Riversong Cover Image


by Lee Underwood

87 pages, retail price $15.50
ISBN: 979-8-9896447-0-4


Nearly all of the poems included in Riversong are new. They are expressions of personal love, transcendental realization, and my deep involvement with nature and music.

STREAM. . .RIVER. . .FLOW, that starts off the FOREVER SONGS Section, for example, is a journey from youth's first realization of the power of music, when as a nine-year-old boy, lying in bed, I held a plastic radio up to my ear, listening to “The Grand Ol' Opry,” and heard for the first time the magical guitar of Chet Atkins. I had never heard anything remotely like what he was doing with his music. I was transported into the first heaven I had ever known.

That musical experience awakened me to the realization that life itself is a stream, a river, an eternal flowng that forever surrounds us and infuses us and carries us through waves of music, which only sometimes do we become aware of. Life is a RIVERSONG filled with light, fire, and beauty. Life itself is that RIVERSONG.

As my life streamed on, other adventures appeared to me in that music flow — such as running away from home in Big Spring west Texas as a 14-year-old boy, hitchhiking to Memphis, stealing a row boat, and sailing down the Mississippi River.

That journey was the first of many adventures that river-streamed through my life, including learning how to drink beer as a college student, how to make love, and, later on, how to play guitar, which hearkened me back to the music of Chet Atkins. STREAM. . .RIVER. . .FLOW also includes a mini-biography of my journey as the lead guitarist with a “wild-haired singer” (which some readers will recognize as Tim Buckley.)

I do hope you enjoy the journey. There is something about the written word that can be magical, uplifting, even transformational. I trust you will find something of the same in these poems. Very best to you and yours — and keep on keepin' on!


During the late '60s and early '70s, after graduating from San Francisco State College with a degree in English Literature, Lee Underwood played lead guitar with singer/songwriter Tim Buckley on seven of the nine albums Buckley released while alive, including Happy Sad and Starsailor. Underwood also appeared on several posthumous Buckley CDs, notably Dream Letter: Live in London 1968 and Works In Progress. He toured America and Europe with Buckley for seven years, and in 2002 published a book entitled Blue Melody: Tim Buckley Remembered (Backbeat Books).

While living in Los Angeles with Sonia Crespi in the '70s and '80s, Underwood wrote extensively about music and musicians. His articles, interviews and reviews appeared in dozens of periodicals, including Down Beat (West Coast Editor, 1975-1981), L.A. Times, L.A. Weekly, Rolling Stone, Pulse, Jazz Forum, L.A. Free Press, New Realities, Body/Mind/Spirit, New Age Journal, and many others. In 1990, he co-authored flutist Paul Horn's autobiography, Inside Paul Horn (HarperCollins; 1990), and in 1991 received the Crystal Award for Music Journalism at the NAM Convention in Hollywood.

During the '90s, Lee and Sonia moved to Rio En Medio, a small town outside of Santa Fe, where they lived in a small hand-built adobe house for seven years. During that time, they drove all about New Mexico and southern Colorado, camping by streams and hiking in the mountains. It was a heavenly time for them, and a major influence in Underwood's writing.

From there, they moved to Oakhurst, CA in 1997, where they lived for 20 years in the mountains, in a large house beside a year-round stream. It was here that Lee wrote two books of poetry — Timewinds (PM Books 2010) and Diamondfire (Outskirts Press 2016). In 2017, Underwood and his beloved wife Sonia Crespi moved to Petaluma, CA. Here, Underwood wrote Into Light (Poetic Matrix Press, 2021).

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