So I have this book coming out in October that’s kind of like the box-set anthology drawn from three decades spent covering the music of North Carolina in all its wide-ranging splendor. It’s called “Step It Up and Go,” named after the Blind Boy Fuller Piedmont blues classic, and it covers a lot of ground beyond just music. The storyline also touches on economics, racism, gentrification and technology as backdrop to the music that made North Carolina famous — the way that life had an impact on the way people made and heard music, from mountain farms to tobacco warehouses, textile mills to college campuses.
Since I’ve been studying up on All Things North Carolina for many a year, I’ve had my antenna up for books and articles about the same subject. And I am filled with admiration and envy at this story, “Michael Jordan: A History of Flight,” by ESPN senior writer Wright Thompson. It’s an astounding masterpiece of reporting and writing, yielding essential insights into how North Carolina shaped Wilmington native Jordan. As background to the recent Jordan series “The Last Dance” (and North Carolina in general), it’s amazing. I cannot recommend it highly enough.