This is a new feature from my occasional email newsletter, which goes out to people who have joined my email list. Normally I would not repeat it here, but 1) you get to know more of what you're missing if you haven't yet signed up for the list (which you can remedy right now on the top right corner of this page) and 2) I'd especially like to spread the word on these great artists. With such busyness lately it’s a wonder I’ve had time to kick back. Yet I’ve been enjoying two of Regina Spektor’s CDs, Begin to Hope and Songs, featuring her freshly expressed, minimalist “anti-folk”ish creations that convey strength, vulnerability, wildly free and creative spirit, classical training, early upbringing in Russia meets Bronx hip hop girl, a poet’s heart and some inspiring, beautifully crafted songs and piano/vocal performances. I recently enjoyed her NYC live show, too. For guitar enthusiasts and lovers of American culture, I recommend Tim Brookes’ Guitar: An American Life, which the author describes as “part history and part love song.” He weaves a lushly detailed legacy of American guitar culture with a slightly sketchier, but informative and entertaining story of the construction of his own new instrument to make a great read. You can hear Brookes talk about it with enthusiasm on NPR.
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