Cutting Time

Cutting Time

by Robert Dunn
     
 

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Willie Lee Reed, a young guitarslinger from Detroit, blows into the South Side of Chicago to challenge the master of the blues, Heddy Days, in a cutting session—only to be beaten by one perfect note. But Willie Lee's genius is clear; it's just that he has a lot to learn. This is a novel of fierce competitions, murder, desire, civic corruption, and powerful… See more details below

Overview


Willie Lee Reed, a young guitarslinger from Detroit, blows into the South Side of Chicago to challenge the master of the blues, Heddy Days, in a cutting session—only to be beaten by one perfect note. But Willie Lee's genius is clear; it's just that he has a lot to learn. This is a novel of fierce competitions, murder, desire, civic corruption, and powerful hoodoo, exploring how we suffer and fight for the lives we are born to fulfill.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A heady mix of blues myth and blues nitty-gritty by a writer who knows the passions and pleasures of music from the inside."  —Michael Lydon, author, Ray Charles: Man and Music

Kirkus Reviews
Musical wunderkind battles the establishment and personal demons on Chicago�s South Side. Blazingly talented young guitarist Willie Lee Reed hones his skills in Detroit, and moves to Chicago in 1963 with a single goal: to dethrone the acknowledged King of the Blues, venerable Heddy Days. Student and blues aficionado Josh Green sees something unique in Willie Lee and hooks up with him. On a hot Friday night at a popular club called the 6-Eye, Willie Lee joins a line of pretenders (including an Elvis look-alike) challenging Heddy in a musical face-off. Also in attendance are scouts from local record labels and an enigmatic girl named Esme, to whom Josh takes a fancy. In the first of two lengthy and pivotal scenes that unfold at 6-Eye, Willie Lee initially dazzles the crowd with his supple sound and lightning fingers. It looks as if the King might go down, until Heddy plays a single blistering note that turns the tide and rattles the kid�s confidence. Though his performance wins him Heddy�s respect and a record deal with operator Vic Abruzzi, Willie Lee views it as a failure and nurtures the single-minded goal of challenging the King of the Blues again. A seductive beauty called Silver (after a distinctive streak in her hair) ensnares Willie Lee, but she�s got more in mind than just shacking up. Born Betty Ann and the victim of childhood abuse, Silver works for Abruzzi�s chief rival, Sweet Home Arthur; her mission is to woo Willie Lee away. Esme, meanwhile, has begun dating Josh and revealed herself as Heddy�s long-lost daughter. Murder, racial tension, and another high-stakes musical performance figure in at the close. Second-novelist Dunn (Pink Cadillac, 2001) writes with affection for hischaracters and admiration for their world, but without much insight. Too much of a fan perhaps, he never gets under their skins to the essence of the blues.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780970829320
Publisher:
Coral Press
Publication date:
10/20/2003
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

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