Book review by Roy E. Perry: J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy”

July 11, 2014

 .ROWLING

BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY:

“If God made the country and man made the town, then the devil made the little country town.”
—Author unknown

The Casual Vacancy (2012), J. K. Rowling’s venture into adult fiction, describes the denizens of Pagford, a pretty little country town situated in the West Country (southwestern England), near Yarvil, a larger city to the north.

To tourists visiting Pagford, it appears to be an idyllic place in which to live. But things are not always what they seem. The town teems with dysfunctional people—narrow-minded, untruthful, full of malice and spite. News travels fast in Pagford; there’s a lot of busybody gossiping and there are ample reasons for the gossip.

A sixty-year grudge-feud has raged and festered between Pagford and Yarvil. Two bones of contention are “the Fields” (a squalid slum between the two towns) and the financial viability of the Bellchapel Addiction Clinic which, among other services, dispenses methadone to heroin addicts.

A “casual vacancy” refers to the resignation or death of a member of the town council. When good-hearted Barry Fairbrother dies of an aneurysm of the brain, candidates for his vacant office are thrown into a political struggle between those who are “pro” and “con” concerning the Fields and the Bellchapel Addiction Clinic.

Pagford is hard-pressed to elect a candidate worthy to fill the shoes of the deceased council member, especially when “The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother” makes periodic appearances on the Pagford Parish Council’s website, revealing scandalous secrets that set the gossipy network buzzing.

A central motif of A Casual Vacancy is class struggle, reminiscent of works by authors such as Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Elizabeth Gaskell. One is pained by how the poor people of the Fields are marginalized and alienated by an upper class who disparage their depressed conditions.

There are so many characters in this novel—most of them human, all-too-human—that a chart of who is related to whom, and of their political agendas, would have been helpful. Suffice it to say that the characters are well-developed and the dialogue, although at times eyebrow-raising, is expertly done.

Quite different from the seven volumes of Ms. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, A Casual Vacancy is definitely adult fare. It contains off-color language and erotic “confrontations” that are not recommended for one’s pre-teen daughter (or, for that matter, pre-teen son). Mature readers may find Rowling’s experiment in catharsis more amusing than offensive.

The novel ends in catastrophe, with the tragic death of two of the main characters. It would be a disservice to insert a spoiler revealing their identities.

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

Book Review by Roy E. Perry: Donna Tartt’s “The Little Friend”

June 27, 2014

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Editor’s Note: Roy E. Perry, the self-described “amateur philosopher of Nolensville,” wrote book reviews for “The Tennessean” and “Nashville Banner” for thirty years. He is a regular contributor to “Underground Nashville.”

BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY:

Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, begins The Little Friend in the fictional town of Alexandria, Mississippi, where the dead body of a nine-year-old boy, Robin Cleve Dufresnes, has been found hanging from a black-gum tupelo tree. At the time of Robin’s death, his sisters—Allison and Harriet—are four years old and six months old, respectively.

The story resumes twelve years later, when Harriet makes it her consuming mission to solve the baffling cold-case murder: “This was Harriet’s greatest obsession, and the one from which all the others sprang,” Tartt writes. “For what she wanted, more than anything, was to have her brother back. Next to that, she wanted to find out who killed him.”

Twelve-year old Harriet, the central character of the tale, frequents the local library and loves Dickens, Kipling, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Arthur Conan Doyle. Her heroes are the super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes and the escape artist Harry Houdini. She will need all her wits, intelligence, and derring-do to survive the dangers that threaten her.

The lion’s share of the book is devoted to interpersonal relationships within the Cleve and Dufresnes families, which have been devastated by Robin’s death. Central characters include Harriet’s father, who has deserted the family and is living with a mistress in Nashville; Harriet’s mother, who has become a shadowy recluse; and Harriet’s grandmother, great-aunts, and aunts.

Four ne’er-do-wells—members of the “sorry,” low-life, white-trash Ratliff family—are the antagonists of the drama, especially one Danny Ratliff, Robin’s “little friend,” whom Harriet comes to suspect as Robin’s murderer. A stash of crank (methamphetamine) hidden in the town’s abandoned water tower leads to a white-knuckle, nail-biting confrontation between Harriet and Danny Ratliff.

