Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, folklorist William Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the authentic roots of the blues Now, Give My Poor Heart Ease puts front and center a searing selection of the artistically and emotionally rich voices from thThroughout the 1960s and 1970s, folklorist William Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the authentic roots of the blues Now, Give My Poor Heart Ease puts front and center a searing selection of the artistically and emotionally rich voices from this invaluable documentary record Illustrated with Ferris s photographs of the speakers and their communities and including a dual CD DVD that presents his original field recordings and films, the book features than twenty musicians who relate frank, dramatic, and engaging narratives about black life and blues music in the heart of the American South.Here are the stories of artists who have long memories and speak eloquently about their lives, blues musicians who represent a wide range of musical traditions from one strand instruments, bottle blowing, and banjo to spirituals, hymns, and prison work chants From celebrities such as B B King and Willie Dixon to artists known best in their neighborhoods, they express the full range of human experience joyful and gritty, raw and painful In an autobiographical introduction, Ferris reflects on how he fell in love with the vibrant musical culture that was all around him but was considered off limits to a white Mississippian during a troubled era This magnificent volume illuminates blues music, the broader African American experience, and indeed the history and culture of America itself.
Give My Poor Heart Ease Voices of the Mississippi Blues Throughout the s and s folklorist William Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical tradit
If the name William Ferris doesn t ring than a few bells with you, I d hie myself to a hearing specialist Let s start with what I know of Ferris s first real appearance on the national scene as near peerless in his accomplishments Twenty years ago, America s university presses had a reputation for publishing books that were either quaintly local or unreadably erudite Footnote ridden tomes on Shakespeare s use of the exclamation point, for example, or works devoted to quilting patterns in northe [...]
William Ferris presents an anthropological view of the origins of the blues within the culture of the Mississippi delta The book consists of interviews conducted in the 1960s and 70s which draw upon memories that extend back to many preceding decades These conversations capture numerous facets of this unique musical environment Interviews with high profile bluesmen like Willie Dixon and B B King are contextualized with conversations with local preachers, barbers, housewives, prisoners and many o [...]
Listening to the blues is likeListening to lifeComing at you full onStraight at your chestAs you re stuck on the tracksUnable and unwilling to moveKnowing it s going to hurtBut you ll be better offFacing it and taking itAnd letting it take youTo wherever the train runsReading this book is like listening to the blues It s people from Mississippi telling about themselves and their everyday lives This is the true roots of the blues and Mr Ferris captures it very well The blues is something that isn [...]
I read this book in small pieces over the course of several months It s drawn from Ferris s recordings of Mississippi blues and gospel musicians, made in the 1960 s and 1970 s The narratives are fascinating, chilling, inspiring, and annoying One of the interviewees has a sense of humor so different from mine that his chapter exasperated me An example of what I found chilling was the short segment by Ben Gooch, an inmate at the state penitentiary at Parchman His statement, which was recorded in 1 [...]
The author did field work in Mississippi, primarily in the late sixties He was looking not so much for blues musicians themselves as he was the culture they emerged from Hence apart from interviews with B.B King and Willie Dixon, there aren t any well known names found here Instead we get a treasure trove of accounts from residents of that state who had grown up under the fiercest segregation and racism found in America And yet they had power within, and it was that spark that gave birth to the [...]
The largely context less transcriptions here in the book of deep in the delta Bluesmen, along with BB King Willie Dixon, makes for detailed and complete but not compelling narrative This is than made up for by the accompanying field records audio CD and multi documentary DVD