Andrea's Reviews > Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers

Satan is Real by Charlie Louvin
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Feb 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography
Read in February, 2012

The best cover I've possibly ever seen, and the best story about how that cover came to be I could ever imagine...alongside a hell of a lot of other amazing stories. The ones about growing as an Alabama sharecropper's sons will bring tears to your eyes, and you'll be sick with longing to go to one of the Haynes family reunions to hear them sing gospel. There's the pain of watching a brother destroy himself, and the fascination of those tidbits about Elvis and the Monroe Brothers, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, the behind the scenes at the Grand Ole Opry. It's just Charlie Louvin telling those stories too, like he just might have told you little by little in a social sort of way if you were lucky enough to be friends before he passed. I know Ben put a whole lot of work into pulling it all together, but man, you just can't see the signs. Except in that effortless storytelling. Means he did a hell of a job.

A book for any fan of music, but if you were lucky enough to be raised on country, this will blow you sky high. You can't go wrong buying the album either, listening to those beautiful old-fashioned harmonies you can hear how the music ran in that Louvin blood and demanded its toll, and it's never a waste of time meditating on sin and insecurity, alcohol and guns, love and redemption. This book has it all, and adds a whole new dimension to some incredible music. That Johnny Cash hung around outside one of their gigs just to hear them through the window because he couldn't afford to get in (though Charlie let him in, not knowing who he was at all), or that they were Elvis's mother's favourite gospel group...well, in my opinion the Louvin's never needed that kind of validation. But they surely have it.


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