Most people, whether they are into music or not, have heard the catchy tunes of Buddy Holly at some point in their lives. They remain an influence on many artists of varied genres even today. His untimely death (with other promising musicians) is often referred to as the Day the Music Died. But for the musicians, songwritters, and artists of his hometown, the music never stopped. This is the topic of my latest read: Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music. The book is a compilation of interviews with twenty-five artists who came from or drifted into and were influenced by Lubbock, Texas - the home of Buddy Holly.
My interest in this book is based on my lifelong love of some of these very artists: Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Terry Allen. But it is amazing just how many artists are from the flatland that makes up Lubbock's landscape. Although I have never spent any time in Lubbock, I feel I know the story: small town hoping to be something bigger, but never qutie making it. All the trappings of the Bible belt: a church on every corner and bars on the outskirts of town. The struggle to find something to pass the time, to make a way out of town, and the sense of home that draws you back when you leave.
The legacy of Buddy Holly went almost completely unnoticed by the citizens of Lubbock (until the Chamber found out it was a moneymaking venture) and many of the artists of Lubbock have gone mostly unnoticed by mainstream anything. Nonetheless, that is just how most of them would want it. They do it for the love of music, not to make money. I am so happy that Chris Oglesby took the time to record some of these stories.
If you are uninitiated in the music of West Texas (or Texas in general), this book is a great starting point.
Rating: 6 of 7