Book Review: The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu

Folks are always trying to ‘demystify’ the Blues and the words used in the songs and conversations. Well with “The Language Of The Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu” by Debra Devi, we have actually found one that makes sense and can be actually used for reference or just pure enjoyment.

Blues lyrics are often mysterious and unapproachable to the fair weather fan and more so to the general public. The music is comprised of words/lyrics from another culture, from the inner city side streets and rural jook joints where the music took root. So often the language of these songs are misinterpreted or sanitized into something less that real. Real is what makes the Blues so alluring and forceful.

While not an incunabulum of out-dated, seldom used terms it is a book that can serve as a reference and jolly point of learning more in the form of a slightly bawdy, racy yet witty dictionaries around. We all know that when Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland sang that ‘the eagle flies on Friday‘ he is referencing the money one gets on pay day (usually Friday), yet do we know that when one ‘dusts his broom’ that it could mean several things? It could be as simple as just leaving, or does it involve more complex processes as cleansing the house of evil spirits by ‘dusting’ the broom with powder to force them out?  This is just one of the many things that we find inside the book that I devoured with a smile plastered on my face.

Ms. Devi has scrupulously researched the subject matter and created a comprehensive accompaniment to the culture of the Blues which includes excerpts from interviews with such luminaries as Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy and many others. With a line up like we would be first in line to see the show, so using that logic why would we not avail ourselves of this compendium of Blues lexicon. A must for every Blues, Music, language fan out there, so you have to fit into one of these categories so get on it now!

To read more and order a copy go to:

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Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
© 2012
photo: courtesy of author


2 Comments on "Book Review: The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu"

  1. Hey, thank you for the lovely review of my book! I’d like to also let your readers know that the book comes with a free download of my band Devi’s (rock) album, Get Free. Thanks for keeping the blues alive and well!!


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