Acclaimed writer Charles Shaar Murray's Boogie Man is the authorized and authoritative biography of an extraordinary musician. Murray was given unparalleled access to Hooker, and he lets the man from Clarksdale, Mississippi, tell his own story. "Everything you read on album covers is not true, and every album reads different," he told Murray. Murray helps Hooker set the record straight, disentangling the myths and legends from truths so rock-ribbed that we understand, as if for the first time, why they have provided the source for a lifetime of unforgettable sound.
Murray weaves together Hooker's life and music to reveal their indissoluble bonds. Yet Boogie Man is far more than merely an accomplished and brilliant biography of one man; it gives an account of an entire art form. Grounded in a time and place in American culture, the blues are universal, and in the hands of the greatest practitioners its power resides in the miracle of using despair to transcend it. "The preacher's mantle," Murray tells us, "passes to the bluesman." This bluesman traveled a hard road out of the American South, from obscurity to adulation and back-and back again. John Lee Hooker has seen it all and sung it all, and his music is both a living legacy and an American treasure. Here is the book that does him and his music full justice.
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Published September 10, 2013
by St. Martin's Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment.