Paperback Bio of Blues Legend Big Bill Broonzy, 'I Feel So Good,' Slated for October 15 Release

Bob Riesman's heralded 2011 Big Bill Broonzy biography, I Feel So Good: The Life And Times of Big Bill Broonzy (University of Chicago Press), is coming to paperback October 15.

I Feel So Good documents the life of the late Chicago blues legend by focusing on his early trips across the Atlantic in the 1950s. Broonzy, who was born in Arkansas, was one of the first Southern bluesmen to make waves in 1930s Chicago, blazing a trail for others who followed in his footsteps, including Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.

With his knack for blending country blues with electric guitar, Broonzy was one of the leading architects of the Chicago blues sound later made popular by Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and Paul Butterfield.

The hardback edition of the book, which earned praise from NPR, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, has some serious fans in Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Pete Seeger and Ray Davies, all of whom where fans of Broonzy's music. Clapton called Broonzy "a role model for me" (He also covered several Broonzy songs, including "Key to the Highway"); Townshend hailed him as "my first blues crush."

The book features a foreword by music critic and historian Peter Guralnick.

For more info about the book, including raves from other artists, head here. Check out the hardcover edition of the book at

Guitar World Exclusive

Check out this exclusive photo of Broonzy's guitar in the hands of Billy Boy Arnold, one of the last remaining prewar Chicago bluesmen. The guitar is held at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and is only brought out on special occasions.

Riesman and Billy Boy Arnold will appear and perform at New York City's 92Y Tribeca on October 11. Click here for more information. Riesman will perform solo at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, on November 16.

Photo: Bob Riesman

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.