Read & Spin
Bluegrass and jazz come together in American Legacies, a collaboration between the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Del McCoury Band. Even the album’s song titles illustrate the marriage of the genres, with such tracks as “Jambalaya” and “Shoeshine Blues.” The American Legacies project is a result of the Del McCoury Band’s role in 2010’s Preservation, a collaborative project featuring a multitude of artists performing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to benefit Preservation Hall. American Legacies is set to release on April 12.
Fiction l From chicory to café au lait, New Orleans is certainly a coffee town. It stands to reason, then, that the local coffee shops and cafés would be the perfect setting for a New Orleans novel. The Coffee Shop Chronicles of New Orleans: Part 1 by David Lummis follows a protagonist given the task of writing a guidebook of New Orleans coffee shops. The cafés become the supporting cast in a novel that incorporates mystery, southern culture and history into its plot. Part 2 will be released this summer.
History l Madame Vieux Carré: The French Quarter in the Twentieth Century takes an in-depth look at the history and culture of New Orleans’ most iconic neighborhood: the French Quarter. The book looks at the characters and events that formed the Vieux Carré, from the early 20th century immigrants to the urban revival of the 1990s and, finally, documenting the beginning of the new millennium in the Quarter, including the monumental influence of Hurricane Katrina.
Memoir l Look Away Dixieland: A Carpetbagger’s Great-Grandson Travels Highway 84 in Search of the Shack-up-on-Cinder-Blocks, Confederate-Flag-Waving, Squirrel-Hunting, Boiled-Peanuts, Deep-Drawl, Don’t-Stop-the-Car-Here South by James B. Twitchell is certainly a mouthful, despite its less-than-hefty length of 175 pages. The book chronicles a journey through the Deep South, beginning on the inauguration day of the nation’s first black president. A former University of Florida English professor, Twitchell discovers truths about his own prejudices as well as those of the country.