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December 03, 2008



Fantastic post, thanks!


Don't get me wrong, I definitely want to read this guy's book. But GOOD LORD is he ever a pretentious asshole.

butcher pete

Nice interview. Great to see this book available again. My copy disappeared years ago and I've long wanted to revisit it. Many passages and observations still stick out in my mind.

Calt is a terrific writer and very, very funny. His style is quite acidic. If you think he is harsh on Greil Marcus in the interview, you should to read what he has to say about some of the figures in the blues revival scene. And on the whole his commentary is most welcome.

Rob Hutten

Calt is an unrepentant ass. His dig at Waterman in the James book was wholly unfounded, and his mean-spirited sideswipes at everyone in his periphery reveals the depth of his disease.

Skip James deserved a better biographer.


I think it was the live album by an obscure group named Rain (on Rain, Live, Christmas Night) that featured a cover of "Devil".


While I'm glad SOMEBODY got to know and write fairly in depth about Skip, this guy seemed to have ZERO ability to catch Skip's drift.

Blind Weasel Johnson

IRBTD is one of the most peceptive and honest books on the blues ever written. It's a shame that Stephen Calt didn't write more about the subject.


This guys sounds wicked. I like the sound of his books, and how he comes off in this interview. Who cares if he's "negative" I think it's good to have a balance even if he overdoes it, and his snide-put downs made me laugh,
I honestly don't even care who the put-downs are about, they're just kind of funny.
I think if that sort of thing bothers you, you just have to read through it. There's complaints above about how Skip deserved a "better biographer" or whatever, but the fact is Calt got the job done, and from the extracts I've read, it seems he did a good job at that.
I don't want somebody always heaping praise on my favourite artists. It's more interesting to see the other side.

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