What’s It Sound Like? Like a Revolution: A Review of The Vinyl Underground

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During the tumultuous year of 1968, four teens are drawn together: Ronnie Bingham, who is grieving his brother’s death in Vietnam; Milo, Ronnie’s bookish best friend; “Ramrod,” a star athlete who is secretly avoiding the draft; and Hana, the new girl, a half-Japanese badass rock-n-roller whose presence doesn’t sit well with their segregated high school.

The four outcasts find sanctuary in “The Vinyl Underground,” a record club where they spin music, joke, debate, and escape the stifling norms of their small southern town. But Ronnie’s eighteenth birthday is looming. Together, they hatch a plan to keep Ronnie from being drafted. But when a horrific act of racial-charged violence rocks the gang to their core, they decide it’s time for an epic act of rebellion.

Continue reading “What’s It Sound Like? Like a Revolution: A Review of The Vinyl Underground”

The Spree of ’83: The Story of Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Review)

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Sizing up Powers’ influence on country music, Country Music Television has noted that throughout his 50-year career, Powers has “demonstrated a dedication to broadening the perimeters of country & western, particularly in creating a fusion of country honky-tonk and swing jazz. This interest runs throughout Powers’ career,” while his hometown Austin Chronicle has affectionately concluded that “Powers’ name stands alongside some of country music’s most enduring classics.” Now, for the first time, in the pages of his memoirs, “THE SPREE OF ’83,” Freddy recounts first-hand the highly-entertaining and emotionally-touching story behind his decades-long roller-coaster ride through the music business, to the top of the charts, and his inspiring struggle in recent years battling Parkinson’s disease, all while his legacy endured through generations of fans. Helping Freddy tell his story are exclusive interviews from fellow country music legends WILLIE NELSON, MERLE HAGGARD, John Rich, Tanya Tucker, The Voice finalist/Powers’ protégé Mary Sarah, and hosts of other Nashville luminaries.

First off, let me preface this by saying I was raised on country music. I’m talkin’ the good kind, to where I end up immediately disliking people who either A) talk mad shit about country music as a whole, or B) consider the majority of current country music as what the entire genre is about.

Now that I’m done with my little rant, let’s review this book! Continue reading “The Spree of ’83: The Story of Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Review)”