Let me say that Eyre Price has created a very rare bird with “Blues Highway Blues“.
The cover features a sepia toned photo of a crossroads in a very rural setting, not quite dark enough to obliterate the sense of vision but just light enough to make you squint to see what lies before you. A subtitle of sorts, ‘A Crossroads Thriller’ reinforces the overall feel of the photo with an inkling of a American Flag’s stripes – what this does is really set the stage for this fascinating and fun book and calls you into like the proverbial spider to the fly.
Chapter 1 opens with a tasty, if not overly syrupy, two paragraph description of the Las Vegas Strip . Not quite what I think of when Blues are mentioned but the next paragraph turns this world view around by 180 degrees, and like the aforementioned fly we are trapped in the web that Mr. Price has created.So now all we can do is ride the rails and see where this train of a novel will take us.
The featured character (I’m not about to say hero) is one Daniel Erickson who suddenly has a serious case of the Blues. With all the karma that he has laid down prior to this point in his life coming back and laying a round-house punch to his solar plexus. As you know that would take the wind of your lungs and leave you grasping in a netherworld sure that you are dying but hoping that you live. It is at this very moment that you plead to whomever or whatever to just get you outta this situation regardless of the consequences of such a deal.
Sound somewhat familiar? No hmm, Robert Johnson at the crossroads on a dark night making a deal with the Devil himself. Now whether or not that story is tree has no bearing on anything at all. But allegorically it rings true to each and every one of us (well, at least the folks I know) and this is what Mr. Price has given us here. When one is at the end of their rope they are most apt to strike a deal ‘with the Devil’ and when that happens baby, you are off that hook, but seriously skewered on another one.
The novel takes us around the country from LA to Memphis, NYC and even Cleveland. All is a merry musical jig-saw puzzle with a well crafted set of characters that make the merry way all the more merrier. There are insights into the music business, self-belief, self-realization, musical history. There is a visceral edge to the situations that ring true to anyone who has ever encountered the mean streets, ’nuff said.
Mr. Price has a broad and solid base in the music he writes about. His understanding of the Blues and other forms and their history plays out well within the context of his debut work. Please visit his web site and especially his ‘juke joint‘ section. Mr. Price does a great service for our chosen music and hopefully his work will draw many more into our realm. For this I say “thank you” and let’s keep the blues alive and thriving.
I consumed “Blues Highway Blues” in just abut two days, unfortunately I had to sleep, and do some Blues411 work in between or it woulda been quicker. Yeah, it really was that much fun and enjoyable so on many levels that I highly recommend this to all my Blues Framily.
Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
artwork: beaucat artworkz
Where Blues Thrives