Sunday, 9 August 2009


For any reader interested in buying the new North American hardback edition of the book at a big discount, see here:


Hard Luck Child said...

Hello, Mr. Gray. I'm very pleased to have the chance to speak with you. I've been a fan of Country Blues for over 10 years now. In my opinion, Blind Willie is one of the very best musicians of the 20th century. I purchased your book on Willie about a year ago via the Amazon UK website. I must say that it was a terrific read. You told McTell's life story in an empathetic and passionate way. I also found all of the Civil War and Georgia-related information to be absolutely breathtaking. You are not only a Blues historian, but also an expert on American history. On a related note, I picked up the "Down The Tracks" dvd about Bob Dylan and found your commentary to be great.

Now that a book has been written about Mr. McTell, it would be wonderful if someone would publish Johnny Shines' autobiography. Mr. Shines was right up there with McTell in my opinion, but is often glossed over in favor of talking about Robert Johnson, which is a true shame.

Please take a look at my blog. I recently uploaded a McTell album, so if you have any moral or legal problems with this, let me know, and I will remove the album. The music is up there for people to listen to on their computers and not to make copies of or distribute.

It's an honor to speak with you, and I look forward to checking out your blog in greater detail right after lunch!


Michael Gray said...

Dear Daniel
Thank you for writing. Glad you found the blog and like it. Your comments on the book are highly gratifying. Perhaps you'd be kind enough, if you have time, to post a review on - just saying what you've said here.

Willie's estate is is a nebulous condition at present, so I don't think you're robbing any deserving person by putting an album up on a small blog - but I can't advise you reliably on copyright issues, I'm afraid.

I also thank you for your comment about my Farmingdale gig (attached to an earlier posting) but as per the message to your fellow commentator there, I have to say that giving talks, which is generally a great pleasure to me, is nevetheless also part of my livelihood, so I'm not inclined to give myself away for nothing on YouTube etc.

Hard Luck Child said...

Hello, Mr. Gray. I completely understand what you mean about the Farmingdale situation. Hopefully I'll get a chance to hear you speak some time soon.

I posted a review on Your book deserves to be read and Willie's story must be told. It's a shame what's happened to music and people's lack of knowledge and appreciation of it, but now I'm just trailing off.

Again, I thought that the Bob Dylan: Down The Tracks dvd was much, much better than the Scorcese mess that came out about five years ago. Did you have a chance to view that creature?

Sorry to bother you again about this, but do you have any interest in getting a hold of Johnny Shines' autobiography if the Blind Willie book sells well? If not, would you happen to know any information as to the whereabouts of Johnny's autobiography?

Look forward to hearing from you soon!