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Arkansas Review - August 2004

  • Subtitle: A Journal of Delta Studies
  • Issue Number: Volume 35 Number 2
  • Published Date: August 2004

Been longing to, as the song says, drive south? Just pick up a copy of the Arkansas Review and step into one of Daniel Coston’s you-are-there paintings of quintessential southern settings somehow rendered exotic by his fresh view of their familiarity. The white churches, the flat green lands of the Mississippi Delta, an “old store south of Pine Bluff, Arkansas on highway 65” will seem so real you’ll want to have your picture taken there. Then head out to the inexplicably named Club Disco 9000, actually “a juke joint, a prefab steel barn on Otha Turner’s place, out in the country” with white, middled-aged British blues fan Garry Craig Powell. In “Talkin’ Blues at the Living Blues Symposium,” he’ll give you his entertaining/worried take on the current health of (and his not so promising prognosis for) the blues and the fact that white people’s love for the blues (or their co-opting of it, depending on how you look at it) helps keep it alive, yet also tends to alter its essence. Who you play for can change your song, as R. T. Smith will warn you in his tour de force for one (fictional) voice “Dear Six Belles,” a wonderfully cranky and obsessive paean to real Cajun music: “Authentic whang-doodle, chers, the true thing.” Hear it? “You gotta cherish the blue swell in the emotional motion, give your self whole heart to the Loosiana razzy dazz.” If you start now, you can be back by suppertime. [Arkansas Review, Department of English and Philosophy, P.O. Box 1890, Arkansas State Unversity, State University, AR 72467. E-mail: . Single issue $7.50.] – AS

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Review Posted on October 31, 2004

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