Monday, April 22, 2002
Monday, April 08, 2002
So after that, Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century by Charles Shaar Murray is rather a disappointment. Of course, it isn't claiming to be an autobiography, but the voice of the well-educated music critic gets on my nerves when I'm reading about the bluesman who "doesn't read too fluently." It gets even more annoying when the book switches back and forth between the colloquial Southern English (my home tongue, being raised in South Carolina) of extended quotations from Hooker and his family members, and the much fancier wording of the author. To me, blues, like any music, is about feeling, and calling Hooker a "master raconteur" doesn't really feel like praise of his ability to put across a story. I admit I haven't finished the book yet, but it doesn't seem to likely that Murray's style will change that much in the rest. I don't think I'll be seeking out other music biographies by the same author.