“Probably many a road scholar would testify this place makes good leavin’ and better comin’ back to . . . Place puts a hold on your soul, man, these streets call you like an old song . . .”
So starts The Bluesiana Snake Festival as Hidden Dave Crossway, a New Orleans street sweeper, celebrates the city in its pre–Katrina skin. With the night of the “snake moon” as the backdrop, we experience the lives, languages, and rhythms of the French Quarter, an unexpected urban idyll.
Through a blend of voices–Big Jim Bullshit, Shushubaby, and Brooklyn Bob, to name a few–the musical voice of New Orleans is revealed in its varied dialects, grooves reminiscent of ragtime, jazz, and blues. The result is a look into who these folks are, their ways and beliefs, their senses of truth, and of existence itself. A novel about the joy and beauty of life in the depths, the momentum and narrative heart isn’t driven by a plot — it’s about the trance.