Out at Amazon readers appear impressed. “A great adventure by Peter Finch, in which he explores the history and origins of the music he grew up with as a young man in Cardiff..he embarks on a wonderful journey to the birthplaces of the American music which inspired him and others of his generation. There are references throughout of past and current musical experiences in his native Wales. It explores more than just the music, and reaches into the psyche of the American nation. I was sorry when i reached the last page, always a sign of a good read(I,ve struggled throuigh many a volume in the past!!) A thoroughly absorbing and very readable volume..recommended” said a verified purchaser.
Will Parfitt thought: “A truly remarkable book … fun, engaging detailed story telling – how the author explores his own interest in the roots of his lifelong musical interests with explorations to the home lands of blues and so on. I have a long list of really interesting tracks to explore on Apple Music now and discovering some gems. I only gave it 4 rather than 5 stars because it is too detailed for me, it isn’t exactly the sort of music I listen to, but for anyone interested in the roots of rock, especially in the blues, this is a great read and shared exploration.”
In a review for The Welsh Agenda (Spring/Summer 2016) Sarah Hill wrote: “As a trip back through time to Cardiff at a pivotal moment in pop culture history, and forward to that historical moment’s afterlife, this is a vivid and engaging read that breathes new life into some great old music.”
Record Collector issue 452 had this:
“A Welsh Poets Wails The Blues. – Peter Finch is a poet of renown and a key figure in the Welsh literary scene, with a love of American music nurtured in the suburbs, pubs and clubs of Cardiff. The Roots of Rock opens in the Welsh capital, in the company of Champion Jack Dupree and John Lee Hooker, as well as Clive, Geoff, Jan and Mike, with whom Finch formed his first band, The Down And Out Blueswailers. This establishes a solid foundation for the second phase, in which Finch can finally afford to travel to the States to follow blues trails, Sun Records tours, Elvis heritage sites and more.
Finch observes with a keen eye and a gently sardonic, but never unkind, writing style; it’s just as well he takes good notes because he packs in visits to musicianly cities, towns, hamlets, museums (even Dollywood) and discovers more music, live or recorded, than seems humanly possible.
Roots is written with the passion of a lifelong enthusiast on a deep grounding of knowledge. It is rooted in South Wales, brings the sights, sounds and smells of Americana back home and predicts a future that cherishes the live at the expense of the recorded.”
Planet for spring 2017 says:
“Peter Finch’s conclusion rings true, that roots music may have its distant origins in Europe or Africa, but what we hear today was very much created by the great craftsmen: Bling Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, Doc Watson, Bill Monroe and so on. I have been inspired to seek out some of the artist and recordings referred to, and for that, I can pay the author no greater compliment.”