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"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...
"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.
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
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
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
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
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
Photograph credits 365