978-0-394-75215-0 / 9780394752150

V215 Lost Highway





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About the book:

A companion to the author's 1971 entrée to book publishing, Feel Like Going Home, Lost Highway reveals Peter Guralnick's growth as a chronicler of American roots music. Originally published eight years after Going Home, Lost Highway tills the same rich soil--the likes of Sun Records chief Sam Phillips, bluesman Howlin' Wolf, and dispirited countrypolitan star Charlie Rich resurface. But here Guralnick also explores the psyches and works of kindred spirits both celebrated (Elvis Presley and Merle Haggard) and obscure (rockabilly journeyman Sleepy LaBeef and the "world's oldest teenager," Rufus Thomas). Guralnick reveals a unifying hook: for each musician, touring has become "journey, arrival, process, definition, virtually replacing in almost every instance the very impetus that set them out on the road in the first place." The author has a knack for finding the insecurities entangled with the talents of his peripatetic idols--perhaps they feel more comfortable opening up to him, sensing he only seeks to understand how their anxiety affects their art. Regardless, you can't read Lost Highway without gaining a greater appreciation of the music that prompted its writing. --Steven Stolder

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