Peter Finch’s latest book The Roots of Rock, from Cardiff to Mississippi and Back charts the evolution of rock and popular music, from a 1950s valve radio playing in a suburban Cardiff terrace to the reality of the music among the bars of Ireland, the skyscrapers of New York, the plains of Tennessee, the flatlands of Mississippi and the mountains of North Carolina. For each chapter there is a playlist of suggested records to listen to whilst reading, to bring alive Peter’s many sharp-witted stories. To give you a taste of Peter’s world of music, we’ll be creating playlists for each chapter which you can listen to on our Youtube Channel. The first of these is now available, so take a listen below…
Chapter 1: Howlin’ Wolf in City Road
This entertaining book is part musical autobiography, part travel literature and also an exploration of how music can create a world for the listener that is simultaneously of and beyond the place in which is is heard.
Finch gives us sharp-eyed accounts of gigs from Champion Jack Dupree to the Garth Mountain Boys, muses on the importance of the Dansette record player, ponders why Elvis never came to Wales (except multiply in Porthcawl’s legendary Elvis Festival), visits musical shrines and theme parks – Dollywood, Grand Ole Opry, Graceland, Stax, rides along with singing cowboys and recalls his attempt to form a band, The Blueswailers. Add in music in Ireland and Wales (and in Welsh), the Bible Belt, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Etta James, Ray Charles, Bert Jansch, Taylor Swift, Alan Stivell, Chet Atkins, the Appalachian Mountains and Pigeon Forge and Finch’s world of music is as broad as the last six decades allows.
We hope you enjoyed the playlist above. You can buy the book on our website.