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Beyond the crossroads the devil and the blues tradition

Author: Adam Gussow
Publisher: Chapel Hill The University of North Carolina Press 2017
Series: New directions in southern studies
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Summary:
"The devil is the most charismatic and important figure in the blues tradition. He's not just the music's namesake ('the devil's music'), but a shadowy presence who haunts an imagined Mississippi crossroads where, it is claimed, Delta bluesman Robert Johnson traded away his soul in exchange for extraordinary prowess on the guitar. Yet, as scholar and musician Adam Gussow argues, there is much more to the story of
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Details

Named Person: Robert Johnson
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Adam Gussow
ISBN: 9781469633657 1469633655 9781469633664 1469633663
OCLC Number: 1179044325
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 363-387) and index
Description: 404 pages illustrations 25 cm
Series Title: New directions in southern studies
Responsibility: Adam Gussow

Abstract:

"The devil is the most charismatic and important figure in the blues tradition. He's not just the music's namesake ('the devil's music'), but a shadowy presence who haunts an imagined Mississippi crossroads where, it is claimed, Delta bluesman Robert Johnson traded away his soul in exchange for extraordinary prowess on the guitar. Yet, as scholar and musician Adam Gussow argues, there is much more to the story of the devil and the blues than these cliched understandings. Gussow takes the full measure of the devil's presence. Working from original transcriptions of more than 125 recordings released during the past ninety years, Gussow explores the varied uses to which black southern blues people have put this trouble-sowing, love-wrecking, but also empowering figure. The book culminates with a reinterpretation of Johnson's music and a investigation of the way in which the citizens of Clarksdale, Mississippi, managed to rebrand a commercial hub as "the crossroads" in 1999, claiming Johnson and the devil as their own." -- Provided by the publisher. $c Provided by publisher

Heaven and hell parties: Southern religion and the devil's music -- Sold it to the devil: the great migration, lost generations, and the perils of the urban dance hall -- I'm going to marry the devil's daughter: blues tricksters signifying on Jim Crow -- The devil's gonna get you: blues romance and the paradoxes of black freedom -- Selling it at the crossroads: the lives and legacies of Robert Johnson -- Playing for the haints: Ike's protégé and crossroads folklore -- I got a big white fella from Memphis made a deal with me: black men, white boys, and the anxieties of blues postmodernity in Walter Hill's crossroads -- Local and private legislation: branding the crossroads in Clarksdale, Mississippi

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