Memphis Rent Party The Blues Rock and Soul in Musics Hometown
Soft / Music Magazines 6-03-2018
Memphis Rent Party The Blues Rock and Soul in Musics Hometown
Profiles and stories of Southern music from the acclaimed author of Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion.

The fabled city of Memphis has been essential to American music–home of the blues, the birthplace of rock and roll, a soul music capital. We know the greatest hits, but celebrated author Robert Gordon takes us to the people and places history has yet to record. A Memphis native, he whiles away time in a crumbling duplex with blues legend Furry Lewis, stays up late with barrelhouse piano player Mose Vinson, and sips homemade whiskey at Junior Kimbrough's churning house parties. A passionate listener, he hears modern times deep in the grooves of old records by Lead Belly and Robert Johnson.

The interconnected profiles and stories in Memphis Rent Party convey more than a region. Like mint seeping into bourbon, Gordon gets into the wider world. He beholds the beauty of mistakes with producer Jim Dickinson (Replacements, Rolling Stones), charts the stars with Alex Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star), and mulls the tragedy of Jeff Buckley's fatal swim. Gordon's Memphis inspires Cat Power, attracts Townes Van Zandt, and finds James Carr always singing at the dark end of the street. 

A rent party is when friends come together to hear music, dance, and help a pal through hard times; it's a celebration in the face of looming tragedy, an optimism when the wolf is at the door. Robert Gordon finds mystery in the mundane, inspiration in the bleakness, and revels in the individualism that connects these diverse encounters.

home page:

Related articles
Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South
Soft / Music Magazines 30-12-2017
In the sound of the 1960s and 1970s, nothing symbolized the rift between black and white America better than the seemingly divided genres of country and soul. Yet the music emerged from the same songwriters, musicians, and producers in the recording studios of Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama--what Charles L. Hughes calls the "country-soul triangle." In legendary studios like Stax and FAME, integrated groups of musicians like Booker T. and the MGs and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section produced music that both challenged and reconfirmed racial divisions in the United States. Working with artists from Aretha Franklin to Willie Nelson, these musicians became crucial contributors to the era's popular music and internationally recognized symbols of American racial politics in the turbulent years of civil rights protests, Black Power, and white backlash.

Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings by Steve Sullivan Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings by Steve Sullivan
Soft / Music Magazines 1-11-2017
From John Philip Sousa to Green Day, from Scott Joplin to Kanye West, from Stephen Foster to Coldplay, The Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings covers the vast scope of its subject with virtually unprecedented breadth and depth. Approximately 1,000 key song recordings from 1889 to the present are explored in full, unveiling the stories behind the songs, the recordings, the performers, and the songwriters.
Rock Trivia Madness: 60s to 90s Rock Music Trivia and Amazing Facts Rock Trivia Madness: 60s to 90s Rock Music Trivia and Amazing Facts
Soft / Music Magazines 12-04-2017

Rock and Roll. For more than 60 years, it has been the soundtrack to our lives. Albums like "Highway 61 Revisited", "Born to Run" and "Nevermind" have helped us make sense of who we are. Not only that, the daring passion and bold visions of rock artists have shaken up social norms and even helped change the course of world politics.

There’ve been some wild stories to go with this wild music. If you’re eager to learn some of the crazy, random facts of rock, Rock Trivia Madness is the book for you! This collection of rock stories from the 1960s to the 1990s will thrill and fascinate fans of music trivia. You’ll learn:
100 Ultimate Soul, Funk and R&B Grooves for Organ by Andrew D. Gordon 100 Ultimate Soul, Funk and R&B Grooves for Organ by Andrew D. Gordon
Soft / Music Magazines 14-03-2017
Andrew D. Gordon, world renowned music educator, author of over 60 music educational products, has previously written numerous books on funk keyboard styles such as: "60 Of The Funkiest Keyboard Riffs Known To Mankind”, "Funky Organ Grooves”, "Outta Sight Funk & R&B Riffs For Piano/Keyboards” which have been well received by students, teachers and musicians all over the world. As playing funk styles is a passion of Andrew’s, he has written this instructional book "100 Ultimate Soul, Funk and R&B Grooves for Organ” based on the influences of the great Funk, Soul and R&B artists such as: James Brown, Herbie Hancock, The Crusaders, Average White Band, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Parliament, Ramsey Lewis, Booker T and The MG’s, MFSB, Billy Preston etc. Besides the afore-mentioned styles Andrew has also added a few grooves that are Afro-Caribbean such as: Latin, Reggae and Calypso. Each of the 100 grooves have been recorded with the organ part playing along with a rhythm section of guitar, bass, drums, and in many of the grooves, percussion. There is also a three minute Play-A-Long track for each of the 100 grooves minus the organ part so that you can practice along with the rhythm tracks adding up to over 5 hours of Play-A-Long tracks.

Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations
Soft / Music Magazines 25-07-2016
Greil Marcus has been one of the most distinctive voices in American music criticism for over forty years. His books, including Mystery Train and The Shape of Things to Come, traverse soundscapes of folk and blues, rock and punk, attuning readers to the surprising, often hidden affinities between the music and broader streams of American politics and culture.

Drawn from Marcus’s 2013 Massey Lectures at Harvard, his new work delves into three episodes in the history of American commonplace song: Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s 1928 "I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground,” Geeshie Wiley’s 1930 "Last Kind Words Blues,” and Bob Dylan’s 1964 "Ballad of Hollis Brown.” How each of these songs manages to convey the uncanny sense that it was written by no one illuminates different aspects of the commonplace song tradition. Some songs truly did come together over time without an identifiable author. Others draw melodies and motifs from obscure sources but, in the hands of a particular artist, take a final, indelible shape. And, as in the case of Dylan’s "Hollis Brown,” there are songs that were written by a single author but that communicate as anonymous productions, as if they were folk songs passed down over many generations.

In three songs that seem to be written by no one, Marcus shows, we discover not only three different ways of talking about the United States but three different nations within its formal boundaries.
Creating Jazz Counterpoint New Orlean Barbershop Harmony and the Blues Creating Jazz Counterpoint New Orlean Barbershop Harmony and the Blues
Soft / Music Magazines 19-07-2016
The book Jazzmen (1939) claimed New Orleans as the birthplace of jazz and introduced the legend of Buddy Bolden as the ""First Man of Jazz."" Much of the information that the book relied on came from a highly controversial source: Bunk Johnson. He claimed to have played with Bolden and that together they had pioneered jazz. Johnson made many recordings talking about and playing the music of the Bolden era. These recordings have been treated with skepticism because of doubts about Johnson's credibility.

Using oral histories, the Jazzmen interview notes, and unpublished archive material, this book confirms that Bunk Johnson did play with Bolden. This confirmation, in turn, has profound implications for Johnson's recorded legacy in describing the music of the early years of New Orleans jazz. New Orleans jazz was different from ragtime in a number of ways. It was a music that was collectively improvised, and it carried a new tonality–the tonality of the blues. How early jazz musicians improvised together and how the blues became a part of jazz has until now been a mystery. Part of the reason New Orleans jazz developed as it did is that all the prominent jazz pioneers, including Buddy Bolden, Bunk Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, and Kid Ory, sang in barbershop (or barroom) quartets. This book describes in both historical and musical terms how the practices of quartet singing were converted to the instruments of a jazz band, and how this, in turn, produced collectively improvised, blues-inflected jazz, that unique sound of New Orleans.