Chapter One: The Dream of a Common Language
The Rolling Stone introduced me not to the blues, but to the bluesmen. The players. On a sweltering Fourth of July, 1975, the summer before I entered ninth grade, they delayed their Memphis performance by placing a wooden stool at stage center and then bringing out a fragile black gentleman with a guitar. The crowd Of 50,000 was hot and impatient, but Furry Lewis came up playing medicine shows in the 1920S and he knew more than a little about entertaining. Though solo blues wasn't what a lot of weary rednecks wanted to hear, I'm sure I was not the only new fan he won.
The next time I saw...