Book Reviews

  • Peggy Seeger: First Time Ever

    Among the most artful duos to lift their voices in the cause and community of folk music are the singers Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl. They fell in love in 1956–she, 21, newly arrived in London from Maryland to play the five-string banjo on a television show; he a songwriter, actor, and communist, English-born of […]

  • The Reasons Why: The Story of TM, Susan Shumsky, and Four Lads from Liverpool

    First things first. Despite the Beatles pictured on the cover, this book isn’t about them. Indeed, it’s not a not a book about music, but fans of both will find it an interesting read. There have been plenty of books written about the Fab Four, even more that feature them in some capacity and you […]

  • BOP APOCYLYPSE: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs

    Bop, Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs (by Martin Torgott, Da Capo Press) is a rather large subject, but author Martin Torgoff soft pedals his main thesis–that drugs were an essential ingredient in the creation of bold new music and literature by black musicians and white writers–with a light touch. Instead of weighing his […]

  • New Biography Offers an Intimate Look at Guy Clark

    When Guy Clark passed away in May, the West Texas troubadour left behind a legacy of songs and stories that nurture the soul with a sense of timeless integrity. For Tamara Saviano, the publication of her biography, Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark, is a bittersweet closure and a […]

  • Shpil: The Art of Playing Klezmer

    Edited by Yale Strom. Providing both a history of klezmer, as well as being an instructional book, Shpil: The Art of Playing Klezmer is a primer for the appreciation and performance of this musical genre that is filled with life and joy. Yale Strom is a world-renowned musician, ethnographer, composer, writer, and filmmaker. He is […]