Prisoner of Southern Rock: A Memoir

. September 2012. 320p. 978-0-88146-381-1. 27.
Music writer Smith (Carolina Dreams: The Musical Legacy of Upstate South Carolina) pens this memoir of growing up in South Carolina, working as a journalist and musician, and getting to know artists such as the Allman Brothers, Charlie Daniels, the Marshall Tucker Band, and many others. Smith does not attempt to chronicle Southern rock exhaustively but rather recounts, in a chatty and casual tone, his personal involvement with many of the book’s key figures. While a number of other books focus on specific Southern rock artists (e.g., Randy Poe’s Skydog: The Duane Allman Story; Gene Odom’s Lynyrd Skynyrd: Remembering the Free Birds of Southern Rock), few attempt to cover the genre as a whole (Mark Kemp’s Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South is one exception).
VERDICT Smith’s intimate knowledge of and passion for Southern rock make this a welcome addition to the literature on the subject. It will be of interest to fans of the genre or readers looking for a breezy memoir of life around popular musicians, much like Rolling Stones sax-man Bobby Keys’s memoir, Every Night’s a Saturday Night.
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