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Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues - H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series (Hardback)
  • Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues - H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series (Hardback)
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Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues - H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series (Hardback)

(author)
£36.95
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 30/11/2009
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This title presents a multimedia introduction to the blues and its roots. 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 this invaluable documentary record. Illustrated with Ferris' photographs of the musicians and their communities and including a dual CD/DVD that presents his original field recordings and films, the book features more than twenty interviews relating 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. Celebrities such as B.B. King and Willie Dixon along with performers known best in their neighborhoods express the full range of human and artistic 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 brings to life blues music, the broader African American experience, and indeed the history and culture of America itself.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807833254
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 1089 g
Dimensions: 241 x 203 x 24 mm
Edition: New edition


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Like Bill Ferris, I grew up in Mississippi. My life is continually shaped by the blues. This book captures those rich voices so well."
-Morgan Freeman
"You feel as though you've been given the truest form of insight into a place. . . . First-person insight, presented in all its soulful glory."
-"Independent Weekly"
"These voices express the blues in a deep and truthful way. They touched my heart."
-B. B. King
"An incredibly powerful book. . . . The great strength of "Give My Poor Heart Ease" is that [Ferris] gets himself out of the way and lets other people do the talking."
-BiblioBuffet
"A pretty damn impressive package, and an amazing resource of material on Mississippi folk culture."
-"Highway 61 Radio"
"An illuminating, transporting volume."
-"Publishers Weekly" Web Pick of the Week
"This multimedia package is a valuable addition to scholarship in the traditional arts . . . casual blues fans and lovers of Mississippi culture will appreciate its unpretentious presentation style."
-"The Clarion-Ledger"
"[A] blues goldmine."
-"Carolina Arts & Sciences"
"Ferris reaches beyond the dry, [dispassionate] cataloguing of regional history and traditions to tell the very personal story of his own education and the lives of the remarkable teachers . . . that he met along the way."
-"GoMemphis"
"The ultimate multi-media collection of interviews, original music and film about the blues."
-"Delta Magazine"
"This magnificent and invaluable volume illuminates blues music, the broader African American experience, and indeed the history and culture of America itself."
-SirReadaLot.org
"I reveled in these stories."
-Toni Morrison
"A treasure trove of primary scholarship. The numerous photographs and extensive bibliographies and discographies alone are worth the price of admission, but the truly uplifting community of voices in the book, as well as in the images, words, and music on the discs, is fasicinating. . . . One hopes Ferris will continue publishing for years to come."
-"Journal of American Folklore"
"For blues lovers who love their experience pure and strong. . . . Joyous, powerful and authentic, this package is designed to both inform and entertain those willing to plunge into this audacious world."--"Publishers Weekly"

"An exceptional work, simultaneously one of the most beautiful and one of the most important that has ever appeared on the blues."--"ABS Magazine"

"A captivating and diverse multimedia experience for fans and scholars of the blues and gospel music. . . . Highly recommended for anyone interested in the blues or Southern history."--"Library Journal" starred review

"Personal, anecdotal, lively and full of the same spirit that helps bring blues music to life. A great mix of stories from some renowned blues greats alongside people known only in their neighborhoods."--"Publishers Weekly" Indie Top 20 Selection

"Ferris . . . has given historians and music fans a gift."--"Anniston Star"

"Delivers exactly what its title promises: the words and voices [Ferris] collected of Mississippians who had it rough and, in telling about it, changed American music forever."--"Endeavors"

"The stories, collected during Ferris' travels in his native lands of the Mississippi Delta, are real, raw, passionate, at times ribald and rough and at others sweeter than tupelo honey."--"Carrboro Citizen"

"A beautiful memorial to Mississippi African Americans and their lost world [and] a tribute to the folklorist who captured their stories and songs for posterity."--"The Journal of Southern History"

"The DVD supplement. . . . Capture[s] images and actions that are seen nowhere else. . . . [They] may be Ferris's best and his most accomplished works."--"ARSC Journal"

"There is much to love about this collection. . . . Without doubt, this wonderful multimedia set is necessary for any comprehensive blues collection."--"Arkansas Review"

