rock n roll book club

IDWTTY #2007

Read Cowtownchad’s (AKA Chad Cochran) photo essays about mental health, I Didn’t Want to Tell You –IDWTTY, as part of Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.

Chad Cochran, known in the photography world as Cowtownchad, coaxes comfortable photos from uncomfortable subjects — both the people and the topics. As he transitioned from landscape photography and abandoned buildings to portraits, he immediately started a series to normalize the conversation around mental health by having musicians — and now others, as well — share their stories of how mental health has impacted their lives. From personal diagnoses to family dynamics, situational and lifelong challenges, the I Didn’t Want to Tell You series of photo essays launched first in the print edition of No Depression magazine (a music outlet coincidentally titled from the Carter Family song) and has expanded online and to further projects in development.

Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Chad Cochran, AKA Cowtown Chad.

The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME #2006

Read The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME by Blake Ells, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.

Blake Ells loves music and Alabama. Ells ties together his passion for the music made in his home state with his journalistic storytelling. The resulting book brings the history of Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones to the modern music coming from the area known as “Muscle Shoals” to outsiders. From songwriters like Jason Isbell to barnstormers like Drive-By Truckers, Ells connects the present music scene to the past and delves into how this newer generation of songwriters moves forward.

Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Blake Ells.

My Heart Sings the Harmony: Twenty Years of Writing About Music #2005

Read My Heart Sings the Harmony: Twenty Years of Writing About Music by Jason Warburg, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.

Jason Warburg’s knack for writing about music engages non-musicians in his analysis. He manages to write about prog rock without boring the reader and review albums thoughtfully without skewering them unnecessarily. As the editor of Daily Vault, Warburg’s prolific writing could be overwhelming and disorganized, but his collection of work assembled in this book allows the reader to enjoy quick bites or dig in to the full course.

Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Jason Warburg.

Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge #2004

Read Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.

Mark Yarm combines his love for grunge with his comfortable way of storytelling. While clearly a fan of the music, Yarm delves into the lesser-known behind the scenes jostling for prominence through self-destruction. Yarm weaves conversations with fellow musicians and venue staff into a tale that highlights just how unlikely this music was to upend rock.

Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Mark Yarm.

Bandlife #2003

Read Bandlife: Tips on How to Survive Life in a Band and Other Lives Too… by Matthew Paige, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.

Matthew Paige realized that he could make life a lot easier for other musicians embarking on a life on tour. Geared towards bands with minimal road experience, Paige offers advice on everything from nutrition and fitness, to responsible partying, to internal band communication. Bandlife offers a quick read that is useful to many people first learning to live cohesively with others, such as teens heading off to college, or more sheltered young adults first moving out on their own.

Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Matthew Paige.

The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern #2002

Read The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: A Complete History by David McPherson, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.

David McPherson wanted to honor his favorite music venue in Toronto, Ontario to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Despite gentrification in the surrounding area, the legendary Horseshoe Tavern continues to spotlight roots music and emerging innovators. Sharing stories from those who were there for nights like a secret Rolling Stones show to The Police just before they were wildly famous, McPherson crafts a loving tribute to the people who make this Canadian gem shine.

Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with David McPherson.

Cool Town #2001

Read Cool TownHow Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture by Grace Elizabeth Hale, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.

Grace Elizabeth Hale lived through the second wave of Athens, Georgia’s new music scene in the 1980s. When the art school at the University of Georgia became the unofficial safe house for experimentation and egalitarian creativity, a scene of amateur musicians — driven more by performance art than technique — upended the music world. Hale’s thorough analysis of people and social experimentation lets the art bubble and pop.

Listen, like, & subscribe to the podcast conversation with Grace Hale.