The Bluesman: The Musical Heritage of Black Men and Women in the Americas

Finn, Julio; Woolston, Willa

Published by Quartet Books, 1987
ISBN 10: 0704325233 / ISBN 13: 9780704325234
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Synopsis: By Julio Finn. 256 pages with index. Illustrated by Willa Woolston. ISBN 0-7043-2523-3. ** From the back jacket: "A learned and wide-ranging survey of the blues, embracing African animist religion, the slave trade, Voodoo, Hoodoo, the early country blues and its modern urban electric equivalent."

From Publishers Weekly: Passionately opinionated and overly ambitious, this odd compendium of history, hoodoosp according to websters spells and song lyrics nevertheless achieves some success in its goal of tracing the roots of the blues beyond American slavery. The first few chapters outline voodoo rituals and religious traditions in Africa and their importation to Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Brazil and the U.S. Cliches clutter the text throughout, and the author damages his credibility with careless generalizations such as "Blacks see God in their image, and whites in theirs; the devil, naturally, being imagined as his opposite." But sometimes Finn's palpable frustration with a racist society produces fresh insights: Jesus walking on water is readily accepted, but "that . . . blacks should believe in miraculous charms, sends the world off into peals of laughter." These clever quips, however, are perhaps off the point. Despite his thesis that the blues are the direct offshoot of black religion, Finn (himself a bluesman) only implies the effects of voodoo and other beliefs on the blues. Artwork includes photos and attractive sketches of musicians and other figures.
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Title: The Bluesman: The Musical Heritage of Black ...
Publisher: Quartet Books
Publication Date: 1987
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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