Near novel’s end, we read, “Never had it occurred to [Harriet] that she might be wrong in her suspicions about Danny Ratliff—simply wrong. What if he hadn’t killed Robin after all?” With this doubt came a sickening “fear that she’d stumbled blindly into something terrible.”

The Little Friend is a WHO-dunit and a WHY-dunit, with neither a “who” nor a “why.” The story’s promising complications have no satisfying resolution. Was the final chapter inadvertently misplaced by the author or carelessly deleted by an editor? For this reason, I give this absorbing novel four stars rather than five.

A final comment: One wonders how much Alexandria, Mississippi, resembles Donna Tartt’s girlhood home of Grenada, and to what extent spunky, resourceful, independent, tomboyish Harriet is a mirror image of Donna Tartt.

MORE ABOUT DONNA TARTT

Donna Tartt was born on December 23, 1963 in Greenwood and grew up in nearby Grenada (both in north-central Mississippi). She has published three novels: The Secret History (1992), The Little Friend (2002), and The Goldfinch (2013), the latter work winning the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

Chakra Bleu releases sweet, sultry “All of Me”

June 10, 2014

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By Dave Carew

In the early 2000s, when the East Nashville rock scene was infinitely less potent than it is today, one of the bands bravely carrying the pop/rock torch across the river was Chakra Bleu. Described by some as “Nashville’s answer to Fleetwood Mac and Heart,” the band galvanized its die-hard fans with electric female harmonies, soaring guitar solos, and a uniquely uplifting songcraft it dubbed “empower rock.”

Fast forward to 2014: Today the mantle of Chakra Bleu is carried by lead singer/songwriter “Bleu,” who has released a string of solo albums and singles that have lit up Indie and Americana charts. Now—on the heels of the particularly acclaimed Souvenir—Chakra Bleu has released the R & B-flavored All of Me, described by its principal creator (Bleu) as “sweet and sultry with a shake of sass!”

“I aimed for All of Me to embody an exquisite five-course meal, delighting the listener in a savory listening experience,” says Bleu. “That experience includes (1.) soulful songs (2.) rich vocals (3.) lush production (4.) top-notch musicians and (5.) a special dessert, including the ‘empower song’ ‘The Shadow,’ which is food for thought, upbeat, and insightful.”

All of Me features stellar production work from Nashville pro John Billings, who also engineered and played bass on all tracks. Mr. Billings played with Donna Summer and the Monkees, among many others. Another stand-out contribution is offered by saxophonist Dana Robbins, who has played with Aretha Franklin, Delbert McClinton, Chaka Khan, and others.

It all adds up to a welcome surprise for Chakra Bleu fans . . . with equal emphasis on “welcome” and “surprise.” If the “old” Chakra Bleu sounded like Fleetwood Mac or Heart, this entrée is like an Anita Baker album splashed with Bleu’s patented lyrical vibe of love, hope, and good will. It’s a new direction for the beloved artist, and one she walks with inviting confidence.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.chakrableu.com/

 


David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground
Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

 

Ryan Weaver to play CMA Fest this week

June 2, 2014

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By Dave Carew

Nashville-based Ryan Weaver—the “all-American rockin’ country music artist”—will play two shows in MusicCity this week. He will be headlining a non-CMA Fest-affiliated concert at Margaritaville on Wed, June 4th at 10:30PM after the CMT Award Show, then performing on the Samsung Galaxy Stage in Hall of Fame Walk Park for CMA Fest on Saturday, June 7th at 12:05PM.

Asked by Underground Nashville to comment on his fast-rising career, Ryan said “I have played a few showcases during CMA Fest downtown in the past, but since moving to Nashville and having my ‘Crank It’ music video and song out in the national television and markets, a lot of great things are starting to happen. Now I’ve released my second single, ‘New Set of Tires,’ and become an official CMA Fest performing artist. This is a huge step in the right direction. It’s always amazing to see my dreams come to life after working so hard to get here.”

