By Evan Serpick
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:40 AM EDT
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American Roots Music

B+
type
  • Book

Along with a PBS series and a companion set of CDs, this coffee-table book boldly attempts to tutor America on its vast indigenous musical heritage. With lessons on country, blues, gospel, folk, Cajun, zydeco, Tejano, and Native American music, contributors explore the various strains of ”Americanness” that inspired early, mostly unknown musicians and compelled innovators like Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, and Mahalia Jackson to further their work. With extensive photos, artifacts, and essays, the content occasionally feels too academic (the chronologies that open each section don’t help — nor does the fact that several participants are professors), but at least the homework involves watching TV and listening to music.

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American Roots Music

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  • Book
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