On the Trail of Americana Music
Based on numerous interviews with leading musicians and music industry professionals, this book explores the illusive genre and movement that is Americana. From its historical roots in Country, Folk and other rebel music, the story of Americana music is told by those who are taking it in new directions today.
With so many music venues closed and incomes reduced, musicians speak of their hopes and fears for the future of the industry in challenging times.
Interviews with: Emily Barker, Yola, Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers, Dave Cobb, Paul Kelly, John Murry, Lindi Ortega, Wildwood Kin and many more.
About the author
Ralph Brookfield trained as a molecular physicist, worked as a freelance writer and software engineer, ran his own software business then became a director of technology in the digital television industry until 2012. Since then, he has pursued his passions of writing and music which he combines in his songwriting, playing regularly with his band in the Ealing area, the crucible of RnB music in the UK, where he also manages and promotes grassroots music.
He is married, has two grown-up children, and is a founder member of the infamous Hanwell Ukulele Group.
“This book is the story of the richest tapestry of music ever found in one country… So join in with the author on this journey of discovery, from coast to coast, from around the world, this wonderful music… this is Americana!” – Pete Clack, Blues in Britain Magazine.
“This is a great and informative read for any fan of the world’s coolest music genre, Americana.” – Nash Chambers, award-winning Music Producer
“A deep, inquisitive dive into the Americana story so far. In the best possible way, Ralph Brookfield’s roots are showing.” -Paul Sexton, Music writer and broadcaster
“… it is a volume of varied parts and something of a curate’s egg. The chapters on the history and strands of Americana in America make good reading as do the chapters on Ireland, and the role of women. Perhaps not surprisingly the interest in the other chapters diminishes in proportion to the nature and size of the Americana ‘scene’ found in each country. I did admire his reasoned thoughts on Keith Urban (seemingly someone subject to a degree of derision) and where he sits in the musical cosmos… One real bonus is a huge list of what are called endnotes…
Brookfield finishes the book with some brief words on the future, which he sees might take us eventually to the land of Cosmic American Music as described by Gram Parsons. Presently he identifies a retro movement as exemplified by Pokey le Farge. He also recognises Kasey Chambers’s work with native Australians, Psychedelic influences, and the work of Gangstagrass and the Alabama 3.
Americana remains a very rich stew!” – Gordon Sharpe -Americana-UK. Read more here.
Interview with the author by Martin Johnson for Americana-UK here