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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:176
  • eBook ISBN:9781617922152

Dirtdobber Blues

by Cyril E. Vetter

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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."
Immensely talented and devastatingly self-destructive, Louisiana singer/songwriter Charles “Butch” Hornsby lived hard and fast. The life of this versatile and volatile artist is captured in Cyril Vetter’s Dirtdobber Blues, a gritty but engrossing story of a man, his demons, and his art. Much like Hornsby’s life, Dirtdobber Blues consists of short, fast-paced segments. Fictionalized vignettes juxtapose musical accomplishments and personal misadventures to present a truly complex individual. Hornsby’s all-too-familiar vices–sex, alcohol, and rock and roll–and his frustrating narcissism hindered his success in the music business. But amid missed opportunities and heartbreak Vetter celebrates Hornsby’s off-beat humor and profound creativity. As Hornsby moves from the strawberry fields of Amite, Louisiana, to the bars of Baton Rouge and into the unforgiving arena of the recording industry Vetter provides glimpses into the musician’s inspiration. A tumultuous young love, a stint in Hollywood, and his family’s return to Louisiana piece together the arc of Hornsby’s life, littered with poor decisions, crowned by artistic success, and concluding with the redemptive power of love. This captivating account of Butch’s life is also told by Hornsby’s music and artwork. A CD with fourteen of his songs and sheet music are included in the book as well as photos of Butch and images his found-object artwork by photographer Philip Gould. Dirtdobber Blues can also be experienced as a multimedia eBook. Over the past five decades Cyril E. Vetter’s career has included work in music, broadcasting, and publishing. He is the author of Fonville Winans’ Louisiana: Politics, People, and Places and The Louisiana Houses of A. Hays Town.
About the author
Over the past five decades, Cyril Vetter's career has spanned a variety of industries, including music, broadcasting and publishing. He owned TV and radio stations, a television production firm, newspapers as well as music recording and publishing companies. Vetter's music career began in the mid-1960s, when he co-wrote the frat-rock classic "Double Shot (of my Baby's Love)," and he is a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. In addition to "Dirtdobber Blues," LSU Press has published two of Vetter’s previous books: "Fonville Winans' Louisiana: Politics People and Places," a biography of Winans, the legendary Louisiana photographer, along with historical sketches of his subjects; and "The Louisiana Houses of A. Hays Town," another Vetter collaboration with Gould to record Town's major contributions to the vernacular of original Louisiana architecture. In 2003, Vetter and his daughter, Baton Rouge attorney Gabrielle Vetter, wrote and produced "Deacon John's Jump Blues," a critically acclaimed and award-winning music CD, concert video and documentary film. A U.S. Army veteran, Vetter served in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star. He earned political science and law degrees from Louisiana State University.