Gray, Michael: Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes: In search Of Blind Willie Mctell

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Gray, Michael: Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes: In Search Of Blind Willie McTell


Published: 2007 Bloomsbury, 432 pages
ISBN 978-0-7475-6560-4

Part history, part biography, part travelogue, Michael Gray tells the story of Blind Willie McTell's life in as much detail as possible and also supplies the reader with enough historical background to understand the culture and conditions that formed that life. Gray's account of McTell's life is interwoven with descriptions of his travels through modern-day Georgia on the trail of whatever details of McTell and his times can be gleaned now. Illustrated, with notes, discography, and bibliography.

Pros: Michael Gray is an excellent writer, and the book stands on its own as a piece of literature. For those interested in collecting McTell's music, Gray has included a discography of McTell releases on vinyl and CD, with a discussion of each, including comments on sound quality.

Cons: Since this is a work aimed at the general, non-specialist reader, don't expect a deep technical discussion of McTell's music. One wishes that a map or two had been included, along with more, larger, and better-reproduced illustrations.

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