Give My Poor Heart Ease
The BookThe AuthorThe MusiciansThe PlacesThe InstrumentsMultimediaOn The RoadAccoladesMedia Info

These voices express the blues in a deep and truthful way. They touched my heart.”—B. B. King

“I reveled in these stories.”—Toni Morrison

“Blues and jazz are America’s most treasured gifts to the world. These powerful stories bring us face to face with the blues and remind us that the music was used to survive in the face of adversity and terror.”—Quincy Jones

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, folklorist William Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the authentic roots of the blues. Illustrated with Ferris's photographs of the musicians and their communities and including a CD of original music and a DVD of original film, this book features more than 20 interviews relating frank, dramatic, and engaging narratives about black life and blues music in the heart of the American South. Oversize, with 45 halftones and a dual disc CD/DVD.

“I have only begun to dig into this trove of American culture, and I have already listened to ‘Jaybird in the Air’ about a hundred times. It is the greatest song of the Trickster I’ve ever heard. This book, these films, and this music are filled with the history of both blues and American music. These powerful voices use music to rise above and to survive tragedy, and their lives are an inspiration.”
T Bone Burnett

“Like Bill Ferris, I grew up in Mississippi. My life is continually shaped by the blues. This book captures those rich voices so well.”—Morgan Freeman

All images from the William R. Ferris Collection, Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, unless otherwise noted.

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