The Blues Foundation in Memphis selected Mary Lou Sullivan for the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award in Literature.
Raisin' Cain won the
2011 ARSC Award for Excellence
in Historical Recorded Sound Research.
“This book registers as one of the world’s great music biographies. Johnny is a genuinely and brilliantly infused artist who has mastered and channeled his love and knowledge of blues culture into transmogrifying, galvanic experiences for those of us privileged to see him play or hear his records. This is how he came to do it.”
“'The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,' wrote William Blake. This book shows just how rocky that road can be, and how much a great blues artist has to work and endure to create the music. It’ll remind you what a giant force Johnny Winter has been in blues and rock, both with his own music and for his work with Muddy Waters and others. It’s all here—the sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, heartbreaks, triumphs, and famous friends. What a wild, improbable, twisting tale!"
"Johnny Winter spent his lunch money on blues records, and he was nourished. The blues struck a natural chord in him, and he soon energized the sound—and the whole rock scene. Through extensive interviews with Johnny, his family, and friends, Mary Lou Sullivan brings Johnny’s story to life. From Texas progressive to deep blues revivalist, from rock star highs to heroin lows, this story is a raucous good time, full of drama, and ultimately, an exciting personal triumph."
"Raisin' Cain is fascinating – it's not just liner notes and rehash but real investigation and real writing. It presents Johnny's story in full and provides priceless insight into Johnny Winter, the person, and Johnny Winter, the blues musician. Raisin' Cain is so complete that the next time someone asks Edgar Winter, "Hey, Where's your brother?" he can tell them to pick up a copy."
"Incredibly detailed. . . . For those of us who are Johnny Winter fans, this is more information than anyone would ever need. Raises the bar when someone says they are writing an authorized biography.”
“I've read it cover to cover, and can honestly say it's one of the most detailed, accurate and honest depictions of a legend that I've ever come across.”