A great little issue of Oxford American – their annual Southern Music issue, dedicated to the bluegrass state of Kentucky this time around! Kentucky's got a legacy
of sounds that go way past bluegrass – as you'll read here in features that touch on pianist Les McCann, guitarist Jimmy Raney, and even punk rock legend Richard Hell! There's loads more surprises along the way – and given that Kentucky is more of a border state than most, it really has an incredible cultural legacy
– which rolls out in articles on Freakwater, Sturgill Simpson, Old Regular Baptists, the Phipps Family, John Prine, Thomas Merton, Brandon Godman, and even the famous narcotic hospital in Lexington. As usual, the writing is superb – flowing from the pens of Amanda Petrusich, John Jerimah Sullivan, David Ramsey, and even poet Thomas Merton – who's featured here in three unpublished poems. And there's also a bonus CD with Kentucky sounds by Soul Walkers, King Kong, The Torques, Freakwater, Loretta Lynn, Brett Ratliff, Shirley Verrett, Bonnie Prince Billy, Legendary Shack Shakers, Harry Dean Stanton, Les McCann, Dwight Yoakam, Bill Monroe, and others.