The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu, rock musician and author Debra Devi explores over 150 terms like “buffet flat,” “mojo,” and “killing floor.” Reuters calls it “one of the wittiest, bawdiest, most fascinating dictionaries ever.” Bonnie Raitt adds: “What a great resource--as fascinating as it is informative. Debra's passion for the blues shines through."
The Language of the Blues opens with a hilarious foreword by Dr. John, who helped Devi uncover the illegal gambling origins of terms like “gig” and “axe.” The book is packed with wild stories from her interviews with blues legends like Dr. John, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Hubert Sumlin, Henry Gray, Milton Campbell, Smiley Ricks, Jody Williams, Bob Margolin, Jimmie Vaughan, Robben Ford and Bonnie Raitt. “As a musician myself, not a scholar,” Devi explains, “I thought I could best make a contribution by talking directly to artists about what the words in blues songs mean to them."
She combines her interviews with research into African language, voodoo culture and oral histories. But "don't think The Language of the Blues reads like a reference book,” says former Muddy Waters guitarist Bob Margolin, “you can open it at random and fall into the world of your favorite Blues songs. I learned a lot more about the Blues music I already loved."
$9.99 on Amazon Kindle (free if your a Prime Member), The Language of the Blues includes 40 stunning photos of blues artists and a free download of Devi’s powerful rock album, Get Free. No Kindle? No problem, with free apps for reading the book on any eReader, tablet, phone or computer.
The Language of the Blues was first published by Billboard Books. It received the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in 2008, yet disappeared from stores during a merger. Since her book’s successful eBook release March 2012 by Guitar International, Devi has become a Huffington Post blogger on the blues. Blues Revue deems The Language of the Blues “an essential purchase for scholars and fans.” New York Times columnist Shelton Ivany adds, “If you have any questions about songs, lyrics, musicians or events, chances are you will find your answers in this unparalleled publication.”
DEVI. The band’s debut album, Get Free, is earning her comparisons to Hendrix, and singers Sheryl Crow and PJ Harvey. A former associate editor of Blues Revue, Devi has also written for The Village Voice, Rolling Stone.com, Vintage Guitar and Guitar.