  My response generally was, "Which quarter did you play?  I watched the whole game and don't recall having seen you on the floor once."

Paul Oliver's achievements are not British achievements, nor are Ernst Ansermet's achievements Swiss achievements, nor are Hughes Panassie's achievements French achievements.  They are individual achievements by persons who happened to come from England, Switzerland and France.
All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: February 15, 2009, 03:52:28 PM by Johnm »

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2592
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #85 on: February 15, 2009, 04:44:47 PM »
John:

I agree--its ultimately a world of individuals--but it brings up another interesting topic (or topics), and that is the relationship(s) and associations between individual identity, cultural identity, national identity, regional identity, etc. I find it a fascinating aspect of the human condition, but one that I don't have much of an insight into or understanding of, even though I'm obviously a participant. (Where's that old social psych textbook??)

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6928
  • I like chicken pie
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #86 on: February 15, 2009, 06:18:34 PM »
I can relate to VSOPs post though. There's nothing worse than sitting down to a new book, keenly anticipated, that doesn't meet your expectations. A. Lomax's writing drives me crazy, for different reasons, specifically not being documentary enough, dates, locations, and too much subjective musing teetering on cod poetic. D. Evans for making intuitive leaps, it seems to me, not clearly supported by, among other things, the narrative. Many more, Steve Calt I have a love/hate relationship with his writing. Chris Smith sometimes drives me totally up the wall where I want to scream, and other times I think he's one of the best.

It's easy to get into a "slagging off an entire social reference group" mode to vent frustration, it's a bigger and also less direct target than the writer themselves and way more satisfying to bash. Hey I left the UK a looong time ago so it don't worry me none. I get my kicks from reading that famous Oxford University Press work by Brit & Aussie authors Dixon, Godrich & Rye, and anything that turns up that sheds any further glimmer of light is a blessing.  :P

PS My wife says this thread is turning into "blues meta-scholarship".
« Last Edit: February 15, 2009, 06:25:18 PM by Rivers »

Offline RobBob

  • Member
  • Posts: 246
  • Blues is truth.
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #87 on: February 16, 2009, 06:14:43 AM »
So what has any of this to do with the McTell book?  Really!

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2592
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #88 on: February 16, 2009, 09:30:49 AM »
So what has any of this to do with the McTell book?  Really!

Speaking only for myself, nothing directly and perhaps just a little tangentially--just participating in the conversation as it veers off topic, as is sometimes the case here.

Having purchased and read the book over a year ago, I suggest that you try to find (or wait for) a reasonably priced copy, read it for yourself, form your own opinions and draw your own conclusions when time permits. After all, as John pointed out, it is a world of individuals and we are not all the same.

Offline waxwing

  • Member
  • Posts: 2518
    • Wax's YouTube Channel
Re: McTell Book
« Reply #89 on: July 18, 2009, 10:44:10 AM »
About 3/4s of the way through and, sorry dj, I must agree with VSOP. There is just so much extraneous filler. If one is trying to maintain a mental time line of Willie's life it is best to keep a notebook handy to jot down the occasional mention. Constant tangents into the lives of people Willie never even met, even bios of architects of buildings Willie never saw, like the libraries the author visits. His constant anthropomorphizing of buildings. It would have been cleaner if he'd kept his travelogue writing persona in check, not to mention any chance to mention the subjects of his other books, Dylan and Elvis, no matter how OT, can't be missed. The writing is overly florid and it seems one adjective can never suffice when two or three will soon add up to another page of bulk. Did you know that deer leap "ineffably"?!?! And when he finally gets around to a discussion of Willie's birth date, about halfway through, he also has to spend two pages listing about 10 country blues artists for every year from about 1890 to 1910. Clearly the assumption is that the book will eventually be online and will respond to search engines for any CB artist entered. And whenever any artist is mentioned in connection with Willie, we get a page of rewritten Bruce Bastin or David Evans. Then there is the five or six page rant, ending one chapter and starting the next, about how unfair to the writer it is that no one in Willie's culture understood the importance of keeping good records. He doesn't even bother to mention that no one could read or write until he is denigrating the white newspapers for not listing the names of blacks involved in murders and such, several pages later. Clearly his editor took a back seat, perhaps in the rumble seat. It's as if he made a decision to include every piece of info he came across in his investigation, regardless of it's import to Willie. And then there are his opinionated personal analysis of those folks he met and whose interviews he read, never failing to point out what he considers to be someone else's pettiness or untrustworthiness, often based on only minutes of his experiences with them.

Sure, setting the scene and explaining the history of the culture which spawns our hero are important aspects of a personal history, but this is just too much grandiose filler and not enough substance. This could have been a pamphlet given the amount of material actually pertinent to Willie.

And here's something he hasn't really mentioned. Atlanta is at the end of the end of the Appalachian Mts.. This is why all the railroads passed through, why the entire downtown area was elevated, which he mentions but doesn't really give the cause, and why so many artists would have passed through on their way from the east coast to Chicago. He totally misses this?

This is a very disappointing, often maddening read for something that has been so long anticipated. Yes, it gets me that heated. VSOP is right on the money as far as I'm concerned.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby