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Historians will delight in the firsthand accounts of his upbringing as a sharecropper's son, the 1927 ...
Historians will delight in the firsthand accounts of his upbringing as a sharecropper's son, the 1927 Mississippi River flood, vagrancy laws, makeshift courts in the back of seed stores, plantation life, the racial problems and economics of southern blacks, and the Depression. It also contains comprehensive appendices that provide the history behind Honeyboy's words including information on all the musicians and songs he mentions.
"Magnificent! I’ve been waiting for this book since I was a kid." —Taj Mahal
"The most central contribution to blues history." —Boston Globe
"A deeply moving memoir...one of the last true country blues musicians...[a]story of a troubadour and of survival." —Studs Terkel
I know what I am about to write is going to come out very one-sided and biased and there will be many people who will be very insulted, critical, and very upset at my review and quite frankly, I seriously don't care what they think. So if you are sensitive and take things personal, don't read this review. I am writing this from a perspective of a Blues musician, listener, and historian.
We live in a world where musically, the market is dominated by genres that have lost it's innocence and meaning. Music such as Rap, when it first came out in the 1970's, was raw and real. Now, this art form has become nothing but recycled garbage. This goes the same for Heavy metal, Rock, Punk, and all that is played in the radio can be summed up in 3 words: Capitalism and Commercialism.
There was a time in the United States when the rural south, with all the faults and excellencies that existed such as racism, predjudice, discrimination, hatred, and political unrest, emerged a true American art form known as the Blues. Lightnin' Hopkins put it best when he said: "The Blues is in everyone and everywhere. You can talk about the Blues in everyway. That your broke. That your girl left you. And when you get these feelings, you can tell the whole world that you ain't got nothin' but the Blues." These men and women, were born into poverty, didn't have a dime to their name, they were born into the Blues. They struggled to hobo and travel from place to place to earn a living playing in street corners and juke joints.
David Honeyboy Edwards was one of the first generation Bluesmen that lived the Blues and played with people such as Charley Patton, Son House, and was a close friend to Robert Johnson. In this book, he documents road stories and tells about his struggle and hardship he had to endure throughout the years to get to where he is now. He and Pinetop Perkins, both in their mid-90's, are the last two remaining links to the 20th Century Bluesmen. They should both be declared as official living legends and National treasures to the United States. If I was in charge of this country, I would make this book a mandatory read in History, English, and music classes.
The problem with young people today, is the fact that either they don't know about Honeyboy Edwards and the Blues, they can't relate to it, or they don't want to know about it. It's referred to as "old people's music" and has no relevance to their lives because most young people today don't understand what hard-work is and can't relate to the Blues because they are given things in life or they want fast material things but instead, they don't want to work for it. If people were to read this book, they would understand where their music came from and also understand the value of life and what they have. I find it surprising that given all that going on in the world, people would have alot of Blues to sing and can relate to it even more, but they aren't. Now that's a shame.
The title of this book is true in it's meaning: The world doesn't owe you anything. You owe it to yourself to make something of yourself.
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Posted May 5, 2011
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Posted September 9, 2011
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