The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162706 Message #3875628
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
07-Sep-17 - 07:50 AM
Thread Name: Stephen Calt's biography of Skip James
Subject: RE: Stephen Calt's biography of Skip James
i really wish you would just call yourself your name. Sandman ...its Dick isn't it?
Americans don't really understand English musicians. the way we talk. the way we live. the way we exist and sustain our integrity in an environment that is largely hostile, and in a society about half as affluent as your own.
we are cuckoos and magpies - what attracts us makes up our styles, and what we reject and kick out of the nest is as important as what take to our hearts.
those who insist there is a living tradition in an island that has been overrun more times than an ant hill usually have some axe to grind - some bailliewick to protect.
Dick wasn't casting aspersions on you friend somewhere in the Pacific. He was just saying that it hadn't attracted him sufficiently for his work to have resonances in his style.
The much despised Mr Calt. I haven't read all of the book yet. But one thing is sure. He is what historians call a primary source. He was there in the important places in the 1960's. He knew and talked with that tranche of musicians that captured the imagination of the great flowering of English guitarists in the 1960's - Jansch, Martyn, Renbourn, Wizz Jones, Ralph McTell, Efic Clapton.
i haven't come across the parts of the book that offend you. It reminds me a little of the album notes of the Blues Project album - the writer says these songs are like Notes from the Underworld. THey speak of a world almost beyond our comprehension. Skip James was a citizen of that world. And he survived - long enough to give us his music, which makes him some sort of an idealist in my book.