It Still Moves
Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music
By Amanda Petrusich
(Faber & Faber, Paperback, 9780865479043, 304pp.)
Publication Date: August 18, 2009
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Part travelogue, part musical history, Amanda Petrusich’s It Still Moves outlines the sounds of the new, weird America—honoring the rich traditions of gospel, blues, country, folk, and rock that feed it while simultaneously exploring the American character as personified by its songs and landscapes. Through interviews, road stories, and rich music criticism, Petrusich traces the rise of Americana music from its early origins to its new and compelling incarnations—from Elvis to Iron and Wine, the Carter Family to Animal Collective, Charley Patton to Wilco. Ultimately, It Still Moves is a fervent attempt to reconcile the American past with the American present, using only dusty records and highway maps as guides.
Amanda Petrusich is a staff writer at Pitchforkmedia.com, a senior contributing editor at Paste, and the author of Pink Moon, a short book about Nick Drake’s 1972 album. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
“A contemplative journey through the history of folk, country, blues and rock ’n’ roll.” —JUDY BERMAN, Salon
“In this sharply observed, intensely felt audio-travelogue, Americana emerges less as a sound or musical genre than as an imaginary country, a dreamland superimposed over the real U.S.A., a salve for that feeling of hollowness that haunts modern urban existence.” —SIMON REYNOLDS, author of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984
“Like a smart, genial Persephone, Amanda Petrusich wanders the underworld of American roots music and reports back her insights with an open mind and an open heart.” —ANTHONY DECURTIS, contributing editor, Rolling Stone
“A terrific piece of travel writing. Amanda Petrusich takes us on a tour through the roots of American rural music, stopping at eccentric motels, visiting mythic sites of recording sessions and reciting heroic tales of song-catching and villainous accounts of song-stealing.” —JOE BOYD, The Guardian