350-page series companion book with 160 photographs
River of Song: A Musical Journey Down the Mississippi
By series writer Elijah Wald and
director/producer John Junkerman
January 1999 publication date
St. Martin's Press
America's music is a river of song, fed by streams of cultural, artistic, and ethnic influence. This book, a companion volume to the Smithsonian series for public television and radio, travels the entire length of the Mississippi River to capture the currents of today's music through interviews with musicians, gathered on-location in over 30 towns and cities. The book follows the course of the Mississippi from an Ojibwe powwow at the headwaters to the river's mouth beyond New Orleans. Each of the four sections presents about 10 artists and groups, weaving intimate interviews into a living portrait of music and the American community.
I. Americans Old and New (Northern Minnesota to Davenport, Iowa
Chippewa Nation (Ojibwe powwow drum); Skålclub Spelmanslag (Scandinavian fiddling); Soul Asylum (rock); Babes in Toyland (alternative rock); JohnKoerner and friends (folk); Sounds of Blackness (African American ensemble); Hmong qeej players (traditional reed instrument); Hartwich and the Country Dutchmen (German polka); Manny Lopez Quintet (jazz); and La Otra Mitad (Mexican dance music).
II. Midwestern Crossroads (Iowa City, Iowa to La Center, Kentucky)
Greg Brown (folk); John Hartford (folk); The Bob Lewis Family (bluegrass); Fontella Bass (gospel); Oliver Sain (blues, r&b); Eugene Redmond and the Sunshine drum group (African drumming and poetry); the Bottle Rockets (alternative country); Ste. Genevieve Guignolée singers (French New Years revel); and Boundless Love Quartet (gospel).
III. Southern Fusion (Swifton, Arkansas to Jackson, Mississippi)
Sonny Burgess (rockabilly); Rufus Thomas (soul); Memphis Horns and Ann Peebles (soul); Robert Lockwood, Jr. (Delta blues); Levon Helm (blues); Little Milton (blues); and Mississippi Mass Choir (gospel).
IV. Louisiana, Where Music is King (Natchez, Mississippi to Delacroix Island)
Kenny Bill Stinson (country); Gov. Jimmie Davis (country); DL Menard with Christine Balfa (Cajun); Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie (zydeco); David & Roselyn (street musicians); Treme Brass Band; Soul Rebels (brass band); Irma Thomas (r&b); and Irvan & Alan Perez (Canary Island Ballads).
The following sections of the book can be read online:
Table of Contents
For more information, contact:
St. Martin's Press
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New York, NY 10010
tel (800) 488-5233
fax (212) 254-8175
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