More Miles Than Money: Journeys Through American Music

Overview

"Wild American road tales from a writer who lives to ride."?Charlie Musselwhite

"Garth Cartwright takes you on a quixotic trek down the dirt roads of American music."?Michael Dregni, author of Django Reinhardt and the Illustrated History of Gypsy Jazz

Armed only with a Greyhound ticket and enough money for his next beer, Garth Cartwright sets out to see whether the American roots music he loves?blues and country, folk and soul?is still alive in...

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More Miles Than Money: Journeys Through American Music

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Overview

"Wild American road tales from a writer who lives to ride."—Charlie Musselwhite

"Garth Cartwright takes you on a quixotic trek down the dirt roads of American music."—Michael Dregni, author of Django Reinhardt and the Illustrated History of Gypsy Jazz

Armed only with a Greyhound ticket and enough money for his next beer, Garth Cartwright sets out to see whether the American roots music he loves—blues and country, folk and soul—is still alive in the twenty-first century.

His journey takes him from an LA bus station to the Mexican cantinas of San Antonio; from the Indian reservations of New Mexico to the last surviving juke joints of Highway 61. Along the way he meets an exotic mix of surviving legends—from soul diva Mabel John to the queen of Mexican American song, Lydia Mendoza; from funk pioneer Charles Wright to country troubadour Billy Joe Shaver—plus a cast of cowboy poets, down and out bluesmen, and a feller called Lee who becomes Cartwright's co-pilot for an epic drive across the deserts of the Southwest.

Constantly in motion, Cartwright observes a frayed, divided United States, one plagued by crystal meth and poverty. But when the music plays and the open road calls, he finds America's primal spirit remains.

Garth Cartwright was born in New Zealand and is based in London. He writes for various international publications and is the author of Princes Amongst Men.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
After spending a year in the Balkans with Romany musicians, New Zealander Cartwright (Princes Amongst Men: Journeys with Gypsy Musicians) sets off on "an insane American quest" to see if the roots music that continues to inspire the world—specifically blues, country, folk, and soul—is still alive in the United States. His odyssey takes him from a San Francisco church that worships John Coltrane as a saint to Burning Man, through the Navajo nation, Texas honky-tonks, Nashville, and blues bars in south Chicago. Cartwright is a captivating writer with his own 21st-century Kerouacan rhythm. He places music firmly in the relevant historical, social, and political contexts and introduces captivating characters he meets along the way. This is a no-holds-barred study of a diminishing American resource, a "disaster on the scale of cutting down the rainforest," as the artist R. Crumb tells the author. But Cartwright does find some amazing music—in the streets and cities and on the airwaves. He includes a discography of essential recordings. VERDICT This compelling on-the-road search for living American roots music is a trip worth taking.—Bill Baars, Lake Oswego P.L., OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846686870
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,033,017
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

New Zealand born, South London based, wanderer by inclination, Garth Cartwright is best known for his 2005 book Princes Amongst Men: Journeys With Gypsy Musicians (Serpents Tail). He left school at 16, tried his hand at professional skateboarding, singing in punk bands, promoting concerts and even had a brief sojourn as a boxer, before turning to writing full time. In 1995 he won the Guardian Music Writing Award.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Last Call at Lee's Unleaded

Into the South-West

1 San Francisco: A Baptism in Sound 3

2 Black Rock Desert: Ghost Dancing 19

3 Las Vegas: Genuine, Justifiable Hope 31

4 Tucson: The Shadow Land 43

California Soul

5 Hollywood: Everything Sings Except for a Buzzard 65

6 East LA: Pure Mexican Fury 77

7 Watts: Not in Raceriotland... 97

8 Joshua Tree: Mojave Desert Shivers 111

Reservation Blues

9 Navajo Nation: It is Done in Beauty 121

10 Monument Valley: A Few More Nowhere Towns 133

11 Santa Fe: Desperate Spiritual Outlaws 147

Waltz Across Texas

12 Truth or Consequences: American Death Trip 163

13 Austin: Waving at the Train 175

14 San Antonio: All Parts from Mexico 187

15 Gruene: Honky-tonk Masquerade 197

Billion-Dollar Baptists

16 Nashville: Getting Ready to Go Crazy 207

17 Nashville: Breakin' Broncos and Ridin' Bulls 223

18 Memphis: The Beauty of Primitive Music 237

Mississippi State of Mind

20 Tunica: Ghosts of Highway 61 271

21 Clarksdale: No Time to Pray 279

22 Greenville: King of the Chitlin' Circuit 293

23 River Valley: I Just Shot Him in the Head 303

Chicago Breakdown

24 On, We Had a Good Time 317

25 Crazy Mixed- up World 333

Epilogue: If of No Account Go Away from Home... 349

Select Bibliography 355

Discography 359

Photograph credits 365

Index 367

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