Honky-Tonk Heroes & Hillbilly Angels: The Pioneers Of Country & Western Music
Funny things happen when you add children to your lives. If youre a music critic, for example, suddenly you start keeping the childrens albums that come in the mail, and hope your little one is drawn to the same sounds you are (though we do seem to be enjoying a little childrens music renaissance). Something like that impulse has surely guided long-time music critic Holly George-Warren to write Honky-Tonk Heroes, doubtless with her own young reader in mind.
It is, if nothing else, a gesture of rank optimism, for many of us hope our children will delight in the music of the Carter Family, of George & Tammy, of Johnny Cash and Jimmie Rodgers and the rest. Not mine, at least not yet. (And I guess I should be grateful shes not drawn to Hank Williams….)
George-Warrens well-informed biographical sketches manage the difficult trick of accurately simplifying complicated lives into childrens language without writing down to the reader. My squirming three-year-old yet hasnt torn the cover off this yet, but Im pretty sure shell at least like Laura Levines vibrant folk-style illustrations.