Barry and Crumb Love Music

Even though the moon has now moved into gung ho let-me at-’em Aries I still feel the dreamy soul syrup of the Pisces full moon. See Sideshow Bob in a nighttime blue? I feel like that. I guess I didn’t lounge in bed lounge enough. I like to let the new day’s reality dawn on me slowly.

Music lovers often find music makers great subject matter for portraits. I have done my share.

Robert Crumb and Lynda Barry have the coolest series of portraits of old timey blues and countryish players.

“R. Crumb’s Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country” is amazing.

Some of the portraits are done in pen and ink. Others are beautiful watercolor paintings like this one:

The colors are so rich and it is so interesting to see Crumb’s painting style.



The Sheiks and Skip James are the pen and ink. It’s all great. Crumb made these to used as trading cards. The original image would be reduced and given away with reissues from Yazoo. That plan never happened but as you might imagine, these portraits are highly valued.

This is a beautiful inspiring book. Here’s the inside cover with many of the portraits:

Here is my Howlin’ Wolf:

Lynda Barry did her series in the 80s.

They were published in her book “The Good Times are Killing Me.”


This is my beat up old copy of Barry’s book. The cover is one of the paintings she was doing at this time adorned with a hand made tin frame.



 Barry’s Little Willie John.

I love the elaborate design of the tin frame on this one and the painted foilage.

Ma Rainey:

Notice the cut sequins Barry used for de-lineating space.

There are lots of rhine-stones here, too. I love the sparkle.

It’s also an interesting choice to do the eyes and mouths in yellow and red.

And Mr. James Brown:


2 Responses to “Barry and Crumb Love Music”

  1. I got to meet Lynda Barry last night! If I were more computer savvy I would put up a picture…She was at the Booksmith reading from “What it is.” She is awesome!

  2. Isn’t she? I love all the ways that I have seen her styling as she goes through this world and her drawing and writing are growing together like beautiful vines.

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