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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Blues reference book
I'm surprised how often I turn to this book now I have it. First saw it on holiday in the States at the Delta Blues Museum and regretted not buying it then. Couldn't remember the full title but eventually found it here. Great for checking out those unfathomable lyrics or strange words that appear in so many of the old Blues tunes.
Published on 13 April 2011 by Ken Willingale

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I found this book deeply disappointing
Speaking as someone who has loved pre war rural blues for 45 years, someone who once had a complete collection of Yazoo records on vinyl including the long-deleted Yazoo 1001... I found this book utterly banal and simplistic. The biggest thrill to be had from it was reading the quotes from songs of my heroes but when I started looking up key blues phrases such as "Mojo" I...
Published 24 months ago by SH_


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Blues reference book, 13 April 2011
By 
Ken Willingale (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary (Paperback)
I'm surprised how often I turn to this book now I have it. First saw it on holiday in the States at the Delta Blues Museum and regretted not buying it then. Couldn't remember the full title but eventually found it here. Great for checking out those unfathomable lyrics or strange words that appear in so many of the old Blues tunes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Calt does it again!, 10 May 2010
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D. J. Thomas "Dai Thomas" (Salford, Lancashire.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary (Paperback)
Very entertaining if somewhat flaky in parts, this tome will fill you in on so many of those head-scratching blues lyric moments. The odd brow-furrowing redefining of terms in commonplace British usage coupled with the occasional "just-don't-sound-right" don't really detract from the fun.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I found this book deeply disappointing, 1 May 2012
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SH_ (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary (Paperback)
Speaking as someone who has loved pre war rural blues for 45 years, someone who once had a complete collection of Yazoo records on vinyl including the long-deleted Yazoo 1001... I found this book utterly banal and simplistic. The biggest thrill to be had from it was reading the quotes from songs of my heroes but when I started looking up key blues phrases such as "Mojo" I found Calt's vision sterile to say the least. This happens a lot with books coming from the USA, this sterility of content, total lack of flair and the ability to conjure up something that looks like scholarship but is neither that not a poetic response to the material.

If you are interested in the blues in a human way there are many better books than this, much better, Deep Blues by Robert Palmer for a start.The Lomax and Davis books are also both great. Don't bother with this one unless you are so naive you can't understand basic slang.
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Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary
Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary by Stephen Calt (Paperback - 23 Nov 2009)
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