One of the most versatile artists ever to emerge from South Louisiana, Butch Hornsby was an accomplished singer and songwriter.
He also was a found-object artist, a genre in which discarded household items are reassembled and combined with other media into unique artistic expressions.
After battling alcoholism most of his life, Hornsby passed away in 2004. Cyril Vetter, a close friend and author of “Dirtdobber Blues,” said Hornsby ultimately found redemption through the love of his wife and children. “Even though his struggles impeded his own success, I never lost faith in the power of his music and the inspirational potential of his story."
Amazing Life and Art and Music
Dirtdobber Blues is the story of the life of Butch Hornsby, a Louisiana musician and artist who did not receive the commercial success he so richly deserved during his too-short life.
This enhanced iBooks version features recordings of Butch's songs, many performed by Will Kimbrough and a couple by Duke Bardwell, as well as a few actual Butch Hornsby recordings. The book also features photographs of some of Butch's unique art pieces: collages featuring musicians and other characters made from found items. A double tap on the art piece will render it full-screen on your iPad.
I own the old-school print version of this book that comes with a CD of the songs; I bought this enhanced ebook version to see what it was like and how they compared. The enhanced ebook is, in my opinion, a nicer way to experience the music by tapping the player at the beginning of the appropriate chapter, and then reading through it as the song plays in the background. This enhanced ebook is also a nice way to interact with and study Mr. Hornsby's art pieces.
But the most important part of any book is the story, the characters, and the writing, and it is here that Dirtdobber Blues does not disappoint. Before I read this, I knew nothing of Mr. Hornsby or his work, and now I've been exposed to the artist and the man through his life story and through the perspective of his family and life-long friends. Knowing about this man's amazing life and art and music is truly a gift.