Going Down to the River: A Homeless Musician, an Unforgettable Song, and the Miraculous Encounter that Changed a Life by Doug Seegers, Steve Eubanks
The astonishing story of a singer-songwriter living on the streets of Nashville who met Jesus, got sober, and found international stardom at the age of 62.
Doug Seegers left New York for Nashville in search of every songwriter’s dream. When he didn’t find success, he fell into a state of loneliness that fed an addiction he had battled since adolescence. Soon, he was homeless, playing his guitar on the street with a cardboard sign asking for money. But then he cried out to God in repentance and need, and God graciously met him. Doug then found sobriety, regained some footing, and in a miraculous moment was discovered outside a food pantry by a Swedish musician and documentarian who put his story on the air in Stockholm. Within days of the documentary airing--even though he still walked to the public library every day and acquired most of his belongings from nearby Dumpsters--Doug had the number-one selling song in Sweden.
Going Down to the River is Doug’s inspirational story of faith, forgiveness, and the power of prayer and belief. It is also the never-give-up tale of a man who played music for 55 years without success only to become a chart-topping artist at the age of 62.
MY REVIEW: (LAWonder10)
** spoiler alert ** This book is an interesting, true story, of a man's struggle trough youth into his late adult years.
Doug Severs began childhood in a dysfunctional home-later it became a single parent home.
He had an all-consuming desire to write and sing his own music. He participated in small bands playing and singing, mostly, "back-up"
He tells of his struggles with drugs, and partying, which was the destruction of a lot of talented artists of the sixties and seventies era - even in today's world!
He begins his tale by reflecting on that younger man (himself) and states, "I want to warn him never to take that first hit, never to taste that first drink...".
If only all would adhere to this counsel.
I like the statement he makes, "Dedication and detail don't always bring you closer to God, but doing good work sure does lift your Spirit".
He speaks of a time he was arrested because he was with the wrong people at the wrong time. He was not totally free of guilt, but the main offenders escaped and he was left "holding the bag".
Among many good points he makes, he tells of one's desire to put one's life in
"reverse" and undo foolish mistakes. But what we can do is "put on the brake, and turn down the better road and change the direction your life is going.
One of his final remarks in this story, he says, " When I was a kid, I wanted the fame and glory for myself. Now I wanted what fame I got to spread God's Word through my story."
His fame came after he hit the final "bottom" of worthlessness. He was in his sixties.
This is an inspiring story. It his highly recommended for book clubs.
The story was written in a manner, st times, the reader was unsure for awhile, what time period he was in. It just felt awkward.
For this reason I can only offer a Three and a Half Stars rating*This book was sent as a gift. It was not suggested I give a positive review. This is my honest review.
About Doug SeegersA frequently homeless, 62-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist gets discovered at a Nashville food pantry by a Swedish country music star, who helps him from the streets to superstardom in a country best known for Abba's "Dancing Queen" and the like.
"What's Abba?" asks Doug Seegers, in a voice free of irony.
Seegers isn't much into pop music. He grew up on the hard-country sounds of Hank Williams, and came to adore the heart-first country-rock that Gram Parsons made with the assistance of young harmony vocalist Emmylou Harris.
Those influences are present on Seegers' remarkable two album, "Going Down To The River" and "Walking On The Edge of the World", fully realized versions of the music he has been making on Nashville streets for decades. Before that, he was making it in New York, Austin and other locales.
"I've made a ton of money playing out in the street," he says, slight Southern flair dosing the accent of his Long Island youth and his post-grad years in the Big Apple, where he lived in abandoned buildings, "ate and breathed everything John Lennon" while playing for tips in downtown Manhattan.
Guided by his guitar, he wound his way to Austin, Texas, where he became "Duke the Drifter" - a playful twist on Hank Williams' "Luke the Drifter" moniker, the name under which country's often-impaired superstar delivered Christian music and recitation.