Home > Binding > Hardcover >

Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Mystery

Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Mystery by Ace Atkins 0312192541 9780312192549
Stock Image - Actual Cover May Vary


Our Price: $6.08


ISBN: 0312192541

New [Add $99.00]
Like-New [Add $0.60]
Very-Good [Add $0.40]
Good [Add $0.20]


last night New Orleans, LouisianaJoJos Blues Bar stood on the south edge of the French Quarter in a row of old Creole buildings made of decaying red brick, stucco, and wood. Inside, smoke streamed from small islands of tables, drinks clicked, women giggled, and fans churned. Black-and-white photographs of long-dead greats hung above the mahogany bar--images faded and warped from humidity and time.Dr. Randy Sexton stared at the row of faces as his thick coffee mug vibrated with the swampy electric slide guitar. He tapped one hand to the music and held his coffee with the other. The bucktoothed waitress who had brought the coffee shook her head walking away. This wasnt a coffee place. This was a beer and whiskey joint.Order a mixed drink or coffee and you felt like a leper.JoJos. Last of the old New Orleans blues joints, Randy thought. Used to be a lot of them in the forties and fifties when he was growing up--but now JoJos was it. The Vieux Carre now just endless rows of strip joints, discos, and false jazz. Unless you counted that big franchise blues place down the street. Randy didnt.This bar was a New Orleans institution you couldnt replace with high-neon gloss. The blues sound better in a venue of imperfection. A cracked ceiling. Scuffed floor. Peeling white paint on the bricks. It all somehow adds to the acoustics of blues.Randy was a jazz man himself. Studied jazz all his life. His passion. Now, as the head of the Jazz and Blues Archives at Tulane University, he was the curator of thousands of African-American recordings.But blues was something he could never really understand. It was the poor cousin to jazz, though the unknowledgeable thought they were the same. Jazz was a fluted glass of champagne. Blues was a cold beer. Working-class music.His friend and colleague Nick Travers knew blues. He could pick out the region like Henry Higgins could pick out an accent: Chicago, Austin, Memphis, or Mississippi.Mississippi. The Delta. He sipped some more hot black coffee and watched the great Loretta Jackson doing her thing.A big, beautiful woman, a cross somewhere between Etta James and KoKo Taylor. Randy had seen the show countless times. He knew every rehearsed movement and all the big black womans jokes by heart. But he still loved seeing her work her strong voice could fill a Gothic cathedral.Her husband, Joseph Jose Jackson, pulled a chair up to the table. A legend himself. There wasnt a blues musician alive who didnt know about JoJo. A highly polished, dignified black man in his sixties. Silver-white hair and mustache. Starched white dress shirt, tightly creased black trousers, and shined wing tips.Doc-tor! JoJo extended his rough hand.Mr. Jackson. Good to see you, my friend, and--Randy nodded toward the stage--your wife......She still raises the hair on the back of my neckShe can kick a crowd in the nuts, JoJo said.Loretta sweated and dotted her brow with a red lace handkerchief to some sexy lyrics and winked down at JoJo.Rock me baby, rock me all night long. Rock me baby, like my back aint got no bone. They sat silent through the song. Jojo swayed to the music and smiled a wide, happy grin. A proud man in love. The next song was a slow ballad and Randy leaned forward on the wooden table, the smoke making his eyes water. JoJo cocked his ear toward him.Im looking for Nick. Isnt he playing tonight? Randy asked.JoJo shook his head and frowned. Nick? I dont know, hes been tryin to get back in shape or some shit. Runnin like a fool every mornin. Acts like hes gonna go back and play for the Saints again. No sir, he aint the same.Hes not answering his phone or his door.When he dont want to be found, JoJo said, nodding his head for emphasis, he aint gonna be found.Could he be out of town? Maybe traveling with the band?What? JoJo asked, through the blare of the music.Traveling with the band! Randy shouted.Naw. I aint seen him. Cept the other day when we went and grabbed a snow co

Author: Ace Atkins

Language: English

Edition: 1st

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 226

Publisher: St Martins Pr

Publication Date: 1998-10-01

Share your shopping experience. Write a review here »

Browse for more products in the same category as this item:

Binding > Hardcover
Ace Atkins