"[This] book takes readers, watches, and listeners as close as a book can take people into the homes, juke joints, and churches of Mississippians who made music."--"The Southern Register"

"A must-have for anyone interested in the blues. . . . Provides a complete portrayal of blues culture. An accessible book that will appeal to anyone interested in American music and culture. . . . Highly recommended."--"Choice"

"[A] blues goldmine."--"Carolina Arts & Sciences"

"Captures the cadences of [the musicians'] spoken voices and the stories of their lives, and the DVD and CD that accompany the book allow us to hear their music. . . . If the unhealed wound of injustice is everywhere present in these stories, many of the people telling them, like Ferris himself, have refused to see their lives reduced to race and stubbornly resist despair."--"Harper's Magazine"

"An autobiographical account and, more importantly a transcription of the recollections, which Ferris recorded in the 1960s and '70s. . . . The book comes with a set of Ferris' original field recordings on CD. . . . [and] a DVD that collects the documentary files Ferris shot."--"Memphis Flyer"

"Ferris' fieldwork proves to be every bit as important and impressive as the now-famous Mississippi recordings made by John and Alan Lomax in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. . . . Ferris' audio and video recordings . . . are unpolished gems, further preserving pieces of Mississippi's musical past that may have otherwise been forgotten."--"The Vicksburg Post"

"Groundbreaking. . . . The summation of a life's work documenting and, in the process, lifting the music of a regional people who, from the depths of poverty, racism and centuries of struggle, have given the world one of its most enduring art forms."--"Memphis Commercial Appeal" Shelf Life Blog

[A] blues goldmine.--"Carolina Arts & Sciences"

The stories, collected during Ferris' travels in his native lands of the Mississippi Delta, are real, raw, passionate, at times ribald and rough and at others sweeter than tupelo honey.--Carrboro Citizen


The DVD supplement. . . . Capture[s] images and actions that are seen nowhere else. . . . [They] may be Ferris's best and his most accomplished works.--ARSC Journal


An incredibly powerful book. . . . The great strength of Give My Poor Heart Ease is that [Ferris] gets himself out of the way and lets other people do the talking.--BiblioBuffet


The classic struggle between Saturday night revelry and Sunday morning appropriateness, the pain and joy in blues and gospel music, sermons and stories, are presented in print, and--luckily for us--on a CD and a DVD, compilations from Ferris's faithful work. The package is raw, unadorned, very funny, haunting, daring, and spellbinding.--Clyde Edgerton, Garden & Gun


You feel as though you've been given the truest form of insight into a place. . . . First-person insight, presented in all its soulful glory.--Independent Weekly


A treasure trove of primary scholarship. The numerous photographs and extensive bibliographies and discographies alone are worth the price of admission, but the truly uplifting community of voices in the book, as well as in the images, words, and music on the discs, is fasicinating. . . . One hopes Ferris will continue publishing for years to come.--Journal of American Folklore


[This] book takes readers, watches, and listeners as close as a book can take people into the homes, juke joints, and churches of Mississippians who made music.--The Southern Register


Ferris . . . has given historians and music fans a gift.--Anniston Star


Captures the cadences of [the musicians'] spoken voices and the stories of their lives, and the DVD and CD that accompany the book allow us to hear their music. . . . If the unhealed wound of injustice is everywhere present in these stories, many of the people telling them, like Ferris himself, have refused to see their lives reduced to race and stubbornly resist despair.--Harper's Magazine


Ferris eloquently captures the hearts of Mississippi artists, forever preserving their voices by way of manuscript, photography, video, and sound recordings. Ferris takes the reader right into the heart of Mississippi.--North Carolina Folklore Journal


Most of Ferris' subjects never cut a recording, but their songs and their stories create an indelible portrait of strength in the face of poverty and prejudice. Like the black characters in Faulkner's novels, these people endured, and thus prevailed.--Wilmington Star News


A must-have for anyone interested in the blues. . . . Provides a complete portrayal of blues culture. An accessible book that will appeal to anyone interested in American music and culture. . . . Highly recommended.--Choice


