Folk Music
The Americana Revolution: From Country and Blues Roots to the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and Beyond
The Americana Revolution
From Country and Blues Roots to the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and Beyond
Hardcover      ISBN: 1442269405

Americana is a music that defies definition. It isn't rock, although it does encompass rock. It isn't folk, but folk is there. It isn't Celtic, but it is woven with Celtic threads. It is a blend of forms, music that draws on a wide range of influences. Gathering these many genres together, Americana continually reinvents itself and actively tells the story of its origins and its future. The Americana Revolution: From Country and Blues Roots to the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and Beyond is an informal social history that describes Americana as both a musical genre and a movement, showing what it is, where it came from, and where it is going. Musician and historian Michael Scott Cain examines how the idea of genre, especially Americana, affects the creation and consumption of music. He tries to discern the formulas of this slippery genre and seeks out the places where artists have broken or bent those formulas in the name of creativity. Through anecdotes and interviews, Cain provides a firsthand view into the creation of Americana to clarify how the genre can be categorized and defined. Through the stories of its creators both long gone and new to the scene, Americana music comes alive as a diverse melting pot of creative genius. With this book, Cain grants music lovers from all backgrounds an unparalleled view into the future of a music that embraces new influences but never forgets its roots.

And a Voice to Sing with: A Memoir
And a Voice to Sing with
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 1439169640

- The perfect time for a reissue: In October 2009, PBS will air a ninety-minute primetime special on Joan Baez as part of the Emmy Award-winning American Masters series. Told often from Baez's perspective, but supported by a rich performance and historical archive, the documentary centers on her career as a musician, power as an artist, those who influenced her, and those she championed. She will also be on a 27-city U.S. tour starting July 2009..

- A musical force and a catalyst for social change: At the age of eighteen Baez was an international star with a Time magazine cover story; fifty years later she has thirty-three albums to her credit. She also marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., was jailed for supporting the draft resistance, and sang in the first Amnesty International tour. An extraordinary woman who has led an eventful life, Baez's memoir is as honest, unpretentious, and courageous as she is. .
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Paperback      ISBN: 1250075629

A vivid, first-hand account of Nobel Prize-winning singer and songwriter Bob Dylan as an artist, friend, and celebrity, illustrated with never-before-seen photographs, and told by an engaging raconteur who cut his own swathe through the turbulent counterculture.

August 2014 marks 50 years since Bob Dylan released his fourth album, Another Side of Bob Dylan. Recorded in one night, in the middle of a turbulent year in his life, the music marked a departure from Dylan's socially-conscious folk songs and began his evolution toward other directions.

During the years they spent together, few people outside of Dylan's immediate family were closer than Victor Maymudes, who was Dylan's tour manager, personal friend, and travelling companion from the early days in 1960s Greenwich Village through the late 90's. Another Side of Bob Dylan recounts landmark events including Dylan's infamous motorcycle crash; meeting the Beatles on their first US tour; his marriage to Sara Lownds, his romances with Suze Rotolo, Joan Baez, and others; fellow travelers Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Wavy Gravy, Dennis Hopper, The Band, The Traveling Wilburys, and more; memorable concerts, and insights on Dylan's songwriting process.

On January 26th, 2001, after recording more than 24 hours of taped memories in preparation for writing this book, Victor Maymudes suffered an aneurysm and died. His son Jacob has written the book, using the tapes to shape the story.

A Los Angeles Times Best Seller.
Arlo Guthrie: The Warner/Reprise Years
Arlo Guthrie
The Warner/Reprise Years
Hardcover      ISBN: 0810883317

Arlo Guthrie, the son of America's legendary dust bowl troubadour Woody Guthrie and Martha Graham dancer Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, was reared in the rarefied atmosphere of New York City's remnant Old Left culture, a period that brought together art, political action, and folk music. Music was part of Guthrie's life from the very beginning and his self-confessed earliest childhood memory was standing knee-high next to Lead Belly, the blues legend and "King of the twelve-string Guitar." Arlo's earliest mentors were his father's friends, and the youngster would learn his craft from the giants of American folk music: Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Cisco Houston, Josh White, Oscar Brand, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Brownie McGhee, and Sonny Terry. Arlo Guthrie: The Warner/Reprise Years revisits Guthrie's fifteen-year ride as a recording artist for the prestigious record label. Hank Reineke guides readers through the colorful history of Guthrie's most creative period, when the droll, shaggy-haired troubadour promised in song that a "new world" was surely coming. In his thoughtful consideration of Guthrie's career as a popular, if idiosyncratic, recording artist for the Reprise/Warner Bros. label, Reineke regales readers with stories behind the remarkable success of Guthrie's talking blues-turned-movie Alice's Restaurant and his celebrated appearance at the 1969 Woodstock festival. Guthrie's time at Reprise/Warner Bros. from 1967 to 1982 saw twelve critically acclaimed solo albums, two staple singles of FM radio ("Coming Into Los Angeles" and "City of New Orleans"), and a pair of treasured folk-music recording collaborations with Pete Seeger. With a look at Guthrie's life and times before and after this prolific period of his career, Arlo Guthrie: The Warner/Reprise Years is the first biography dedicated solely to this gifted artist. A goldmine of information on the Guthrie family's legacy to American music, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the record industry of the 1970s, this work also features a detailed bibliography as well as the first comprehensive discography of Guthrie's recordings through the present day. Arlo Guthrie: The Warner/Reprise Years will appeal to popular music historians, folk-rock fans, and readers interested in the American counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s.

