This is an indispensable Country Music guide. The book covers Country Music inception in the 1920's, with the Carter Family & Jimmie Rodgers, through to the late 1990's with Garth Brooks & Dixie Chicks. It's not a straight forward A-Z listing. Artists are grouped together in 14 chapters (such as Outlaws, Countrypolitan and Hat Acts) with an overview essay at the beginning of each chapter. There are biographies and recommended recordings on each artist. Unlike the Encyclopaedia of Country Music (which is also a good guide) the biographies on each artist are critical reviews, as opposed to the Encyclopaedia's neutral biographies. Despite being 10 years out of date this is the best Country Music guide available...unless you're only interested in contemporary Country.
Inevitably ageing but thorough and very well written . You will find almost any country act up to the date of publication that you can reasonably think of ,and more . You will be inspired to buy and listen a lot more , you have been warned. I started reading it as sson as it came through the door and took 45 minutes before I could break away and sort out the shopping , what greater recommendation could there be ?