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Woman with Guitar : Memphis Minnie's Blues - Paul Garon

Woman with Guitar

Memphis Minnie's Blues

By: Paul Garon, Beth Garon, Jim O'Neal (Foreword by)

Paperback

Published: 10th June 2014
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RRP $22.95
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Universally recognized as one of the greatest blues artists, Memphis Minnie (1897--1973) wrote and recorded hundreds of songs. Blues people as diverse as Muddy Waters, Johnny Shines, Big Mama Thornton, and Chuck Berry have acknowledged her as a major influence. At a time when most female vocalists sang Tin Pan Alley material, Minnie wrote her own lyrics and accompanied her singing with virtuoso guitar playing. Thanks to her merciless imagination and dark humor, her songs rank among the most vigorous and challenging popular poetry in any language. Woman with Guitar is the first full-length study of the life and work of this extraordinary free spirit, focusing on the lively interplay between Minnie's evolving artistry and the African American community in which she lived and worked. Drawing on folklore, psychoanalysis, critical theory, women's studies, and surrealism, the authors' explorations of Minnie's songs illuminate the poetics of popular culture as well as the largely hidden history of working-class women's self-emancipation. This revised and expanded edition includes a wealth of new biographical material, including photographs, record contracts, sheet music, and period advertisements, which further vivify this portrait of an African American musical legend. Complete, updated discography included. "Woman with Guitar is a fascinating, thorough and extremely valuable biography of one of American musical history's most vibrant and pioneering artists. As the first woman singer/songwriter/ guitarist to ever reach stardom, the story of her life in music, on and off the stage, during one of the most important and formative periods of the origins of popular music, is an indelible, crucial window into that history."--Bonnie Raitt "Woman with Guitar has been, since it was first published in 1992 and now with this new revised and extended edition, still the only real definitive biography of Memphis Minnie, the most important female singer, songwriter and guitarist in the history of Delta blues."--Lucinda Williams "As a most ardent and devoted lifelong fan of Memphis Minnie and her music, I avidly devoured the original Woman with Guitar when it first came out in 1992. Now I am excited to be reading this new edition, and so grateful for it's additional rare photos and carefully researched details, which shed even more light on this seminal, iconic, almost mythical musical pioneer, who was way ahead of her time, and whose soulful music and life so deeply inspired and influenced so many! A must read -- whether you are already a Memphis Minnie fan, or just discovering her for the first time!" -- Maria Muldaur "An excellent book."--Bill Wyman "Woman with Guitar is not simply a carefully researched biography of Memphis Minnie, complied from the memories of her relatives, friends, and fellow performers; it is a vivid portrait of a talented singer and guitarist ...The authors have added a new dimension to blues scholarship."--Paul Oliver, author of Blues Off the Record "Woman with Guitar is a delight. The book is both thorough and brilliant, a rare combination these days...A fanatic interest in Minnie underpins and energizes this wonderful biography."--David Roediger, author of The Wages of Whiteness Paul Garon is a co-founder of Living Blues magazine and author of The Devil's Son-in-Law and Blues and the Poetic Spirit. Beth Garon is a painter and collagist. The Garons operate a rare-book business in Chicago, Illinois, and have been associated with the US surrealist movement for many years.

"Woman with Guitar is a fascinating, thorough and extremely valuable biography of one of American musical history's most vibrant and pioneering artists. As the first woman singer/songwriter/ guitarist to ever reach stardom, the story of her life in music, on and off the stage, during one of the most important and formative periods of the origins of popular music, is an indelible, crucial window into that history."--Bonnie Raitt "Woman with Guitar has been, since it was first published in 1992 and now with this new revised and extended edition, still the only real definitive biography of Memphis Minnie, the most important female singer, songwriter and guitarist in the history of Delta blues."--Lucinda Williams "An excellent book."--Bill Wyman "Woman with Guitar is not simply a carefully researched biography of Memphis Minnie, complied from the memories of her relatives, friends, and fellow performers; it is a vivid portrait of a talented singer and guitarist ... The authors have added a new dimension to blues scholarship."--Paul Oliver, author of Blues Off the Record "Woman with Guitar is a delight. The book is both thorough and brilliant, a rare combination these days... A fanatic interest in Minnie underpins and energizes this wonderful biography."--David Roediger, author of The Wages of Whiteness "As the Garons show again and again, Minnie's earthy appeal was broad. Her playing was, as described by poet Langston Hughes, like 'heartbeats mixed with iron and steel.' ... Woman with Guitar follows Minnie from rural Mississippi to Beale Street to Chicago and back to Memphis again, documenting the groundbreaking highs and the heartbreaking lows. It also digs deep into her discography, running down threads of protest and cultural commentary."--Chris Davis, Memphis Flyer "Woman with Guitar showcases an intrepid performer who defied the odds, lived life on her own terms, and refused to accept the status quo, especially when it came to restrictions on women's agency. She refused to be submissive, meek, or quiet and was unafraid to make demands or get angry. Beth and Paul Garon celebrate Minnie's bold spirit and are to be credited for introducing her to a whole new generation of potential fans who will likely now hear her on YouTube. Furthermore, their work has raised a slew of questions about American Blues women, opening the door to additional research and exploration."--Eleanor J. Bader, Review Fix "The Garons' surrealist portrait of Minnie is a unique work of scholarship and an essential text toward understanding not only Minnie's world and work, but the blues itself. Quoting her lyrics and others in blues tradition, the authors consistently and convincingly deliver the idea that a blues narrative is often less critical to interpretation than its lines and metaphors ... An offering to anyone interested in better understanding the blues and aiding in its survival, the Garons' work has certainly made a difference in my own explorations, listenings and writings on blues."--Denise Sullivan, Blurt Magazine

ISBN: 9780872866218
ISBN-10: 0872866211
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 10th June 2014
Publisher: City Lights Books
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.48