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Going Down to the River: A Homeless Musician, an Unforgettable Song, and the Miraculous Encounter that Changed a Life

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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 homeles 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.


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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 homeles 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.

47 review for Going Down to the River: A Homeless Musician, an Unforgettable Song, and the Miraculous Encounter that Changed a Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    LAWonder10

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 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 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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John Shedd

    Very interesting biography of one of the countless musical dreamers coming to Nashville hoping for the best. I've walked the streets of downtown every day for the last 35+ years, so I'm pretty sure our paths would have crossed at some point. One can't help feeling good about the way Seegers' story has evolved, but the chances are pretty low for success. Also encouraging that he gives credit for God's intervention in his life even before his musical success arrived.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I received a complimentary copy. A book that gives hope through the shared story. It has a message that most people can really use and most readers will feel in their hearts. I think any fans of the artist will enjoy getting an inside look at the moments shared and learn a lot about the author. A great book for older readers.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    From the opening paragraph this compelling memoir reached out, grabbed me by the collar and wouldn’t let go. Although I am a fan of Americana music I did not know the author or his story. Recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate Campos

    *I received a copy for review from the publisher through Booklist.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Levi W.

    Very memorable. I would give it a 7 out of 10 🌟.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lovely Loveday

    Going Down to the River is a heartfelt emotional read. A personal look inside the life of Doug Seegers as he shares his life struggles of addiction, being homeless, and his rise to international stardom. A story that is full of hope and the power of faith. A message that many people can use and most readers will feel it in their hearts. A touching story that is sure to stay with you long after you finish reading. Going Down to the River is an inspirational read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matilda

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pat

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jon Johnson

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Crane

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peter Janson

  13. 4 out of 5

    loveallbooks88

  14. 4 out of 5

    Forrest

  15. 5 out of 5

    Md Kepley

    awesome story

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Davitt

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindy Peterson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stig

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sadie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  22. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charissa Rate

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Mcghee

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

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    Joann

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bill Schlott

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paula Mullis

  31. 5 out of 5

    F

  32. 4 out of 5

    Karen Thompson

  33. 5 out of 5

    dawn rahe

  34. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  35. 4 out of 5

    Katharine Adams

  36. 4 out of 5

    Teri

  37. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

  38. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  39. 5 out of 5

    Mihaela Day

  40. 4 out of 5

    Beth Carlson

  41. 5 out of 5

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  42. 4 out of 5

    Poppy

  43. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

  44. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  45. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Taylor-Cruz

  46. 4 out of 5

    Wanda C

  47. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

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