I’ve probably said this elsewhere, but I guess it bears repeating. My first two books had subjects that were so polarizing that I found myself generally getting reviews that weren’t of my book but of the subject; if they hated Kerouac, they hated my book, if they loved the GD they loved the book, etc. It certainly made it easier to shrug off the occasional bad review, of course.
Not the case now. The reviewers have read the book and have been incredibly positive…great satisfaction in that. And some of the best reviews have just been letters from friends who tell me the book has really turned them on to a slice of America that they’ve listened to for years — but now they have a new context to look and listen to it.
Recent notices in the media include:
From the Library Journal, my book was included in “African American Lives: Books for February, Black History Month” (under “The Arts”).
The Pacific Sun ran a very nice interview: Feature: American music’s even longer, stranger trip.
I got an excellent review in The Morton Report column called Bentley’s Bandstand: (scroll down to…) Dennis McNally, On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom.
I had a terrific conversation about the book with Sista Sylvie on her Homegrown Music Show at WKPS, the Penn State radio station (scroll down a bit): Homegrown Music Show interview with Dennis McNally. (audio is “on”, streaming radio will play automatically)
Finally, another excellent conversation with Greg Abdur-Raheem from Root and Roots Radio – particularly good because he turned me on to some stuff about Sister Rosetta Tharpe that I’d not known about – check it out, I’m up in the second half: The New Black/On Highway 61. (audio is “on”, the show will play automatically)
Lastly, for you Bay Area citizens, a reminder that I’ll be joining Greg Anton of Zero (who’s written a novel called Face the Music) at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley on November 30th at 7 to talk about our books before he (and Melvin Seals of JGB, Robin Sylvester and Mark Karan of RatDog, and Barry Sless of the David Nelson Band) plays as “I Know You Writer.” Looking forward to a good time.