For blues lovers who love their experience pure and strong. . . . Joyous, powerful and authentic, this package is designed to both inform and entertain those willing to plunge into this audacious world.--Publishers Weekly


An autobiographical account and, more importantly a transcription of the recollections, which Ferris recorded in the 1960s and '70s. . . . The book comes with a set of Ferris' original field recordings on CD. . . . [and] a DVD that collects the documentary files Ferris shot.--Memphis Flyer


This book, CD and DVD all contain living history as it rolled out thirty or more years ago, when blues music was part of rural black family life. . . and we have the unlikely opportunity to take a meandering ramble through and closely observe the lives of the tellers.--Blogcritics


Delivers exactly what its title promises: the words and voices [Ferris] collected of Mississippians who had it rough and, in telling about it, changed American music forever.--Endeavors


A captivating and diverse multimedia experience for fans and scholars of the blues and gospel music. . . . Highly recommended for anyone interested in the blues or Southern history.--Library Journal starred review


A pretty damn impressive package, and an amazing resource of material on Mississippi folk culture.--Highway 61 Radio


There is much to love about this collection. . . . Without doubt, this wonderful multimedia set is necessary for any comprehensive blues collection.--Arkansas Review


Groundbreaking. . . . The summation of a life's work documenting and, in the process, lifting the music of a regional people who, from the depths of poverty, racism and centuries of struggle, have given the world one of its most enduring art forms.--Memphis Commercial Appeal Shelf Life Blog


The invaluable narratives and stunning black-and-white photographs . . . would be enough to recommend this book as a must-have for anyone interested in the blues, but Ferris also includes a DVD of incredible film footage . . . and an audio CD. . . Provides a complete portrayal of blues culture. An accessible book that will appeal to anyone interested in American music and culture. . . . Highly recommended.--Choice


Brings to life the right heritage of the Mississippi blues tradition.--Valley Voices


Ferris reaches beyond the dry, [dispassionate] cataloguing of regional history and traditions to tell the very personal story of his own education and the lives of the remarkable teachers . . . that he met along the way.--GoMemphis


This magnificent and invaluable volume illuminates blues music, the broader African American experience, and indeed the history and culture of America itself.--SirReadaLot.org


The ultimate multi-media collection of interviews, original music and film about the blues.--Delta Magazine


A beautiful memorial to Mississippi African Americans and their lost world [and] a tribute to the folklorist who captured their stories and songs for posterity.--The Journal of Southern History


[Ferris] is a hero for blues lovers and folklorists the world over....There is much to love about this collection....Without a doubt, this wonderful multimedia set is necessary for any comprehensive blues collection.--Arkansas Review


Personal, anecdotal, lively and full of the same spirit that helps bring blues music to life. A great mix of stories from some renowned blues greats alongside people known only in their neighborhoods.--Publishers Weekly Indie Top 20 Selection


A book that will transport its readers, though it's meant to be experienced at a walking pace. . . . A multi-faceted portrayal of blues history that makes accessible a community and a genre of music with incalculable influence.--Inside Higher Ed BlogU


[A] blues goldmine.--Carolina Arts & Sciences


An exceptional work, simultaneously one of the most beautiful and one of the most important that has ever appeared on the blues.--ABS Magazine


Take a walk through people's lives. That's what the experience of exploring this combination book, CD and DVD is like. . . . The films are a treasure trove of information. . . . Were an anthropological writer [to] decide to, s/he could write a career's worth of books, papers and treatises from the content of just one package of book, CD and DVD.--BC: BlogCritics.org


This multimedia package is a valuable addition to scholarship in the traditional arts . . . casual blues fans and lovers of Mississippi culture will appreciate its unpretentious presentation style.--The Clarion-Ledger


Ferris' fieldwork proves to be every bit as important and impressive as the now-famous Mississippi recordings made by John and Alan Lomax in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. . . . Ferris' audio and video recordings . . . are unpolished gems, further preserving pieces of Mississippi's musical past that may have otherwise been forgotten.--The Vicksburg Post

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