The Ballad Collectors of North America: How Gathering Folksongs Transformed Academic Thought and American Identity
The Ballad Collectors of North America
How Gathering Folksongs Transformed Academic Thought and American Identity
Hardcover      ISBN: 0810881551

Much has been written about the songs gathered in North America in the first half of the 20th century. However, there is scant information on those individuals responsible for gathering these songs. The Ballad Collectors of North America: How Gathering Folksongs Transformed Academic Thought and American Identity fills this gap, documenting the efforts of those who transcribed and recorded North American folk songs. Both biographical and topical, this book chronicles not only the most influential of these "song catchers" but also examines the main schools of thought on the collection process, the leading proponents of those schools, and the projects that they shaped. Contributors also consider the role of technology-especially the phonograph-in the collection efforts. Chapters organized by region cover such areas as Appalachia, the West, and Canada, while others devoted to specialized topics from the cowboy tune and occupational song to the commercialization of folk music through song collections and anthologies. Ballad Collectors investigates the larger role of the ballad in the development of American identity, from the national appreciation of cowboy songs in popular culture to the use of Appalachian song forms in radio broadcasts to the role of dustbowl ballads in the urban folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s. Finally, this collection assesses the changing role of songs and song texts in the academic fields of folklore, anthropology, musicology, and ethnomusicology. Scholars and students of American cultural and social history, as well as fans of North American folk and popular music, will find The Ballad Collectors of North America a fascinating story of how the American folk tradition gained greater visibility, fueling the revolutions that would follow in the writing and performance of American music.

The Banjo: America's African Instrument
The Banjo
America's African Instrument
Hardcover      ISBN: 0674047842

The banjo has been called by many names over its history, but they all refer to the same sound--strings humming over skin--that has eased souls and electrified crowds for centuries. The Banjo invites us to hear that sound afresh in a biography of one of America's iconic folk instruments. Attuned to a rich heritage spanning continents and cultures, Laurent Dubois traces the banjo from humble origins, revealing how it became one of the great stars of American musical life.

In the seventeenth century, enslaved people in the Caribbean and North America drew on their memories of varied African musical traditions to construct instruments from carved-out gourds covered with animal skin. Providing a much-needed sense of rootedness, solidarity, and consolation, banjo picking became an essential part of black plantation life. White musicians took up the banjo in the nineteenth century, when it became the foundation of the minstrel show and began to be produced industrially on a large scale. Even as this instrument found its way into rural white communities, however, the banjo remained central to African American musical performance.

Twentieth-century musicians incorporated the instrument into styles ranging from ragtime and jazz to Dixieland, bluegrass, reggae, and pop. Versatile and enduring, the banjo combines rhythm and melody into a single unmistakable sound that resonates with strength and purpose. From the earliest days of American history, the banjo's sound has allowed folk musicians to create community and joy even while protesting oppression and injustice.

The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience [With CD (Audio)]
The Beautiful Music All Around Us
Field Recordings and the American Experience [With CD (Audio)]
Hardcover      ISBN: 0252036883

The Beautiful Music All Around Us presents the extraordinarily rich backstories of thirteen performances captured on Library of Congress field recordings between 1934 and 1942 in locations reaching from Southern Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta and the Great Plains. Including the children's play song "Shortenin' Bread," the fiddle tune "Bonaparte's Retreat," the blues "Another Man Done Gone," and the spiritual "Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down," these performances were recorded in kitchens and churches, on porches and in prisons, in hotel rooms and school auditoriums. Documented during the golden age of the Library of Congress recordings, they capture not only the words and tunes of traditional songs but also the sounds of life in which the performances were embedded: children laugh, neighbors comment, trucks pass by.

Musician and researcher Stephen Wade sought out the performers on these recordings, their families, fellow musicians, and others who remembered them. He reconstructs the sights and sounds of the recording sessions themselves and how the music worked in all their lives. Some of these performers developed musical reputations beyond these field recordings, but for many, these tracks represent their only appearances on record: prisoners at the Arkansas State Penitentiary jumping on "the Library's recording machine" in a rendering of "Rock Island Line"; Ora Dell Graham being called away from the schoolyard to sing the jump-rope rhyme "Pullin' the Skiff"; Luther Strong shaking off a hungover night in jail and borrowing a fiddle to rip into "Glory in the Meetinghouse."

