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R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz and Country

Contributed by Owen Schumacher

Robert Dennis Crumb known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.It's no secret Robert Crumb is obsessed with the past — past comics, past places, and past music. For all his cynicism, neuroses and idiosyncratic verve, there's often a competing undercurrent of nostalgia and groundedness to his work — or at least an aspiration for it.

Which is why R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country (2006) is so special. You get an especially clear sense of his out-and-out enthusiasm for things old-fashioned: dusty, old music by dusty, old musicians. The care he gives in lovingly detailing each face speaks to his affinity for the subject matter. Crumb loves these people and he loves their music, which is why the book also includes an illuminating 21-track CD surveying some of the best in Depression era blues, jazz and country. I recommend listening to the CD as you read the book to really round out the overall experience.

Anyway, there are too many soulful and inspiring portraits to feature here, so stay tuned for more next week.

Robert Dennis Crumb known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.

Robert Dennis Crumb known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.

Robert Dennis Crumb known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.

Robert Dennis Crumb known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.

Robert Dennis Crumb known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.

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