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Hello, Bookstore

Hello, Bookstore – Lenox, Massachusetts

As Roaming the Arts reflects on the last year or so, the most heartwarming story about books and the people who love them is the story of a small New England bookstore, on the verge of closing due to the pandemic, and the documentary film made to tell the story of survival.

In 2020, on the verge of closing down, a GoFundMe was started and the owner’s friends, the town, and many others stepped up to save this independent bookstore. It’s a great story, and for this website, at the heart of why our passion for authors and books is a sharing experience.

Check out some of what was said in Print:

In the Local paper.

What Variety said.

(also find stories in the NY Times, the Boston Globe, and many others.)

visit site

Roaming the Arts – Interactive

The Mission of Roaming the Arts is to share information and links to artists who are breaking out, long remembered, or simply worthy of a listen or a read. Most of the posts are for known artists, with a national following in the music and book world, but not considered household names.

For music, there are youtube videos that introduce artists and hopefully engage you to explore more. For readers who are always seeking their next good book or new author, we are adding more all the time. Use the menu buttons to dig deeper and find hundreds of posts to explore.

You are invited and encouraged to interact with this arts browser.

Consider:

  • Who would you like to see added to the blog posts? There are so many musicians, authors, and artists worthy of sharing. Help us prioritize and offer your favorites. Careful now…not anyone too famous. They don’t need us to push traffic to their sites.
  • Tell us who you’ve discovered and loved. Go to their websites. Find them on tour or when a new book or recording comes out.
  • Share your thoughts, use the comments section at the bottom of the posts, send an email to info@roamingthearts.com, or visit us on  Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as RoamingtheArts.
  • Follow the music playlists on Roaming the Arts Radio via Spotify.

Neal Francis

Neal Francis

Liberated from a self-destructive past and born anew in sobriety, Francis has captured an inspired collection of songs steeped in New Orleans rhythms, Chicago blues, and early 70s rock n’ roll. His music evokes a bygone era of R&B’s heyday while simultaneously forging a new path on the musical landscape. Colemine Records

 

“The reincarnation of Allen Toussaint.” Craig Charles, BBC Radio 6

“Think New Orleans meets the Midwest with a little bit of California sun shining in the background.” -TwinCitiesMedia.net

“There’s a good chance you’ll have heard of Francis by the time the year is over…classic Funk, Soul and R&B.” Cincinnati CityBeat

“…gleefully mired In 70s style funk.” – NPR

“Soulful style…uplifting vibe…” – Dusty Groove

 “Instant Americana-funk classic…R&B, blues and touches of gospel and good old fashioned funk merge into pure beauty and soul here, making the appetite and excitement for whatever Francis does next all the more intense.” – Record Crates United

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Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Read: The Golden Couple

GREER HENDRICKS 

is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

SARAH PEKKANEN 

is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.

Visit Greer Hendricks Site

Visit Sarah Pekkanen Site

The Cactus Blossoms

The Cactus Blossoms

“Hey baby, do you wanna take a trip with me? / I’ve got a feeling there might be a silver lining all around.” So begins One Day, the captivating new album from critically acclaimed Minneapolis duo The Cactus Blossoms. Written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the record explores the tension between optimism and despair that’s defined much of the past few years of American life, examining the power (or naïveté, depending on your perspective) of positive thinking in the face of chaos and uncertainty. The songs here are tender and timeless, with straightforward arrangements centered around brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum’s airtight harmonies, and the performances are warm and intimate to match, delivered with a soulful, ’70s-inspired palette of playful Wurlitzer, breezy guitars, and muscular percussion.

The Cactus Blossoms broke out nationally in 2016 with their JD McPherson-produced debut, You’re Dreaming. Dates with Kacey Musgraves, Jenny Lewis, and Lucius followed, as did raves from the New York Times and NPR, who praised “the brothers’ extraordinary singing.” The band was further catapulted into the spotlight in 2018, when David Lynch tapped them to perform in the return of Twin Peaks, and continued to build on their success with their 2019 sophomore LP, Easy Way, which led Rolling Stone to laud the duo’s “rock-solid, freak of genetics harmonies.” High Road Touring

If you love the harmonies of the Everly Brothers, do not miss listening to The Cactus Blossoms. Brothers, they are.

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Roaming the Arts Radio

Roaming the Arts Radio

(click the link above to pick a playlist)

All Set Playlists open in Spotify and are free to listen to whether you subscribe or not.

