Farina is too often overshadowed by his more famous pals, ie Pychon, Dylan and the Baez sisters, but he deserves closer attention. Been Down So Long is an excellent, perhaps a great novel. Seriously, I laughed, I cried etc. Very inventive, at turns comic and tragic, usually all at once. The scenes with the monkey (or mandrill or gibbon I can't recall) are genuinely creepy. I like this book a lot in other words and respond: Yes! Read it. The book is set at a fictionalized Cornell U. in Ithaca, NY, partly based on real events. When I worked there for 2 years, I would occasionally research the things I read in biographical accounts of the man in the Cornell Daily Sun. The events described in the novel are pretty close to the news accounts, at least where Cornell is concerned. Factoring in loads of fantastic elements, that is.
His music doesn't inspire me and his collection "It's been a long time comin and a long time gone" isn't as strong, overall, as his novel, I think. But worth checking out.