By Michael Gray
Publish yr note: First released September thirtieth 2007
Evoking the turbulent earlier of the subject's time and position, this odyssey to rural Georgia peels again the numerous layers of Blind Willie McTell's compelling, sometimes surprising, yet finally uplifting tale. Portraying him as some of the most talented artists of his iteration, this account uncovers the secrets and techniques of McTell's ancestry, the hardships he suffered—including being blind from birth—and the successes he loved. touring during the South and past, this own and relocating trip finds a misplaced global of black tune, exploring why he drifted out and in of the general public eye, how he was once “rediscovered" again and again via likelihood conferences, and why, before, so little has been written concerning the lifetime of this awesome guy. half biography, half travelogue, half social heritage, this atmospheric, unforgettable story connects the subject's lifestyles to the tumultuous sweep of historical past, exploding each stereotype approximately blues musicians and revealing a susceptible milieu of poverty and discrimination, demonstrating that little could have replaced within the Deep South, even this day.
James Tait Black Memorial Prize Nominee for Biography (2007)
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Extra resources for Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell
Lawrence Kitchens would remain a lifelong friend. In December 1857, Reddick's land had been part of the territory removed from Warren County and given to a new creation, Glascock County, named after a soldier, lawyer, and politician from Augusta. 26 If Reddick had business in the county seatÐto call on the sheriff or fill in a form at the courthouseÐit was now the tiny town of Gibson he had to ride into, instead of Warrenton. Otherwise, the county boundary change made no difference to Reddick.
Reddick fought in many battles. Some of them were inconclusive skirmishes, but others were prolonged nightmares of importunate slaughter that left huge tracts of field and forest strewn with the swollen corpses of men and horses, congealed in mud and blood. Reddick's early battles were at South Mills, North Carolina; Seven Pines (aka Fair Oaks); the Seven Days Battles (from a first indecisive engagement at Oak Grove, aka King's School House, to the last, at Malvern Hill, on the first day of July 1862); Falling Creek, Virginia; and Second Bull Run.
Reddick was among the few to be there with Robert E. Lee when the end came. From his regiment, just nine officers and 196 other men could say the same. He was one of the first men in America to hear that the war was over. He had survived much of its recurrent, murderous nightmare. He had seen a gruesome, gory, sustained parade of horrors. He had endured many battles, months of prison-camp life, long nights of freezing weather, illness, and hunger, injury in the field, and the dangers of fever-ridden hospital wards.
Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell by Michael Gray