How does a white kid from the New York suburbs, harmonica in hand, end up earning himself a busker's spot on the Harlem sidewalks next to Mr. Satan, a Mississippi-born legend? How did an interracial blues duo fare on the streets of New York during a turbulent, fractious time marked by racially-motivated murders in Howard Beach, Bensonhurst, and Crown Heights? And how did that unlikely pair, as "Satan and Adam", conquer the American blues world, beginning with a cameo appearance in U2's Rattle and Hum (1988) and continuing through their W. C. Handy Award-nominated 1991 debut, Harlem Blues?
©1998 Adam Gussow (P)2014 Adam Gussow
LOVED the audio version. Loved knowing that Adam Gussow was reading his own work. (That's always preferable IMO.) And his voice is so pleasant and easy to listen to! But he made the book even more interesting by using voices for the other people, especially for Mr. Satan. His voice for him wasn't a caricature or overdone but instead well done which allowed us listeners to understand Mr. Satan's enthusiasm, irritation, passion, etc.
The scene where Adam was in Harlem, playing with Mr. Satan, aware of his whiteness and the recent racial tensions as a result of recent killings of African-Americans by the New York police. A couple of very very angry black men approached him. Adam was very sensitive to their complaints and carefully de-escalated the tension. It might have turned out so differently if he hadn't been so sensitive and intelligent and well respected by Mr. Satan and the others who regularly came to watch them play.
No. I wish he had others. I've looked!
The end did. I teared up because I was so sad that I'd come to the end. Luckily I can listen to it again.
Fascinating and enlightening discussion of the blues!!
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