Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Incurable Blues - the Troubles and Triumph of Blues Legend Hubert Sumlin by Will Romano

Hubert Sumlin was, of course, the genius guitar player for Howlin' Wolf, who also played with Muddy Waters and had a long solo career until his untimely death in 2011. In this biography Romano, a friend and confidant to Sumlin, tells his story, from life as a child on a plantation to his wild ride with the Wolf in Chicago (where they recorded some of the greatest blues songs known to man) through his long solo career, playing with many blues and rock legends along the way.

Romano is a talented and expressive writer, describing the songs, shows, solos and playing in a way that helps you to either recall or imagine the sounds. He obviously cared for Hubert and while he tries to be objective throughout, he does seem to justify some weaker moments. But, he does give a detailed account of Sumlin's discography with and without the Wolf which does make me want to search out some of the later, hard to find items.

Really an enjoyable read that I am sure I will go back and revisit. The writing style is excellent and, of course, the story is compelling. Get it!