Books about music can tune you into some great reading.  Some even come with CDs.

Bluegrass Is My Second Language A Year in the Life of an Accidental Bluegrass Musician by John Santa (broadcast 2-21-2011)  Rarely does an author present a book that begins to feel like a friend before you turn the first page.  Maybe you could call this a story of the evolution of a bluegrass musician and maybe you could call it just plain fun.  Santa has filled his book with both and a whole lot more, including sheet music for the songs he talks about.  This book is a full meal for music lovers of all kind as well as for those who enjoy the comfort of a good conversation.  Find out more at

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The Jazz Loft Project(Alfred Knopf) by Sam Stephenson.   The book showcases the work of photographer W. Eugene Smith who moved into a five-story loft building at 821 Sixth Avenue in New York City in 1957.  From then until 1965 he took roughly 40,000 pictures and recorded 4000 hours  capturing more than 300 musicians, among them Thelonius Monk, Zoot Sims, Sonny Rollins, and Eddie Costa.   Smith’s work has been legendary in the worlds of art, photography, and music for more than 40 years.  Find out more at the

Einstein’s Violin: A Conductor’s Notes on Physics, Music and Social Changeby Joseph Eger. Among the most widely traveled and venerated classical conductors of his generation, Eger had discovered within music a universal language that not only unites people across cultures but also suggests something about the physical rules of life itself.  Listen in as the maestro discusses how his experiences ranging from facing armed guards on the Arab-Israeli border to producing a symphonic, rock and roll, jazz concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem influenced his way of seeing the world.   Find out more by clicking on the link.

Give My Poor Heart Ease:Voices of the Mississippi Blues by William Ferris. “This book is indispensable for anyone who cares to know the roots of Mississippi blues music.  William Ferris interviewed dozens of people who spoke about their lives, their music, both secular and non-secular.  They talked about field songs, prison chants, hymns and spirituals they sang in church.  Some of these interviews are painful to read, but like singing the blues they make the pain bearable, and sometimes even comic.” Ernest J. Gaines  Get a sample by listening in.  The book comes with both a CD and a DVD.  Find out more by clicking on the link.

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