Find New Music – taken from Roots Rock Charts

Samples:

2020 Time Capsule -October

Progressive Radio Sets made over last 45 years.

Each made in the year shown with music released up until then.

What is your favorite year?

1979 Time Capsule #4

1981 Time Capsule #1

1982 Time Capsule #2

1983 Time Capsule #1

1984 Time Capsule #6

1985 Time Capsule #5  

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Go back to December 31, 2008 when guitarist Derek Trucks and his wife, singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, were preparing to ring in the New Year. Married since 1999, these two soulmates, equally steeped in the musical roots of blues, jazz, and gospel, had finally decided the time was right to set aside their successful solo careers and commit to a new band melding their vision and talent. It wasn’t the first time they had collaborated; they had shared a stage countless times and traded album guest appearances, all while starting a family together. But on that night, hitting the stage together with members of the Derek Trucks Band and a guest horn section they heard the future.

“The 12-piece outfit puts out a big band sound that still rings intimate, shaking listeners to their emotional core.” – Rolling Stone

Two years later, the couple debuted Tedeschi Trucks Band. The nation’s economy was heading into recession. The popular music landscape was filled with technological theatrics and auto-tuned singers. And here were Tedeschi and Trucks along with their (then) 8-member band, loading up two tour buses and hitting the road with a sound that defied conventional genre boundaries or traditional labels; a gypsy caravan on the rock-and-roll highway. To call it ambitious was an understatement.

During their five-year rise, the group toured incessantly, raising their profile and being handpicked to play with the likes of Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and Santana

In pursuit of their ideal sound driven by world class musicianship, Tedeschi and Trucks put together a musical collaborative like no other, flying in the face of any practical or economic considerations. There have been evolutionary changes to the band along the way, but the freight-train force of veteran drummers J.J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell were there from the start, along with two brilliant Trucks Band veterans to amplify the rhythm section: Kofi Burbridge with his prodigious talent on keys and flute, and Mike Mattison, with his dynamic vocals and songwriting skills. A 3-piece horn section brought on for studio work proved indispensable to the group’s sound and became a permanent addition – now composed of Kebbi Williams’ intergalactic saxophone, Ephraim Owens on trumpet and Elizabeth Lea on trombone. Industry-renowned bassist Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Sting) joined in 2013, and two years later a third incredible voice, Alecia Chakour, was added to the background vocals provided by Mark Rivers and Mattison; each more than capable of delivering a stirring turn as a lead vocalist.

On the road for upwards of 200 days a year, the TTB family has grown strong, bonding over backyard BBQs and long bus rides, all the while developing a growing repertoire of original material and paying homage to an extensive canon of influences ranging from Sly & the Family Stone, Miles Davis and George Jones to Joe Cocker, Nina Simone, and even Indian sarod master Ali Akbar Khan. Embracing improvisation over convention, and set lists rarely repeated, the collective is adept at exploring almost any musical territory. The genuine respect within its ranks is evident on stage. Trucks’ masterful guitar skills and Tedeschi’s soaring vocals and bluesy guitar shine but don’t overpower the breadth of talent, happily yielding the spotlight as needed in service of what the song deserves.

“I saw them live and it was mind blowing. [Derek] has taken the guitar, specifically slide guitar, somewhere it has never been. His phrasing both with and without slide is uniquely his and just odd and jarring and exciting to listen to. [Susan] is an earnest blues player as well and her voice is astounding. The band was mind-blowing. They take a form that is arguably tired and turn it inside out with originality and musicianship and make it totally their own.” – Marc Maron

Trucks and Tedeschi’s uncompromising vision has paid off. Now 12-members strong, and with a catalog of five albums and nearly a decade of steady touring in the U.S. and abroad, Tedeschi Trucks Band carries a distinguished reputation earned from both audiences and critics as one of the premier live bands in the world. Sold-out multi-night runs at venerable venues like the Beacon Theatre, Ryman Auditorium and Red Rocks Amphitheater are a testament to the can’t-miss concert experience fans have come to anticipate. The band’s own “Wheels of Soul” tour has become a sought-after summer experience from promoters across the country, bringing TTB’s unique stew of upbeat rock and soul together on stage with a slew of guests, sit ins, and supporting bands that have included the late Sharon Jones, Los Lobos and most recently The Wood Brothers and Hot Tuna. 2018 will also mark the sixth year for the TTB-curated Sunshine Music Festival, hosted each January in their home state of Florida.

