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Author: Subject: Blind Willie McTell bio just published:

A Peach Supreme





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  posted on 12/19/2009 at 10:42 AM
There's a "new" biography of Blind Willie McTell by Michael Gray: Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell, and it looks worth reading. First published in 2007 in London, it has 432 pages, an extensive index (and a few citations for the ABB, of course), a 4+ page bibliography, and a 10-page, detailed discography. The family tree indicates a wife, Ruth Kate Williams, who died in 1991, as well as many other relatives, most without birth or death dates. Its construction was a formidable achievement.

From the front jacket flap: "...McTell emerges from this book a cheerful, outgoing, engaging individualist with seemingly limitless self-confidence."



I just spotted it on the shelf at work, and will probably read it over my vacation.

Nobody played 12-string like Blind Willie, and his singing was very distinctive as well. His lyrics ranged from sly, to poignant, and showed his personality and intelligence very well, IMHO.

Looks like a good read.

Billastro

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 12/19/2009 at 10:47 AM
My favorite Blind Willie McTell song:

Delia, Delia, how can it be?
You love that old rounder, but you don't love me
Well, that's one more rounder gone
Delia, Delia sitting all around
Some of your old rounders gonna pay my way back home
Sitting on the housetop, high as I can see
You love that old rounder, but you don't love me
Delia's poor mother took a trip out West
When she returned, Delia lyin' in rest
Delia's mother wept, Delia's father moaned
They'd have wanted their poor child to die at home
Rubber tired buggy, two-seated hack,
took Delia to the graveyard, never brought her back
Kenny lookin' high, Kenny lookin' low,
Shot poor Delia with that hated .44
Delia, Delia, wouldn't take no one's advice
Last words I heard her say were, "Jesus Christ!"
Judge said to Kenny, "Here's a natural fact:
you going to wait in jail till Delia come back"
Kenny's in the basement, drinking from a silver cup
Delia's in the graveyard, never come back up
Kenny said to judge, "What's the fuss about?
Just that no good woman trying to put me out"

[Edited on 12/20/2009 by bob1954]

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 12/19/2009 at 07:20 PM
Blind Willie McTell by Bob Dylan

Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, "This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem."
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, I heard the hoot owl singing
As they were taking down the tents
The stars above the barren trees
Were his only audience
Them charcoal gypsy maidens
Can strut their feathers well
But nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

See them big plantations burning
Hear the cracking of the whips
Smell that sweet magnolia blooming
(And) see the ghosts of slavery ships
I can hear them tribes a-moaning
(I can) hear the undertaker's bell
(Yeah), nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

There's a woman by the river
With some fine young handsome man
He's dressed up like a squire
Bootlegged whiskey in his hand
There's a chain gang on the highway
I can hear them rebels yell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, God is in heaven
And we all want what's his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I'm gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

 

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  posted on 12/20/2009 at 03:36 PM
thanks
 
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Peach Pit



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  posted on 12/30/2009 at 09:46 AM
Michael Gray is perhaps the leading authority on Bob Dylan and pre-war blues. Dylan's "Blind Willie McTell" sparked Gray's interest in this subject with whom many of us first became familiar through the Brothers cover of "Statesboro Blues" which was brought to the ABB's attention through Taj Mahal's cover.
Gray's book represents his quest for the story of Blind Willie's life. The tome represents first class exhaustive research and scholarship while demonstrating sensitivity and knowledge of early 20th century Georgia. We are enabled to figure out where we are by knowledge of where we've been. Gray helps us fulfill this quest.
I encourage all with a thirst for knowledge of the musical foundation of the ABB to read the work.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/30/2009 at 10:30 AM
Thanks for the info. This looks like a good read ... I'm seeing a trip to the bookstore in my future.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 12/30/2009 at 10:51 AM
quote:
Thanks for the info. This looks like a good read ... I'm seeing a trip to the bookstore in my future.


what she said!!!

Thanks!

 

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