SLIDING DELTA is a quest to find legendary musician Mississippi John Hurt and learn to pick the Delta blues that takes a Chicago college boy south of Memphis in the summer of 1965.
"Delta blues taste like sweat and cheap whiskey; smell like jail; sound best in a concrete block club with no windows, set back along the river where there's no law after dark."
This is a book about a young college student who found the blues before college and now during a summer break he has decided to travel to the South to look for John Hurt, a blues musician. When I read the synopses I saw John Hurt, and Delta, so naturally I was expecting a blues book. Not to be disappointed there is music the blues, but this book is more than that. It really is about a white kid from Chicago who is upper middle class not having to struggle and going to the South to find a “Black Man” in 1965. He begins his journey expecting everything to be easy. But no sooner than his first night in Memphis does he find out that this is not the case. What he goes through some people would call street smarts, he did not have any, and he was an easy mark. When he finally makes it to a small town in Mississippi, he finds a job, and he finds growth as a person in seeing the struggles of the family that took him in. by sitting around talking to some of the older men you get a sense of what it was like back then even to be allowed to vote. They mention the young men from Philly missing that came to help to register people for voting. He goes out in the fields to help two friends he made while their pick cotton. All of these together make for a nice story and are done in a way that is hurtful, but remindful that this was just back in 1965, 51 years ago when in parts of this country white and black could not be sitting together or there would be a problem. Have we really come that far? I do know he meets John Hurt and I must say as a blues fan that would have been cool. The way the author blended the story with the times was good, and his reference to Blues music helped me like the story that much more. a very good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com