Last week I did something I don't normally do - go to a good book reading. The book in question is It Still Moves, the latest by author Amanda Petrusich.
Part travelogue, part cultural criticism, part music appreciation, It Still Moves does for today’s avant folk scene what Greil Marcus did for Dylan and The Basement Tapes.
Amanda Petrusich outlines the sounds of the new, weird America—honoring
the rich tradition of gospel, bluegrass, country, folk, and rock that
feeds it, while simultaneously exploring the American character as
personified in all of these genres historically. Through interviews,
road stories, geographical and sociological interpretations, and
detailed music criticism, Petrusich traces the rise of Americana music
from its gospel origins through its new and compelling incarnations (as
evidenced in bands and artists from Elvis to Iron and Wine, the Carter
Family to Animal Collective, Johnny Cash to Will Oldham) and explores
how the genre is adapting to the twenty-first century. Ultimately the
book is an examination of all things American: guitars, cars, kids,
motion, passion, enterprise, and change, in a fervent attempt to
reconcile the American past with the American present, using only dusty
records and highway maps as guides.
Anthony DeCurtis (contributing editor to Rolling Stone) review of the book:
“Like a smart, genial Persephone, Amanda Petrusich wanders the
underworld of American roots music and reports back her insights with
an open mind and an open heart. She has a respect for history and an
even greater respect for the passion that keeps history alive and