Make of this clip what you will: good, bad, pointless, interesting...
The legendary blues man Robert Johnson, a peripheral figure in Charles Shaar Murray's debut novel The Hellhound Sample, gets a whole different kind of makeover in this clip found on YouTube.
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"Charles Shaar Murray, one of the most insightful music writers of the past four decades, demonstrates in THE HELLHOUND SAMPLE that he is as adept, and insightful, in fiction. A gripping and fascinating account of an elderly bluesman so well depicted that I thought I could hear his songs playing in the background throughout. Murray's knowledge of the field is as wide as the Mississippi, and so deep that you could only imagine he must have grown up somewhere in shouting distance of Highway 61, West Grand Boulevard, Maxwell Street, or Central Avenue. Have always looked forward to each of his non-fiction works, and will now also be able to look forward to his fiction as well." Jack Womack, author of Random Acts of Senseless Violence
"Murray brings a real sense of troubled authenticity to this troubled tale. A totally engaging read." Electric Ghost
"Every scene rings true, whether set in 1932 Mississippi, 1964 Soho or 2004 LA." Paul Slade, Planet Slade»
Author Q&A: Charles Shaar Murray Richard Smirke, Big Issue
"A hugely entertaining and gripping read." Tim Bennett-Goodman, Polari Magazine»
"Gives entertaining voice to pulp sensibility." Allan Jones, Uncut
“Murray’s chilling take on rock supernaturalism is as down home and dramatically dirty as it gets." Fraulein Sasha Selavie,QX»
"Charles Shaar Murray's The Hellhound Sample is a very enjoyable story of the life and times of how the blues emerged and filtered across to Blighty in the early sixties, influencing a generation of musicians who have become the modern day music rock and roll hierarchy. He then brings it into the present and mixes it all up with humorous insight into the workings of the present black R&B/Rap music scene in the US. A must-read ... and not just for guitarists who will get lots of technical tips too!" Phil Manzanera, Roxy Music guitarist
"I was in the book when it was open in front of me - the characters, locations, atmosphere, interaction so strongly formed and believable (be-live-able). And there's others who swear the crossroads is as real and magical as the crossbones, so I gets to feelin' there's more to this here book than meets the eye." Mark Reeve, ORB Editions»
"The Hellhound Sample is a serious contender for the title of the definitive rock'n'roll novel." Abbey's Bookshop»
“Rock novels often shy away from the music, but this one comes alive every time someone strums a chord or opens their mouth to sing... Fans of the music will enjoy Murray's spirited homage.” Jonathan Gibbs, The Independent»
“Here are characters that live and breathe, propelled into situations that invariably enthral, as events leap off the printed page at a pace that’s positively cinematic. Can’t wait to see the film... And hear the soundtrack.” Ian Fortnam, Classic Rock
"A heavily hip tale of bluesmen, rockers, rappers and gangsters, sprawled over decades and continents, with some supernatural suspense thrown into the mix... Charles Shaar Murray has drawn on four decades of music journalism to create a memorable debut novel." Olaf Tyaransen, Hot Press
"Charles Shaar Murray has given us a phenomenal story, with a handful of characters so completely drawn, you think they're jamming in the next room. From a barber shop in the Delta in the 1930s to the bustle and movement that was rock's birth in early 1960s UK to the sun-baked canyons of LA in the present day, Murray takes us on a journey of family, passion, culpability, and talent. It's all here: The ties that bind, the price you pay for the choices you make, and oh, man, the music! There's not a note, a harmonic, a single chord progression, that doesn't ring out like the voice of Robert Johnson's devil-haunted guitar. THE HELLHOUND SAMPLE is staggering. It achieves something rare in fiction: it makes you feel and it makes you wonder." DEBORAH GRABIEN, creator of the JP Kinkaid series
The Hellhound Sample launch The Boogaloo, London, June 22, 2011
The Hellhound Sample by Charles Shaar Murray. Fiction. A potent mix of secrets, nightmares and lies, spanning decades and continents. James 'Blue' Moon, the greatest living bluesman, has one last chance to escape the hellhound on his trail ... if the cancer doesn't get him first. More about this item»