“Epic is an overused word, but if one contemporary rock band were to rightfully wear it, the Tedeschi Trucks Band might be the ones.” – Santa Barbara Independent

TTB’s most recent CD/film release, Live From The Fox Oakland (2017) was nominated for a Grammy and follows a quartet of critically-hailed and commercially successful albums, including the Grammy-winning debut, Revelator (2011) and Let Me Get By (2016), called “one of the great records of the year” by the Associated Press. The film documents the progress the band has made since its inception, while also showcasing its endless potential to bring out the best in each other every night in any musical direction they choose. It’s clear that the leaders have no intention of slowing down now. As Trucks remarked to Mark Maron on his WTF podcast featured in the film, “I haven’t found this band’s ceiling yet.” For Tedeschi Trucks Band, there may not be one.

Don Winslow

Don Winslow

An author with an impact and a message – see Don Winslow Films

April 2022 – The start of a new trilogy – City on Fire

“Epic, ambitious, majestic, City on Fire is The Godfather for our generation.” – Adrian McKinty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chain

Two criminal empires together control all of New England.

Until a beautiful woman comes between the Irish and the Italians, launching a war that will see them kill each other, destroy an alliance, and set a city on fire.

Danny Ryan yearns for a more “legit” life and a place in the sun. But as the bloody conflict stacks body on body and brother turns against brother, Danny has to rise above himself. To save the friends he loves like family and the family he has sworn to protect, he becomes a leader, a ruthless strategist, and a master of a treacherous game in which the winners live and the losers die.

From the gritty streets of Providence to the glittering screens of Hollywood to the golden casinos of Las Vegas, two rival crime families ignite a war that will leave only one standing. The winner will forge a dynasty.

Exploring the classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, and honor, City on Fire is a contemporary masterpiece in the tradition of The GodfatherCasino, and Goodfellas—a thrilling saga from Don Winslow, “America’s greatest living crime writer” (Jon Land, Providence Journal).

A most unusual review – #BooksWithWallace

2020 release, “Broken.”

In six intense short novels connected by the themes of crime, corruption, vengeance, justice, loss, betrayal, guilt and redemption, Broken is #1 international bestseller Don Winslow at his nerve-shattering, heart-stopping, heartbreaking best. In Broken, he creates a world of high-level thieves and low-life crooks, obsessed cops struggling with life on and off the job, private detectives, dope dealers, bounty hunters and fugitives, the lost souls driving without headlights through the dark night on the American criminal highway.

With his trademark blend of insight, humanity, humor, action and the highest level of literary craftsmanship, Winslow delivers a collection of tales that will become classics of crime fiction.

The Trilogy

Of all the blows delivered by Don Winslow’s Cartel trilogy, none may be as devastating as the timing of “The Border,” its stunner of a conclusion. Though Winslow cannot have engineered all of this 14 years ago when he started this series, his sweeping new novel concerns subjects that put it right on the culture’s front burner: the Mexican-American border, the handling of migrant children, the opioid crisis and some barely fictionalized claims about how foreign money has bought influence at the highest level of the U.S. government.

The book’s title, “The Border,” refers to both physical and moral barriers. Winslow is well aware that both that and its cover image, which depicts a razor-wire-topped wall spreading across a desert landscape, are politically loaded. “Loaded phrases, like loaded guns, are more interesting, aren’t they?” Winslow said to Entertainment Weekly in September. As for the book’s depiction of fiercely partisan American politics, including its treatment of characters who are unmistakable versions of the current president and his son-in-law: “I know this book is going to make some people angry. I can live with that.”

Even though the first installment of this trilogy was named “The Power of the Dog,” after a biblical intimation of evil (“Deliver my soul from the sword; my love from the power of the dog,” Psalms 22:20), it only hinted at the magnitude and ferocity of what was to come. That opening novel now looks like the series’ relatively innocent prologue — and it is as blade-sharp, violent, pulse-quickening and reportorially shocking as the pinnacle of some lesser series might be.

“The Power of the Dog” is, in brief, about the first decades that bind the destinies of Art Keller, a Vietnam veteran and later D.E.A. agent, and Adán Barrera, a young Mexican who will go on to achieve the most dizzying heights of power. The book begins in a burning Mexican poppy field in 1975 (“Only in hell, Art Keller thinks, do flowers bloom fire”) and leaves Keller among more poppies in 2004. Many unspeakable acts happen in between, melding the personal with the political (Iran-contra). It is all rendered unputdownable by Winslow’s unrivaled skill at his game.

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