My son’s taste in music reflects my own diverse preferences. On any given day you can hear him singing or listening to Tom Petty & Abba, Ellie Goulding & Xavier Rudd, The Beach Boys & Schumann. This diversity is a strength—the cross-pollination of musical traditions is what makes good music … good.
Robbie Robertson’s (from The Band) son Sebastian was working at a children’s recreation centre when he noticed that the kids responded better to really good music than to “kid’s music.” Robertson Sr. took this challenge and, in collaboration with managers Jared Levine and Jim Guerinot, published this large-format coffee table book on the best and most influential 27 musicians in popular American music.
Diversity is important here. Everyone from Johnny Cash to Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye to the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan to Ray Charles are included. Each artist is given a stylized portrait and a brief biography that includes key songs to listen to. Best of all, the book comes with two CDs which allows you to listen to a representative song from each artist as you read about them.
The insider perspective of Roberston, Guerinot & Levine make each mini-biography more than a mere Wikipedia entry. This book is a visual and auditory window into the roots of Western popular music.
—Robbie Roberston, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson, Jared Levine, Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music that Changed the World (Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2013).
Disclaimer: thanks to LibraryThing‘s Early Reviewers program for the free review copy.