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America Over the Water Hardcover – 4 Apr 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: SAF Publishing Ltd; 1st edition (4 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946719667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946719662
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A fascinating musicological documentary. Best of all, a spine-tingling account of the first-ever recordings of Mississippi Fred McDowell.
MOJO **** -- Mojo Magazine

An Absolute gem. -- Uncut Magazine

Masterpieces are seldom so readable. A contender for folk book of the year. -- Record Collector

Synopsis

A heart-rending emotional journey into the cultural roots of traditional American Music with legendary archivist Alan Lomax. Highly respected English folk singer Shirley Collins describes her year long stint as Lomax's assistant and their diligent work uncovering the traditional music of America's heartland. They covered Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia - along the way encountering Mississippi Fred McDowell, Muddy Waters and many others.

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Spendley on 14 May 2004
Shirley Collins,the much loved,honey voiced Sussex singer,tells the story of her journey,along with the song collector Alan Lomax,collecting folk song and music in the Southern States of America (1959-60).
The impetus for the book came from comments made by Lomax in one of his books(The Land Where Blues Began)that made light of her importance to the project-"Shirley Collins the lovely English folksinger was along for the trip"
This account,whilst putting the record straight about her contribution, provides a fascinating read for anyone with the slightest interest in the Blues,life and social conditions in the still-segregated Southern States or the great lady herself.
Her account is enhanced with lovely photographs from the trip,each day's recordings and a full discography.Highly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Booksthatmatter on 5 Nov. 2004
I'd never heard of Shirley Collins before hearing her interviewed about this book on the radio - what a fabulous, fabulous discovery. I wish I'd known of her before. This book lives and breathes the tensions of the American South and is rich with its melodies and voices. Shirley Collins comes across as immensely likeable and lovely person and as fantastic as the music she writes about is, the thing that makes this glow is the personal story of her relationship with Alan Lomax.
Billy Bragg describes Shirley Collins as one of Britain's greatest cultural treasures and that she clearly is in spades, but America Over The Water brings us the woman as well as the legend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Thomas on 9 Mar. 2011
Shirley Collins and her sister Dolly provided a living link with the almost moribund English Folk Music as sung & played on the South Coast and the bonus of her adventures with Alan Lomax, recording Mississippi Fred McDowell and other Blues artists, Shape-Note choirs and Old-Timey singers makes this book essential reading for anyone interested in roots music. Ms. Collins slightly buttoned-up style evokes the pre-swinging-sixties atmosphere and helps us really understand the excitment and fears of an unsophisticated girl from the sticks projected into alien cultures. Fascinating and occasionally scary!
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