In one way or another, I’m constantly asking musicians and artists about their artistic influences when I’m doing interviews — but it’s unusual for someone to ask that of me. One of the few people to do so is Henry Carrigan, book columnist for No Depression, who asked me a few questions related to my own back pages in the course of putting together a piece about “Comin’ Right at Ya.”
Henry was kind enough to include my responses in a “Reading Room” column headlined “What Are You Reading?,” alongside a pretty august set of my fellow scribes: Tamara Saviano, who is currently working on a Guy Clark biography that I’m quite certain will be amazing; my American Music Series colleague David Cantwell; Jewly Hight, another writer I hope to coax into the AMS at some point; Geoffrey Himes, author of a very fine tome about Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A.; and Alan Paul, who published an acclaimed Allman Brothers biography last year.
Check that here. Spoiler alert: My part contains what is probably the only paragraph you’ll ever read that references both “North Dallas Forty” and “The Lord of the Rings.” And of course, I also had to get in another plug for “Don’t Suck, Don’t Die,” too.