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  2. Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues
  3. Voices of the Mississippi Blues
  4. Give My Poor Heart Ease | William Ferris | University of North Carolina Press

Sean Nevin didn't have any kind of personal connection with Alzheimer's when he first began writing about memory.

Sheriff Andy Taylor ❤ Peg ~ " Down in the Valley " ~ Memories of Mayberry No. 3

He and a fellow poet had an idea to go into assisted care facilities and see if they could use poetry to reconnect Alzheimer's patients to their memories. His experience led him to explore the loss of memory, loss of language, and loss of self in his own poetry. Then his own grandfather began struggling with dementia. Also in this episode: coming home to community theater.

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Search site Search. October 17, Music :. But universities tended to regard the red ink as a necessary badge of honor in their sometimes dubious pursuit of prestige and scholarship. Today, universities operate more than ever like corporations, slashing budgets and personnel from their unprofitable areas, disregarding entirely the fact that the writers and the publications on whose behalf they labor ceaselessly may well provide such universities' sole shred of intellectual respectability. If one suspects they might be taking Yeats's words about the virtues of walking naked literally, please remember that they're unlikely ever to have heard of the Irish poet and certainly not read "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.

While such policies have wreaked inarguable harm, and not just on untrendy departments like classics, a few university presses have managed to elude new scissor-happy presidents and their surrounding bureaucrats, who increasingly come not from academic but corporate backgrounds. These titles not only sell, but they also represent some of our best writers, especially writers who lack appeal to those larger houses—which operate not like corporations but like multinational conglomerates. Thus, if there are many first-rate ones now in the South, only UGA and LSU have managed to match the still-shining brilliance of what many consider still the pride of Southern university presses: however, is located in Jackson, Miss.

But I discovered something only tonight that has convinced me that I've been wrong to cast blame in Ferris's direction for this state of affairs. I'd read the book in manuscript a few years ago, and was made brilliantly happy by the work accomplished by one of my most gifted students in a quarter-century devoted to sharing my passion for poetry beyond my own reading and scribbling on the page, i. Everything: Richardson studied folklore with him at UNC-Chapel Hill, and summed up the combination of lyricism and documentary exactitude in a single line that rings with entirely melodious--and truthful--praise: "Like mist rising from low-lying fields, these poems linger in our imagination long after reading.

Jul 24, Jesse rated it really liked it. 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 s 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. King are contextualized with conversations with local preachers, barbers, housewives, prisoners and m William Ferris presents an anthropological view of the origins of the blues within the culture of the Mississippi delta.

King are contextualized with conversations with local preachers, barbers, housewives, prisoners and many others who are all involved in different aspects of the very rich music scene of the time and place. The compilation demonstrates that the history of the blues is not just about what gets recorded or played on the radio, nor is it about chord progressions or lyrics.

Rather, the roots are found in a whole lifestyle deeply embedded within a culture. The resulting portrait is not limited to the history of music, but touches on religion, arts and crafts, folk tales, and many other aspects of life in the Delta. These media allow the reader to experience some of the culture and music more directly. Using a rock as a bridge, he starts plucking away, changing pitch by sliding a bottle up and down the wire.

Other music was played by dragging a broomstick across a rough wooden floor, or by beating a chair or a cardboard box with kitchen utensils. A barber slaps out a sophisticated rhythm with his razor on a strap.

Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues

This is an humbling lesson for anyone who thinks they need the fanciest equipment to play the blues. The origins of rock music draw largely from this culture and it is interesting to see such antics as playing the guitar behind one's head, funky dancing, and even playing air guitar as standards here. While much rock also expresses youthful rebellion, however, the music in these videos appears to be enjoyed and performed by folks of all ages.


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Because of this, I am left with the haunting impression that these musical practices resound from a very deep well-spring of culture, tradition, suffering, and a very open and emotional form of human expression. Even though I am familiar with the musical forms and sounds of the blues and its inheritors, this book helped me realize that this deep ancestry remains very distant from me. Dec 25, Richard rated it really liked it.

Listening to the blues is like Listening to life Coming at you full-on Straight at your chest As you're stuck on the tracks Unable and unwilling to move Knowing it's going to hurt But you'll be better off Facing it and taking it And letting it take you To wherever the train runs Reading 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 t Listening to the blues is like Listening to life Coming at you full-on Straight at your chest As you're stuck on the tracks Unable and unwilling to move Knowing it's going to hurt But you'll be better off Facing it and taking it And letting it take you To wherever the train runs The blues is something that isn't always pretty, but is always honest.

Voices of the Mississippi Blues

God, the devil, racism, poverty, loneliness, heartache, joy, love, hope The mid's interview with BB King was riveting. The two things I know about BB are that he can wail the blues and he can tell a mean story. And this interview did nothing to detract from either of those two things.

Thank you, Mr. Ferris, for sharing with us your passion. Sep 07, Jeff Crompton rated it it was amazing.

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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 's and '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.

Celebrities such as 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 illuminates blues music, the broader African American experience, and indeed the history and culture of America itself.

Rolling Stone magazine has named him among the top ten professors in the United States.

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Give My Poor Heart Ease | William Ferris | University of North Carolina Press

For more information about William Ferris, visit the Author Page. 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. Joyous, powerful and authentic, this package is designed to both inform and entertain those willing to plunge into this audacious world. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the blues or Southern history.