Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America” as Want to Read:
Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Tom Piazza’s sharp intelligence, insight, and passion fuel this new collection of writings on music, literature, New Orleans, and America itself in desperate times.

For his first book since his award-winning novel City of Refuge and his stunning and influential post-Katrina polemic Why New Orleans Matters, Piazza selects the best of his writings on American roots music and
...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Harper Perennial
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Devil Sent the Rain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Devil Sent the Rain

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 219)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sam
This book is a mess...it is broken down into three sections, which all vary greatly in subject matter, so it's difficult to know that you'll be reading next, if you sit down and read more than just one essay at a time. Having said that, I really enjoyed it. I really like the author's style of writing (although I felt at times that he came off as full of himself). I found myself very interested in subjects (such as 1920's blues music) that I have never before had any interest in reading or learni ...more
Stephen
“The endless American dynamic: Strain at the leash, transform yourself into something unrecognizable, burn off the old, claim every possibility for yourself—contain, as Whitman suggested, multitudes—then memorialize the past that you have killed to pay for all that possibility. The more resolutely you have murdered it, in fact, the more sentimental you will be about it.”

I noticed before that several reviewers commented on the disjointedness of this book and its guts, and I will agree that perha
...more
Jim
Good books lead the reader to the next book (Dave Eggers "Zeitoun" led me to this book), and there are many next books and music that follow from "Devil Sent the Rain."

I sat listening to Jimmie Rodgers as I read the first two essays, then as I read Piazza's essay that accompanied the PBS series on the Blues and his essay on Charley Patton, I listened to recordings from early American rural music from the 1920's.

This collection contains a brilliant essay that accompanied the DVD "The Other Side o
...more
Mike
the essays and profiles in this book have been revelations. charley patton and jimmie rodgers sing in between the lines, and the profiles on bluegrass hellion jimmy martin and rocker carl perkins are incisive and touching.

''I never envied Elvis his mansion and all that. All these boys -- Elvis, Jerry Lee, Roy Orbison -- they all lost their wives, their families. People say, 'What happened to you, Carl? All of them went on to superstardom. Where'd you go?' I say, 'I went home.' And that's a good
...more
Alex
I loved this book. I saw it as an anthology of sorts - spanning some of his great feature articles on jazz and bluesgrass in the 1920s and 30's, all the way to his political pieces detailing the many failings of the US government during (and proceeding) Hurricane Katrina. His personality permeates every sentence, his prose is excellent, his stories bring you nose-to-nose with the world he lives in.
Sara Habein
Devil Sent the Rain is an excellent book. One does not have to be a big fan of the blues or “rural” music to find value within its pages, for Piazza writes in an informative way that's moving and honest.

(My full review can be found on Glorified Love Letters.)
Roberta Romero
Informative read on music and writing. A good history of bluegrass and its musicians, a genre of music I am not familiar with but have a new found appreciation after reading this. Great insight into New Orleans, Katrina and more importantly the people. This makes me want to read City of Refuge.
Julian
Very nice collection of essays on an array of topics. With Music and New Orleans both being of great interest to me, there are a number of great pieces here. I particularly liked the insight into the life of Jimmy Rodgers in Nashville and the piece about finding classic 78s at a flea market.
Richard
A terrific collection of essays written by a guy you've read before, but never realized it. Tom Piazza has written for numerous music mags, and has quite a career writing liner notes for CD's/albums. He's even won Grammies.
Phil Overeem
A very nice collection: stellar pieces on Jimmy Martin, Jelly Roll Morton's Library of Congress recordings, Charlie Chan movies--and some fiery pieces on Katrina.
Bernadette
This is a very wonderful book to spend time with.
Lisalealea
Lisalealea marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Amanda Grass
Amanda Grass marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2015
Kate
Kate marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2015
Corinna Bechko
Corinna Bechko is currently reading it
Aug 15, 2015
John
John marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2015
Ismael Schonhorst
Ismael Schonhorst marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2015
Bruce
Bruce marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2015
Lva
Lva marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2015
Dr. Detroit
Dr. Detroit marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2015
Jonni
Jonni added it
Jul 09, 2015
Nathan Benmargi
Nathan Benmargi marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
GinYumYum
GinYumYum marked it as to-read
Jun 15, 2015
Karla
Karla marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2015
Kari Fokken
Kari Fokken marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
Jeremy
Jeremy marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2015
E L
E L marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2015
Ray
Ray marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Out of the Vinyl Deeps: On Rock Music
  • When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison
  • Visions of Jazz: The First Century
  • The Grey Album: Music, Shadows, Lies
  • Music: What Happened?
  • Feet on the Street: Rambles Around New Orleans
  • The Aesthetics of Music
  • Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us
  • Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City
  • Bowie
  • How Soon Is Now? The Madmen & Mavericks Who Made Independent Music (1975-2005)
  • 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day
  • Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture
  • Letters from New Orleans
  • Aftershock: The Blast That Shook Psycho Platoon (Kindle Single)
  • So What: The Life of Miles Davis
  • Darker Than the Deepest Sea: The Search for Nick Drake
  • The History Of The Blues: The Roots, The Music, The People
Why New Orleans Matters City of Refuge My Cold War True Adventures with the King of Bluegrass: Jimmy Martin Blues and Trouble: Twelve Stories

Share This Book