David Menconi, Step It Up & Go
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The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk
This book is a love letter to the artists, scenes, and sounds defining North Carolina’s extraordinary contributions to American popular music. David Menconi spent three decades immersed in the state’s music, where traditions run deep but the energy expands in countless directions. Menconi shows how working-class roots and rebellion tie North Carolina’s Piedmont blues, jazz, and bluegrass to beach music, rock, hip-hop, and more. From mill towns and mountain coves to college-town clubs and the stage of American Idol, Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk, Step It Up and Go celebrates homegrown music just as essential to the state as barbecue and basketball.
Spanning a century of history from the dawn of recorded music to the present, and with sidebars and photos that help reveal the many-splendored glory of North Carolina’s sonic landscape, this is a must-read for every music lover.
Music critic and journalist David Menconi spent twenty-eight years as staff writer at the Raleigh News and Observer. His most recent book (with Ray Benson) is Comin’ Right at Ya: How a Jewish Yankee Hippie Went Country, or the Often Outrageous History of Asleep at the Wheel.
Eddie Huffman, a ninth- or tenth-generation North Carolinian, has been writing about music legends, muscle cars, obscenity trials, moonshiners, Civil War reenactors, and murderous ventriloquist dummies since before Lady Gaga was born. John Prine: In Spite of Himself is the first book he has written on his own. He has contributed to Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Utne Reader, All Music Guide, Goldmine, the Virgin Islands Source, and many other publications.
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