Posts Tagged With: Park Road Books

Avett Brothers mojo

“Fatherhood,” by Scott Avett (2013 painting)

Chapter 13 of “Step It Up and Go” covers one of the most popular North Carolina acts of modern times, The Avett Brothers. I go way back with Scott and Seth Avett’s music, which I’ve been writing about for a lot of years in a wide range of publications. I’ve also been to Avett Brothers shows from sea to shining sea — as far away as California, but a lot more right here in their home state of North Carolina. For the book, I drew from reporting, reviews and research I’d done over the years as well as an interview conducted at a 2018 show in Portsmouth, Va.

So I’m happy to have their support for the book, on a number of fronts. Singer, songwriter, Avetts co-founder and painter Scott Avett will join me online at 7 p.m. Tuesday night (Oct. 20) for a virtual event we’re doing in conjunction with Charlotte’s Park Road Books, near their hometown of Concord. In addition to “Step It Up and Go,” we’ll probably talk a little about the Avetts’ recently released new album The Third Gleam, too — plus whatever questions come in from viewers like you tuning in (hint, hint). Register here.

Avett Brothers bassist Bob Crawford was also kind enough to invite me onto his podcast, “The Road to Now,” where I did an interview the other night with his co-host Ben Sawyer. Avetts manager Dolphus Ramseur was also part of the conversation, which ranged far and wide across the state because Ramseur (a member of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame) is something of a history buff himself when it comes to North Carolina music. I hope you’ll take a listen.

On the Zoom video call with “The Road To Now” crew, Ben Sawyer and Dolphus Ramseur.

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“Step It Up and Go”: Publication day

Today is Monday, Oct. 19, which makes it official: It’s “Publication Day” for “Step It Up and Go,” which is now formally released to make its way into the world. That actually seems a bit anticlimactic, as the book has already been available in most stores for the better of a part of a month now. But anyway, it’s no longer “upcoming” or “impending,” but “released.” Yay! Fly, little book, be free! And lookee here, it’s even Amazon’s No. 1 best-seller in the category of Ethnomusicology (ahead of David Byrne, no less). All right, then.

Had all gone according to the original plan, right now I would be in the midst of a bunch of in-person events all over the state, many of them involving live performances. Unfortunately, the virus pandemic put the kibosh on all of that Oh well, so it goes. We are pressing on with virtual/online events instead — and the silver lining of these days of miracle and wonder is that people can tune in from anywhere with ease. My guests at this week’s events are worth tuning in for, too.

We’ll mark today’s publication day with my hometown independent bookstore, Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books, which is sponsoring a virtual event at 7 p.m. Eastern Time tonight. My guest will be my fellow Piedmont Laureate alumnus Scott Huler, an amazing raconteur and noted author himself. Also my best friend, y’all.

Scott Avett from The Avett Brothers will lend some star power to a virtual event on Tuesday, sponsored by Park Road Books in Charlotte. I expect that Chapter 13 of the book, which covers the Avetts, will be the focus of our discussion. Please join us at 7 p.m. Eastern Time Tuesday (Oct. 20).

The late great Doc Watson’s longtime accompanist David Holt will join me for a “UNC Press Presents” virtual event at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday (Oct. 21), sponsored by Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville. David is a four-time Grammy winner, host of “David Holt’s State of Music” and renowned keeper of the flame.

Closing out the week on Friday (Oct. 23), my fellow scribe Eddie Huffman will be my guest at 7 p.m. Eastern Time that evening for a virtual event through Greensboro’s Scuppernong Books. I was honored to edit Eddie’s first book, the excellent 2015 John Prine biography “In Spite of Himself.” I eagerly await his next book, a Doc Watson biography coming next year on University of North Carolina Press. So yeah, you can expect some talk about Doc, which is always a good thing in my book.

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Charlotte reading

The “Losering” PR campaign continues, further westward and over in Charlotte. I’ll be doing a reading at Charlotte’s Park Road Books at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 16). Here’s a little something about it that ran in the Charlotte Observer’s book blog last week; and a Creative Loafing review from this week.

Yes, I know, it’s a Friday night. But nothing else will be happening that early; and besides, Madonna was last night. So do come.

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Ya just can’t win…

When you’ve driven an hour and a half to do a bookstore reading, there are messages you just don’t want to see when you get there. For example, there’s the communique below, received Monday afternoon from my contact at the Greensboro Barnes & Noble when I checked email upon arrival:

We have a bit of a problem. The warehouse made a mistake and transposed a number and sent my books to another store. Therefore, I don’t have books for tonight’s signing. I’m hoping that you have some that you can bring and I will have them replaced. Please let me know if you have them.

As Ian Faith might put it, having no books to sign (or, more to the point, sell) at a bookstore signing seems like more than “a bit of a problem.” But hey, work in the entertainment-media industry long enough and you’ll eventually find yourself living out scenes from “Spinal Tap.” This one was a cross between the band out touring to promote an album that didn’t exist, and the record-store signing where nobody showed up. A few folks were at my reading last night, however, and I’m afraid some sales got left on the table. Oh well.

On the upside, the afternoon interview on WQFS-FM went well and the reading itself was highly pleasant, thanks to a few friends in the house. Jeri Rowe, who wrote a very nice preview piece in the Greensboro News & Record (which I wish I could link to, but it’s not online), had me read the infamous “resume passage” from chapter two. Parke Puterbaugh, author of a number of fine books himself, asked some on-point questions, as did Eddie Huffman and Molly McGinn (a long-ago N&O co-worker).

At the end of the reading, one fellow ordered “Losering” and a few folks promised they’d come back when it was in stock, and maybe they will. The Barnes & Noble manager gave me a $25 gift card, so that was nice. Afterward, a few of us went to the Ryan Adams pizza joint, and I gave the waiter a copy of the book to pass along to whoever did their menu. I had the “Cherry Lane,” which I’d say was better as a food item than a song.

Meanwhile…I sure do hope they’ll have books in Charlotte on Friday

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