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True to the Roots: Americana Music Revealed (Bison Original) Paperback – December 1, 2006

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True to the Roots: Americana Music Revealed (Bison Original) + The Best of No Depression: Writing about American Music (Brad and Michele Moore Roots Music)
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

While patrolling the NASCAR circuit, his regular beat, journalist Dutton indulges his passion for what is starting to be called Americana music. It sounds betimes like country, rock, and/or folk; one performer, Dutton says, verges on Marvin Gaye and Al Green. You don't hear it on commercial radio, the Grand Ole Opry, or in Nashville beyond the strip celebrated in photographer Bill Rouda's Nashville's Lower Broad (2004). Dutton finds that most of the singer-songwriters he discusses and interviews live in Texas or come from Texas. Only two, Pat Green and Robert Earl Keen Jr., have become country stars. Elder statesman Jerry Jeff Walker blazed the independent's trail to stardom (Dutton actually talks with son Django Walker), and Jack Ingram is big in Texas, Robbie Fulks in Chicago and environs. Dutton has nearly all of them talk about the music business at substellar latitudes, how and why they write and perform, and his own main theme in the book, the gol-durn country-music establishment. They're articulate guys; Dutton's a cranky, congenial fan; and the book's golden. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"The book's golden. . . . Players of roots music will love this."—Ray Olson, Booklist
(Ray Olson Booklist 2006-12-01)
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Product Details

  • Series: Bison Original
  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (December 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803266618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803266612
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Passe on December 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm not a country music or Americana music fan, or at least I wasn't before I read this book. Dutton's book was recommended to me by a friend, and when I picked it up I couldn't put it down. His writing style makes you feel like you are standing right next to him when he's speaking with some legendary, or soon-to-be legendary singers and songwriters. It's a good time and a great read. Strongly recommend!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Micah J on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
So you hate modern Country radio, hate the corporatization of America and music, and think there's a lot of good American music out there that isn't being heard by most people. So do I, so do a lot of your subjects, and so does anyone who's likely to read this book. But that's not basis enough for an interesting book. There are a few artists who I do want to check into because I read this book, but the writing "reveals" precious little except about the author. When a writer writes repeatedly about the difficulty of obtaining interviews with people, you can be pretty sure he doesn't have much to say.
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Format: Paperback
I doubt that very many of you are country music fans, but I'm willing to bet that you all listen to FM radio at some point during your week, even if it's only on your car radios while you're stuck in traffic. If you listen to only one or two types of music, I'm also willing to bet that you soon grow tired of hearing the same 30-35 songs that are considered "playlist worthy" by the corporate types who decide what you should be listening to and buying. You find that you only get any real variety by switching to "oldies" stations or to an entirely different type of music. That happens to all of us because a handful of corporations, including Clear Channel and Infinity Broadcasting, now own the majority of the biggest FM stations in this country and they have a common playlist, by genre, for all of their stations. A listener can no longer even pick up his telephone to request a song that's not already on the playlist because local stations aren't allowed to play anything not already sanctioned by corporate headquarters.

That's bad for listeners, but it's even worse for singers and musicians who don't conform to the cookie-cutter music that the corporate types prefer to broadcast. There are thousands of singers and bands out there who scrape for a living because they refuse to conform to the mediocrity demanded by today's FM radio and because they refuse to give up their dreams. Monte Dutton's True to the Roots tells the story of a few of those dreamers who are living their dreams while making what has come to be known as Americana music.

Dutton is a writer whose main beat, the NASCAR circuit, takes him to that part of the country that thrives on the kind of music that radio largely continues to ignore.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The job of covering NASCAR, which is Monte Dutton's day job, is an all-consuming endeavor if you let it be. Dutton is one of those contrarians who values his independence and insists on carving a life outside racing. True to the Roots is a result of that. Dutton provides a folksy and informative picture of real country music, which he calls Americana Music. He's taken the time, usually during his NASCAR travels, to visit little-known masters of country music in such far-flung and unlikely places as Key West, Berkeley, Ca., Chicago, New York City and Las Vegas, while also hitting the better-known locations, such as Nashville, Austin, and Luckenbach, Tex. In vignettes and profiles that are infused with his own experiences and memories, Dutton gives us a memorable snapshot of a world that is overshadowed by the commercially driven Nashville country music scene. It is a measure of the depth and reach of the book that the most memorable thing in the book for me was not about country music, but about my own profession of writing. In his fascinating profile of the great songwriter James McMurtry, son of writer Larry McMurtry, Dutton quotes the son as saying his dad told him that writing a book is "either going to work or it'll BE work." (emphasis added). This is a great lesson for any writer of books, as Dutton himself knows, having the unmitigated gall to tackle an unrelated book project while consigning the bulk of his life to writing pretty much non-stop about stock car racing.
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True to the Roots: Americana Music Revealed (Bison Original)
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