Mavericks of Sound

Mavericks of Sound : Conversations with Artists Who Shaped Indie and Roots Music

3.25 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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In Mavericks of Sound: Conversations with the Artists Who Shaped Indie and Roots Music, music scholar David Ensminger offers a collection of vivid and compelling interviews with legendary roots rock and indie artists who bucked mainstream trends and have remained resilient in the face of enormous shifts in the music world. As the success of the concerts at Austin City Limits have revealed, the fan bases and crowds for indie and roots music often blur and overlap. In Mavericks of Sound, Ensminger brings to light the highways and byways trod by these music icons over the course of their careers and the ways in which their music-making has been affected by, and influenced, the burgeoning indie and roots music movements.

Ranging from seminal modern singer-songwriters to rockabilly renegades and indie rockers, Mavericks of Sound features a set of broad, penetrating, and insightful conversations imbued with a sense of musical history and heritage. Ensminger captures firsthand accounts from singer songwriters like Texas Country musician Tom Russell and first wave indie artist and folk rocker Peter Case; rockabilly artists Junior Brown and the Reverend Horton Heat; American indie rock icons such as 11th Dream Day's Janet Bean, Pere Ubu's Dave Thomas, Apples in Stereo's Robert Schneider, and Swans members Michael Gira and Jarboe; English and New Zealand figures such as folk legend Richard Thompson, The Clean's David Kilgour and The Waterboys' Mike Scott; and folk, country and rock legends such as Merle Haggard, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Ralph Stanley, Neko Case, and Yo La Tengo.

Mavericks of Sound is the perfect work for contemporary indie, roots, Americana, country, and folk music fans who want to understand the unique artistry and unbound passion behind America's musical innovators that readily broke and remolded rules.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 260 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 23mm | 508g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified; Halftones, Black & White including Black & White Photographs; Black & White Illustrations
  • 144223590X
  • 9781442235908
  • 2,531,569

Table of contents

Chapter 1: The Song is the Territory: Singer Songwriters
Tom Russell
Peter Case
Dave Alvin
Billy Joe and Eddy Shaver
Jason Ringenberg
Robert Earl Keen

Chapter 2: Rockabilly and Honky Tonker Renegades
Junior Brown
Deke Dickerson
Reverend Horton Heat

Chapter 3: Indelible Indie Rock Icons
Janet Bean, member of 11th Dream Day
Dave Thomas, member of Pere Ubu
Robert Schneider, member of Apples in Stereo
Michael Gira, members of The Swans and Angels of Light
Jarboe, members of The Swans
Richard Buckner and Alejandro Escovedo

Chapter 4: The Other Side of the Pond: Voices from Britain and New Zealand
James Stevenson, member of Chelsea, Gen X, Gene Loves Jezebel)
Mike Scott, member of Waterboys
Richard Thompson
David Gedge, member of Wedding Present and Cinerama
David Kilgour, member of The Clean

Chapter 5: Short Cuts: Concise Interview with Icons
Merle Haggard
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Wayne Kramer, member of MC5
The Mekons
Ralph Stanley
Yo La Tengo
Neko Case
Rob Younger, member of Radio Birdman and New Christs
About the Author
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Review quote

Music scholar Ensminger collects vivid and compelling interviews with legendary roots rock and indie artists who bucked mainstream trends and have remained resilient in the face of enormous shifts in the music world. * Publishers Weekly * Instructor of English, Humanities, and Folklore at Lee College (and music scholar) David Ensminger has had an almost life-long devotion to the punk world. He brings his passion to music in Mavericks of Sound, a collection of compiled interviews of 'wits and raw talent.' The title is packed with compelling conversations with musicians who share how their music-making has been influenced and how creativity and passion still compel them. From Indie rock's Janet Bean to folk rocker Peter Case to legendary Merle Haggard, musical history, culture, and heritage are showcased. Each chapter opens with some background, and then the interviews follow. A simple index is included. Scholars, fans, and anyone interested in music history will find this title useful. * American Reference Books Annual * Ensminger has complied his work for Thirsty Ear, Left of the Dial, and others into this new collection, and it's a wealth of interviews with the less celebrated among the indie world. From the roots and alt-country of Dave Alvin, Alejandro Escovedo, and Neko Case, to country legends such as Ralph Stanley and Merle Haggard, he manages to get folks talking, and the result is a captivating glimpse into the artists' minds. His writings on punk legends such as Wayne Kramer, Michael Gira, and The Mekons is no less sharp, showing Ensminger's range. A good read, indeed. * Big Takeover Magazine * How are the interviews [in Mavericks of Sound]? Well, they're just as interesting as the people the author is speaking to. In his preface, Ensminger writes, 'These are interviews without fillers, adornment or anything that might keep you at arm's length from the words of the wise-blooded -- the Rogue's Gallery found herein....' That's an accurate description of the contents here. No fillers, no adornment and, sometimes, no direction; just a Q&A that meanders through an artist's career; occasionally brilliant, occasionally mundane. I recommend a reading because there's a lot of meat on these various bones and most of it is tasty, but best to go at it like a series of lunches, spaced out a few bites per day. * Rambles.NET * This is another of those smart, cerebral and thoughtful music books. And what makes it work for me is with the exception of a few of the musicians interviewed, I wasn't a fan or that knowledgeable about the others. I know a great deal more now and it's sparked my interest. That, in and of itself, tells me that Ensminger has done his job well. * Popdose *
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About David A. Ensminger

David Ensminger is Humanities, Folklore, and English Instructor at Lee College in Baytown, Texas. He has written about music, art, and contemporary issues and is author of Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generations, co-author of Mojo Hand, a biographer of bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins, and Left of the Dial: Conversations with Punk Icons. He has contributed to Popmatters, Maximum Rocknroll, Houston Press, Trust, Postmodern Culture, Art in Print, M/C Journal, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Liminalities, Artcore, and various other journals.
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Rating details

4 ratings
3.25 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1)
4 0% (0)
3 50% (2)
2 25% (1)
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