The Oxford American Book of Great Music Writing

I love short story and essay collections, because I can pick and choose the ones I like, read them out of order, and not feel compelled to read the whole book.

That’s what I liked – and very much – about The Oxford American Book of Great Music Writing, although the quality within is so good, I found that most of the pieces within were worthy of reading; some were worth breezing through again.

The blues, country, rockabilly, jazz, alternative – there are few bases left uncovered in this collection of essays culled from the Oxford American, one of the best magazines in recent times devoted to short fiction, essays, art, music, and what have you, all or most with a Southern American slant.  Some essays cover the famous (Janis Joplin, Al Green, R.E.M.) others the near famous or obscure.  Most of the selections (I say most, because when I pick through collections like this one, I am never quite sure to have read every one) are fascinating.  Several essayists are recognized names, such as Peter Guralnick and John Jeremiah Sullivan; some are celebrities themselves.  An example is Steve Martin, who writes a whimsical piece about banjo playing near the end of the book.

There are a couple of short stories here, one of them courtesy of North Carolina’s own Ron Rash, and a poem by Billy Collins.

If good writing and American roots music are two of your passions, read this book!

(William Hicks, Information Services)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: