Music is Life's Blood🩸
Freak Magic for yer Ear Bone!
Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and raised on Rattlesnake Creek in a Ultra-Weird Bohemian family in Gainesville, Florida, Byron J. Crews was steeped in the hardscrabble art of Blues and Blues-based rock music from the time he could hold a guitar. As a young boy, Byron traveled backwoods shotgun bars with his whiskey-drinking and punch-throwing father, and along the way, Byron was exposed to brilliant original blues artists including Muddy Waters and Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins.
As a teenager, Byron learned mystic and diabolical guitar licks from legendary musical artists based just north and south of Gainesville, including the mighty Rickey Medlocke, Charlie Hargrett, and Axe band's singer/guitarist Bobby Barth, guitar slingers who all performed in the legendary southern hard rock band Blackfoot. Medlocke has gone on to perform with the contemporary iteration of famed southern rock legends, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Byron‘s luck turned when he learned guitar under the tutelage of Hughie ThomassonJr., an American guitarist and singer, best known as a founding member of The Outlaws, based in Tampa, Florida. In Gainesville, Byron studied guitar with Dave Hlubek, American lead guitarist and founding member of the Southern rock band Molly Hatchet.
Byron's musical inspirations come from the earthy cultural DNA of North Delta Blues, Mississippi Hill Country Blues, Chicago "City" Blues and Blues-based hard rock. Primary influences include esteemed blues artists from Samuel Hopkins, Muddy Waters, and Son House, Buddy Guy . . . to blues-rockers Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan . . . to psychedelic rock guitar guitar Titan, Jimi Hendrix.
With 25 years of experience performing and entertaining audiences in dynamic bands including Tampa Red, Jonny Whuppass, Zeos Funkyard, Dr. Skillet, Wiseblood, Eldorado Brown, and Rocket House, Byron powers on with his own original rock compositions, samples of which are featured herein.
Pray for Peace.
For John Eric Bingham.
I miss you, Brother.
Rest easy, Rock Star.
“Flannery O’Connor on steroids.”
—John Williams, GQ
“I don’t know where [Harry Crews’s] narrative magic comes from, but it is firmly there.”
author of novels, short stories, plays, and screenplays. His best-known work is the 1961 novel Catch-22, a satire on war and bureaucracy, whose title has become a synonym for an absurd or contradictory choice
HARRY CREWS @ PENGUIN CLASSICS
“A bona fide Southern writer in the vein of Flannery O’Connor, whose unvarnished language and absurdist take on life among the lower rungs of the region’s social ladder [is] shot through with a rough-and-tumble kind of empathy; it was with great pleasure that I spent last weekend reading The Gospel Singer; a darkly funny tragedy. The world he writes about is violent and ruthless. But there’s a point to Crews’ madness, and always present is a throughline of empathy.”
—Atlanta Journal Constitution
The brilliant phantasmagorical debut from Crews (Feast of Snakes), originally published in 1968, established Crews as an original new American voice, the novel hailed as a masterwork by Erskine Caldwell. Crews’ poetic and bitterly humorous prose and a minutely observed dialect show how he earned his reputation as The Godfather of “Dirty South” writers, the King of Grit Lit. This dark searing satire stands as spiritual heir of Dickens, Voltaire and Swift.
— Publishers Weekly
An inductee of the Georgia writer's Hall of Fame and recipient of numerous literary honors, Harry Crews was named Georgia Author of the Year for fiction in 1969 for The Gospel Singer.
🎬 VIEW 🎬
HARRY CREWS FILM DOCUMENTARY
The Rough South of Harry Crews
Special | 53m 54s |
Rough South - Episode 102:
Author Harry Crews discusses his heartrending childhood in Bacon County Georgia, the nature of violence, and what it means to be a writer in this Emmy-winning documentary.
Aired: 09/06/92 Rating: NR
“Reading Crews, I found the courage to tell the stories I’d been amassing my whole life.”
— Mary Karr,
author of the critically-acclaimed and New York Times best-selling memoirs The Liars' Club, Cherry, and Lit, as well as the Art of Memoir, and five poetry collections, most recently Tropic of Squalor
“This [Crews'] memoir is for everyone. It’s agile, honest and built as if to last. Like its author, it’s a resilient American original.”
— Dwight Garner, The New York Times
HARRY CREWS @ PENGUIN CLASSICS https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/623366/a-childhood-by-harry-crews-foreword-by-tobias-wolff/9780143135333/
"The memoir is flawless, one of the finest ever written by an American; [it] answers some specific questions, namely where its author came from and how he became a writer, but it asks broader ones, too: why anyone becomes anything, how we square our pasts with our futures, and why certain things—a book, its author—are rescued from oblivion.”
— Casey Cep, The New Yorker
“Critics and awards anoint some authors as legends. Others depend on word-of-mouth and prose that stands the test of time. There is nothing folksy, never mind pastoral or genteel, about Crews. With caustic and fabulist writing, he exhumed the ghosts of America’s original sin. Crews captured the raw essence of humanity in both fiction and nonfiction. Side by side, these [Penguin] reissues form the complete picture of an imperfect man who charged hard into extremes to confront his cultural inheritance.”
— Lauren Leblanc, Los Angeles Times
“Of all of Crews’ magnificent output, it is A Childhood: The Biography of a Place, first published in 1978 that is the most memorable and is written in a language that will sear the mind and memory. There are startlingly wild scenes written with hair-raising power.
This review cannot begin to capture the power of the writing of Harry Crews nor the essence of this portrait of the life of a sharecropping family in the Great Depression.
All that can be said is, read it.
The power of the written word will never be made more clear.”
— New York Journal of Books