I'd Rather Be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues

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Chicago Review Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
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Providing a clear look into the life of one of the greatest Mississippi bluesmen, this is the first biography of the late Skip James, perhaps the most creative and idiosyncratic of all blues musicians. His 1931 performances of Devil Got My Woman, I'm So Glad, and 22-20 Blues are masterpieces that transcend the genre. Drawing largely on hundreds of hours of conversations with James himself, it paints a dark and unforgettable portrait of a man untroubled by his own murderous inclinations, a man who achieved one moment of transcendent greatness in a life haunted by failure. In doing so, it offers new insights into the nature of the blues, the world in which it thrived, and its fate when that world vanished.
 

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User Review  - HenryKrinkle - LibraryThing

Skip James was a blues innovator, a sour, murderous pimp who also happened to be . . . a piano tuner! Read full review

Contents

Part Two
21
Part Three
73
Part Four
131
Part Five
237
Part Six
311
Afterword
365
Devil Got My Woman
366
Idioms
369
Subject Index
377
Song Index
383
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About the author (2008)

Stephen Calt is the author of King of the Delta Blues: The Life and Music of Charlie Patton and the coauthor of R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz and Country. He lives in Fresh Meadows, New York.

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