Thursday, 9 August 2007


I'm told there's a positive review of Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes in the new Record Collector - the one with Elvis on the cover (naturally he's everywhere, this month marking the 30th anniversary of his death).

I've always thought there was a resemblance between the earliest Elvis and the late religious recordings of Blind Willie - in Song & Dance Man III's chapter on Willie I wrote that on "McTell's great 'Hide Me In Thy Bosom'...he can still make you think of Presley's 'That's All Right', his fluid vocal rides and swoops with such unloosed passion" - and I was thrilled to hear that in a general way, Willie himself thought so too. That is, one of those who talked to Willie towards the end of his life was Bruce Utah Phillips, and though this bit of the interview Mr. Phillips gave me (in May 2004) ended up pruned out of the book, he reported this:

"I was curious about what this music, when it was in the jazz houses and the jook joints: what did it sound like? [I asked Willie:] 'When you were young, what d’you sound like?' And he said 'You want to hear what we sounded like when we were your age, you listen to early Elvis Presley.'... I don’t think he was joking, either."

Meanwhile Bloomsbury tell me my book is being reprinted... they don't reveal the size of the new print-run, but this is good news just the same.

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