Chicago Blues: As Seen from the Inside (Anglais) Broché – 10 juillet 2000
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Raeburn Flerage's evocative photographs and commentary, partnered with Lisa Day's luminous editing, have given us all a rare opportunity - a chance to take that view through Flerage's camera lens and rembrances.
Black and white - could the pictures be anything but black and white and all the muted tones of grey inbetween? And could the comments be more laconic and straight to the heart of the Blues?
I do not think so. I cannot reproduce the sensation in this review, but Flerlage's description of a 1964 performance of Sam House, tells the tale and paints the picture: "After a brief ingratiating smile, his face change dramatically, first slowly but then swiflty as the lyrics changed he projected those terrible moments that haunted his memory. When he sang "Death Letter Blues," he saw his dead girlfriend, "lying on the cooling board" and it made your own blood run cold. The scene was reflected in his face, sounded in the violent guitar strokes and his painfully forced voice. Unforgetable!" Unforgetable indeed when those lines are coupled to the stark photos of that performance by Lisa Day's skillful use of words and pictures, white and black and grey.
We weren't there. We can't really know the feelings. Like Sam House's comments on hearing his lyrics sung by an up-and-coming, young White blues pretender - "Those are my words all right, but it sure ain't my music." - we can't know it unless we are inside, down and under. "Chicago Blues: as Seen from the Inside" takes us about as close as we can get visually. Turn the pages with real blues in the background - "Unforgetable!"
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