"This is the hottering chili-pot of New Orleans Jazz, old country fiddling, big-band swing, ragtime, blues, pop, mariachi and conjunto that dominated Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and beyond--all the way to San Francisco in the west, Memphis in the east--from the mid-Thirties till mid-Elvis. This is western swing."
Lone Star Swing is both musical pilgrimage and witty travelogue. As McLean trails his favorite music over the back roads of Texas, his adventures make for interesting reading. He has a way of making you feel you're riding along in the passenger seat as he finds the top 10 things to do in Turkey, Texas, on Bob Wills Day (Bob is McLean's western-swing hero), learns how to nibble an onion cooked up sunflower style at the Presidio Onion Festival, gets lectured for cussing in front of ladies after his Chevy gets its doors rehung by a hit-and-run driver, and suffers the wrath of Gulf Coast prawns eaten too far from their home waters. And although he's far away from the Orkney Islands, McLean has a way of making himself at home in just about every place the music takes him.
A poorly planned book about a poorly planned trip through Texas. The writer has a great love for Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, but comes up empty on his search and in his book. Read morePublished on July 5, 2004
I like most travelogues, and I love McLean's fiction (Blackden, Bucket of Tongues, Bunker Man), so, even though I've never even heard of Western Swing music, I thought I might like... Read morePublished on November 6, 2002 by A. Ross
Except for the fact that Duncan McLean has won a major literary award (which the readers are reminded of to often), there is little to indicate that he can rise above any bemuxed... Read morePublished on June 27, 1999 by Knox Gardner (email@example.com)
Duncan is an odd, brilliant man. His obsession with the minutiae of a fairly obscure branch of popular music is truly amazing. Read morePublished on August 7, 1998 by James M. Cameron
McLean spends all his literary prize money and sets out to discover the sources of Texas swing, an amalgam of music that layered English folk, New Orleans jazz, East Texas blues,... Read morePublished on July 1, 1998