There is a terrific long magazine article about Blind Willie McTell lurking inside this book. The effort it took researching it doubtless made Gray feel he deserved to put his name to the rather grander output of a book. The trouble is that often the little hard-won information there is about the bluesman is sometimes overshadowed by the story about how the author tracked it down. So rather than being the story of Blind Willie McTell, its the story of how Michael Gray researched the story of Blind Willie McTell. At least in titling the book "In search of..." author and pubisher are honest about this. You read at length about trips to libraries, archives, registrars, and county halls in search of documents. A lot of it hinges on birth, death and marriage certificates for McTell and many of his friends, family and acquintances. Its impressive what Gray tracks down but I am left wondering if it is all that interesting. Strangely there seems more detail of the family story in the 19th century than the 20th. The context-setting of the civil war period and its aftermath are quite excellent. Elsewhere though, facts can be scarce, and the travelogue of the contemporary south which Gray falls back on at these points, failed to really engage me. I'd give this book three and a half stars I suppose. For people interested in McTell it is worth reading, make no mistake. I just found some of the writing a little dull, and the book as a whole a little too long. It does contain the most complete discography of McTell in existence, and a lengthy explanation of what he recorded where and in what circumstance - with tantalising mention of tracks that are no longer in existence (as far as we know). For that alone Gray deserves praise, and his book will be of interest to fans of this music.