In The Roots of Rock from Cardiff to Mississippi and Back, Peter Finch reflects on how popular music has shaped both his life and the culture in which he lives, from first hearing American music on the radio in his Cardiff home in the 1950s to the compendious and downloadable riches of digital files.
Finch has always gone to gigs and now he travels to the bars of Ireland, the clubs of New York, the plains of Tennessee, the flatlands of Mississippi and the mountains of North Carolina to get a feel for the culture from which his favourite music originates. The resulting book mixes musical autobiography with an exploration of physical places in western Europe and the US. It is a demonstration of the power of music to create a world for the listener that
is simultaneously of and beyond the place in which it is
The cast of musicians includes Muddy Waters, Taylor Swift, Bessie Smith, Tommy Steele, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Chris Tweed and singing cowboys.