Feel Like Going Home: Portraits in Blues & Rock 'N' Roll

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9780060971755: Feel Like Going Home: Portraits in Blues & Rock 'N' Roll

This vivid celebration of blues and early rock 'n' roll includes some of the first and most illuminating profiles of such blues masters as Muddy Waters, Skip James, and Howlin' Wolf; excursions into the blues-based Memphis rock 'n' roll of Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, and the Sun record label; and a brilliant depiction of the bustling Chicago blues scene and the legendary Chess record label in its final days. With unique insight and unparalleled access, Peter Guralnick brings to life the people, the songs, and the performance that forever changed not only the American music scene but America itself.

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Review:

Peter Guralnick pledges in the epilogue to Feel Like Going Home that his writing will henceforth be "younger, less self-conscious and critical." Don't dwell too much on the author's oath, however: the prose here is hardly jaded and awkward. Initially published in 1971, Feel Like Going Home consists of 11 chapters, most of which are single-subject studies of American roots-music artists. Guralnick openly reveres his interview subjects, which isn't to imply that he fawns over them. The likes of bluesmen Howlin' Wolf and Johnny Shines, incorrigible rock & roller Jerry Lee Lewis, and, in particular, moody man-without-a-genre talent Charlie Rich (who was inspired to write a song called "Feel Like Going Home" based on this book--it's the final song on his final album) come across as knotty, vivid, complex characters. Published in tandem with Guralnick's similarly organized Lost Highway and his superb history of southern soul, Sweet Soul Music, Feel Like Going Home provides an early-stage perspective on a music historian who's truly arrived. --Steven Stolder

From the Publisher:

"The most loving book I have ever read about American popular music, and one of the more savvy."--Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone

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