During the 1960s and 70s William Ferris traveled his native Mississippi documenting the lives and voices of local musicians. These were the voices that combined diverse musical traditions and formed authentic American blues. In the hands of Ferris images, history and sound combine to tell a rich story. Ferris’ introduction follows his own infatuation with the music, which given the tumult of the period in the American South was considered off limits.

Give My Poor Heart Ease includes photographs, music, and a documentary DVD of selections from Ferris’ personal study. Additionally, the book includes some 20 interviews with key musicians of the period. The package will be published next month through the University of North Carolina Press. A dedicated site has been set up for Give My Poor Heart Ease, and there’s more than enough their to fill the void before release.

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