FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Novel Relives Chicago During The Great Recession
From squatting in a West Side practice space to performing at Blues Fest, the tales of misadventure compiled in Heine’s Busking Blues capture a street musician’s journey and a unique time in Chicago’s recent past.
CHICAGO, IL, 9/9/22— Westley Heine’s Busking Blues is about giving up everything for the muse in the midst of economic failure. Subtitled Recollections of a Chicago Street Musician and Squatter, Heine’s new novel, to be published by Roadside Press in September 2022, relays tales of a singer-songwriter’s survival in the street full of pedestrians, workers, graffiti artists, bike messengers, homeless, hipsters, hustlers, punks, drunks, poets, grifters, and gangsters during the Great Recession of the early 2000s.
In the engaging autographical novel, Heine recalls the Chicago of 2010 as the first wave of millennials faced post-graduation during economic fallout. Through surviving off plasma donations, grocery clerk wages, and street performing, Heine encounters characters from all walks of life on the streets of Chicago. Descriptions of the city’s neighborhoods, late-night diners, and music open mics bring to life snapshots of the city’s ever-changing landscape. Busking Blues is a slice of time in an ever-changing city. In a place where flesh and souls are sold, Heine sees the cosmic beauty haloed by streetlights at the frontlines of America. This is a meditation on karma, superstition, classism, race and inequality, heartbreak, disillusionment, and freedom. He waxes philosophically from the highs of freedom to the lows of the gutter, while pounding the pavement until it cracks.
With media outlets predicting a looming recession, publication of Busking Blues couldn’t be timelier. The events of Heine’s past, both gritty and inspiring, reflect the hopefulness of youth and in equal proportion the bitter reality of sustaining artistic dreams when the economy breaks down. At the height of the late 2000’s recession, a singer-songwriter throws himself at the mercy of the streets. A panorama of pedestrians, workers, graffiti artists, bike messengers, homeless, hipsters, hustlers, punks, drunks, poets, grifters, and gangsters—Busking Blues is about giving up everything for the muse.
Westley Heine’s poetry has appeared in The Wellington Street Review, Gravitas, Heroin Love Songs, and numerous others. He is a regular contributor to the magazine Beatdom. This will be his first novel length release following 12 Chicago Cabbies and Other Streetwise Stories and The Trail of Quetzalcoatl. He graduated from the now closed and maligned Illinois Institute of Art, which made national waves for defrauding students, with a degree in filmmaking. Heine lived in Chicago from 2002 to 2015 where he worked primarily as a taxi-cab dispatcher. He now resides with his wife in Los Angeles. Busking Blues: Recollections of a Chicago Street Musician and Squatter is published through Roadside Press and available for $15.00 at the following link: www.magicaljeep.com/product/busking/98
Interested parties will receive a complimentary copy of the book and a small stipend for published reviews.