Blog Hop (February 2013)
Kevin Rabas Answers the Call:
The questions are as follows:
What is the working title of the book?
SONNY KENNER’S RED GUITAR
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Around 1994-1998, I used to dance to Sonny Kenner’s band at The Levee in KC. Sometimes, I sat in on drums. Sonny Kenner was a true KC jazz and blues fixture and statesman, a man who could howl like the wind on his guitar, sing like a man on fire, and quote bluesmen and Shakespeare in the same line. People loved dancing to his music. One of my favorite times dancing was dancing to Kenner, and some of what I wanted to get at in the title poem was just how sexy Sonny’s blues could be, just how wide his influence was, to musicians and non-musicians. He spread the word of good KC music–and the spirit of the blues and jazz legacy. Everyone danced to Kenner’s music. You couldn’t be in the room and not dance.
What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry. Jazz poetry. Narrative and meditative poetry. Some new confessional or new sincerity poetry. Plain style, plain speech poetry.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Men (my personae): John Cusack. John Malkovich. Woody Allen.
Women: Nina Simone. Meg Ryan. Sandra Bullock. Juliet Binoche.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Poems set to Sonny Kenner’s blues.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
1-3 years. My poems don’t all arrive at the same time. Some go through years of rehearsal. Some don’t find a group for quite some time. Most of these poems came together in 1-3 years.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Musicians: Sonny Kenner. Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette. Pat Metheny. Mark Lowrey. (I listen to these musicians, usually one album over and over, obsessively, for a long time. My son says, “Why do you play it over and over. I’m tired of that song.” I’m not.)
Also, musicians with more words: Josh Ritter, Patty Griffin, Randy Carlson, Laura Cossey, Lisa Moritz.
Poets: Kim Addonizio, Tim Seibles, Thomas Lux. David Lee. Dennis Etzel Jr, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Leah Sewell, Matthew Porubsky. Marina Jaffe, Ramona McCallum, Bart Edelman. Elizabeth Dodd, Jonathan Holden. Wm Stafford. Brian Daldorph.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s some romance in it–and some blues moans.
Who’s publishing the book?
Coal City Review Press (Lawrence, editor: Brian Daldorph) (March or April 2013).