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
From Library Journal
Published in 1971 and 1979, respectively, these titles continue Guralnick's analysis of American music. Feel Like Going Home concentrates primarily on blues artists, with some borderline rockers thrown in, while Lost Highway covers a wide array of artists from several genres, including everyone from Hank Snow to Elvis to Merle Haggard. Both volumes were hits with critics and have a place in popular music collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.