Alongside loving and expert profiles of these performers and their locales and communities, Wade also untangles the histories of these iconic songs and tunes, tracing them through slave songs and spirituals, British and homegrown ballads, fiddle contests, gospel quartets, and labor laments. By exploring how these singers and instrumentalists exerted their own creativity on inherited forms, "amplifying tradition's gifts," Wade shows how a single artist can make a difference within a democracy.

Reflecting decades of research and detective work, the profiles and abundant photos in The Beautiful Music All Around Us bring to life largely unheralded individuals--domestics, farm laborers, state prisoners, schoolchildren, cowboys, housewives and mothers, loggers and miners--whose music has become part of the wider American musical soundscape. The hardcover edition also includes an accompanying CD that presents these thirteen performances, songs and sounds of America in the 1930s and '40s.

Been Here and Gone
Been Here and Gone
Paperback      ISBN: 0820321958

This volume documents Frederic Ramsey Jr.'s journeys through the 1950s South, where he traveled in search of what might still remain of an original, authentic African American musical tradition.

In these photographs, songs, interviews, and narratives, Ramsey portrays farmers, railroad workers, housewives, children, church congregations, and country brass bands from Saratoga, Florida, to New Orleans, Louisiana. Ramsey's images of a past way of life capture the deceptively poor landscapes and lives that gave birth to and sustained some of our warmest and most deeply felt music.
Been So Long: My Life and Music
Been So Long
My Life and Music
Hardcover      ISBN: 1250125480

A modern parable. --from the foreword by Grace Slick

"Jorma Kaukonen is a force in American music, equally adept at fingerpicked acoustic folk and blues as he is at wailing on an electric." - Acoustic Guitar

"Jorma Kaukonen lit a fuse and transformed his electric guitar into a firework." - Live For Live Music

Includes a CD of live music as a companion to the book

From the man who made a name for himself as a founding member and lead guitarist of Jefferson Airplane comes a memoir that offers a rare glimpse into the heart and soul of a musical genius--and a vivid journey through the psychedelic era in America.

"Music is the reward for being alive," writes Jorma Kaukonen in this candid and emotional account of his life and work. "It stirs memory in a singular way that is unmatched." In a career that has already spanned a half century--one that has earned him induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors--Jorma is best known for his legendary bands Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna. But before he won worldwide recognition he was just a young man with a passion and a dream.

Been So Long is the story of how Jorma found his place in the world of music and beyond. The grandson of Finnish and Russian-Jewish immigrants whose formative years were spent abroad with his American-born diplomat father, Jorma channeled his life experiences--from his coming-of-age in Pakistan and the Philippines to his early gigs with Jack Casady in D.C. to his jam sessions in San Francisco with Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and other contemporaries--into his art in unique and revelatory ways. Been So Long charts not only Jorma's association with the bands that made him famous but goes into never-before-told details about his addiction and recovery, his troubled first marriage and still-thriving second, and more. Interspersed with diary entries, personal correspondence, and song lyrics, this memoir is as unforgettable and inspiring as Jorma's music itself.
Been So Long: My Life and Music
Been So Long
My Life and Music
Paperback      ISBN: 1250229499

A modern parable. --from the foreword by Grace Slick

"Jorma Kaukonen is a force in American music, equally adept at fingerpicked acoustic folk and blues as he is at wailing on an electric." - Acoustic Guitar

"Jorma Kaukonen lit a fuse and transformed his electric guitar into a firework." - Live For Live Music

From the man who made a name for himself as a founding member and lead guitarist of Jefferson Airplane comes a memoir that offers a rare glimpse into the heart and soul of a musical genius--and a vivid journey through the psychedelic era in America.

"Music is the reward for being alive," writes Jorma Kaukonen in this candid and emotional account of his life and work. "It stirs memory in a singular way that is unmatched." In a career that has already spanned a half century--one that has earned him induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors--Jorma is best known for his legendary bands Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna. But before he won worldwide recognition he was just a young man with a passion and a dream.

Been So Long is the story of how Jorma found his place in the world of music and beyond. The grandson of Finnish and Russian-Jewish immigrants whose formative years were spent abroad with his American-born diplomat father, Jorma channeled his life experiences--from his coming-of-age in Pakistan and the Philippines to his early gigs with Jack Casady in D.C. to his jam sessions in San Francisco with Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and other contemporaries--into his art in unique and revelatory ways. Been So Long charts not only Jorma's association with the bands that made him famous but goes into never-before-told details about his addiction and recovery, his troubled first marriage and still-thriving second, and more. Interspersed with diary entries, personal correspondence, and song lyrics, this memoir is as unforgettable and inspiring as Jorma's music itself.