PositiveLibrary Journal... a rich reimagining of the archive as both concept and wellspring, specifically in the creation, performance, and reception of blues music by Black women ... An ambitious work of great complexity and depth. For scholars and interested readers, particularly in Black studies, but also music, anthropology, and archival studies.
Dolly Parton and Robert K. Oermann
PositiveLibrary JournalThough Parton has been the subject of much biographical, critical, and musicological commentary of late, this one stands out for its keen insights from the songwriter herself ... Throughout, it’s clear that Parton understands both the sheer power of music and her own considerable gifts as a songwriter, performer, storyteller, and collaborator. And the work is just plain heartening. One could do worse to cue up a Spotify playlist and curl up in a comfortable chair with a mug of tea and this book ... Heartwarming and insightful in equal measure. For Parton fans.
Booker T. Jones
PositiveLibrary JournalThough this memoir from Jones offers few revelations, it’s nonetheless an engaging, insider’s view of an influential force in American music ... the book is at its best when Jones is talking music ... The anecdotes, which take on everything from touring to juggling recording sessions and college to dealing with racism, become a framework for a text structured more around theme than chronology. This works better than one might expect; still, the effect is more akin to hearing stories over coffee than reading a straightforward memoir ... An enjoyable and insightful read. For fans of Booker T. and the M.G.’s, the Stax era, and soul music.
PositiveLibrary JournalThis isn’t a new idea, but in drawing from fields such as anthropology, psychology, theology, and folklore, the author raises thought-provoking questions in this wide-ranging survey ... Gioia’s argument is persuasive and offers a wealth of possibilities for further exploration ... This fascinating recontextualization will appeal to anyone who ever wondered why \'Hound Dog\' became a hit only when Elvis Presley covered it.
MixedLibrary Journal... the author\'s attempt to examine Beethoven\'s work through the lens of cultural history is overly reliant on speculation and incorporates a great deal of historical summary and description of other artistic developments of the period while failing to make evident implicit or explicit links between these and Beethoven\'s work ... A disjointed and often frustrating reading experience, with moments of real insight. For devoted Beethoven fans.