Bayou Underground: Tracing the Mythical Roots of American by Dave Thompson

By Dave Thompson

Permeating the shadows and the darkness of the bayou is —a global all its personal that stretches from Houston, Texas, to cellular, Alabama. This research of marsh tune leaves New Orleans to find mystery legends and brilliant mythology within the surrounding desert. the folks and the cultures that experience referred to as the bayou home— akin to Bob Dylan, Jerry Reed, Nick Cave, Bo Didley, and a one-armed Cajun backwoodsman and gator hunter named Amos Moses— are unearthed not just via their very own phrases and lives but in addition via a learn in their tune and interviews with viewers to and citizens from the sector. The interviews with Jerry Reed and Bo Didley, who either died in 2008, are one of the final, emphasizing the book’s value as a section of cultural protection. half social historical past, half epic travelogue, and partially a lament for the way of existence that has now all yet disappeared, this can be the gripping tale of yank music’s forgotten childhood— and the parentage it slightly even knows.

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S. Public Health Services Hospital #66 is a museum now, among other things. In its prime, the hospital looked more like a small rural college campus than a place of exile for the sufferers of a ghastly disease. ” Like so many of the grandest properties in the area, Carville started life as a plantation. A Virginia-born planter, Robert Coleman Camp, purchased the land from the government in May 1825, an old Houma Indian hunting and fishing ground, which he transformed into Woodlawn Plantation. And transformation is the right word.

The Sicilians were lynched, and the law did nothing, and when somebody asked them why, the sheriff just shrugged. ” That was in 1899. The following year, Joe Sheppard (later Reynolds) came along; a few years after that he had that meeting in the clearing, and Tallulah was never the same again. “Anything ‘bad’ was Joe,” Jack Brown told Gayle Dean Wardlow. “Yes sir; anything ‘bad’ was Mister Joe . . Joe was somethin’! ” A devil that was so darned wicked that, by the end of his life, he couldn’t even tell his best friends precisely what he’d done.

Back in the days when the railroads were coming, they had all sorts of routes planned out for it, but there was one little old lady in these here parts, who really fancied a railroad line running across her plantation. So she gets hot and heavy with the railroad contractor, and BAYOU UNDERGROUND convinces him that the only route that really made sense was the one that she wanted, because that was the one that led to her bed. So he falls for her and falls for her line, and he builds the railroad just where she wanted it, at which point she cut him dead and never spoke another word to him, and left him so broken-hearted that he cut her back instead.

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