Ryan’s just-released single “New Set of Tires”—the follow-up to his first Top 100 Music Row charting single “Crank It”—was penned by Hall of Fame songwriters Jeffrey Steele and Bob DiPiero. The single is available for sale on iTunes and Amazon.

MORE ABOUT RYAN WEAVER:

Ryan Weaver served as an active-duty Blackhawk helicopter pilot, Chief Warrant Officer 3, in the U. S. Army. The small-town Florida native jumped into the music scene after a chance meeting with hit songwriter Jeffrey Steele in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Steele soon became Ryan’s musical mentor.

For more information, please visit:
http://weavercountry.com/

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

Book Review by Roy E. Perry: “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding” by David Hume

May 28, 2014

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BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY:

Editor’s Note: Roy E. Perry, the self-described “amateur philosopher of Nolensville,” wrote book reviews for “The Tennessean” and “Nashville Banner” for thirty years. He is a regular contributor to “Underground Nashville.”

Rene Descartes (1596-1650), “the father of modern philosophy,” was a rationalist who attempted to attain certainty by discovering “first principles” on which he could establish absolute truth. He believed that by reason alone (human understanding) he could “prove” the existence of God and the immortality of the soul.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was trained in the rationalist tradition, but when he read David Hume’s work, the impact shattered his way of thinking. In the preface to his ‘Prolegomenon,’ Kant stated that reading Hume woke him from his “dogmatic slumbers.” If Hume was right, then metaphysics, as Kant had previously believed it, was impossible, nothing but “sophistry and illusion.” In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant wrote, “I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge [that is, reason and human understanding] in order to make room for faith.”

An empiricist and skeptic, David Hume (1711-1776) was born and died in Edinburgh, Scotland. His magnum opus, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), like Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781), is one of the key texts of the 18th-century Enlightenment. Taking a dim view of miracles, mysticism, and metaphysics, Hume skeptically asserted that empirical proofs of religion (such as the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and an afterlife) are not possible. In effect, he was saying (to paraphrase Kant), “I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge [that is, reason and human understanding] in order to make room for lack of faith [that is, for skepticism and unbelief].”

In the famous last paragraph of his Enquiry, Hume writes: “When we run over libraries, persuaded of these [empirical and skeptical] principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume: of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance, let us ask: Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and experience? No. Commit it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”

Hume clarifies the terms “a priori” (deduction) and “a posteriori” (induction). Deductive reasoning is done “before experience,” such as speculating on how many angels can stand on the head of a pin. Inductive reasoning is done “after experience”; it is the scientific method (forming hypotheses, performing experiments, and observing phenomena). The former process, “abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number” (as in mathematics and geometry), produces certainty. The latter reasoning process produces, at best, only strong probability, based as it is on the assumption of “the uniformity of nature” (that the universe will be the same in the future as it is in the present). Therefore, Hume’s “empiricism” is qualified by its open-ended character.

Hume’s “skepticism” is also qualified. Although technically, Pyrrhonism (or excessive skepticism) cannot be philosophically disproven, Hume recommends the practicality of a “mitigated” or moderate skepticism that acknowledges the importance of common sense and common life.

Hume’s Enquiry is, one might quip, not an easy work for our “human understanding” to grasp. This is especially true of his erudite, but daunting, explications of cause and effect. Another challenging chapter deals with the ages-old dispute between determinism and free will. His controversial and provocative essay, “Of Miracles,” caused howls of protest from those accusing him of atheism, and caused him to be forever excluded from a professional academic career.

The Clarendon Critical Edition of Hume’s Enquiry is recommended. It contains a substantial (55-page) introduction by the editor (Tom L. Beauchamp, Professor of Philosophy at GeorgetownUniversity), who explains the intellectual background to the work and surveys its main themes. This edition also includes detailed explanatory notes on the text, a glossary of terms, a full list of references, and a section of supplementary readings.

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

Book Review by Roy E. Perry: “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt

May 21, 2014

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BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY

Donna Louise Tartt’s The Goldfinch won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The judges described this 771-page novel, which took Tartt eleven years to write, as “a beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters.”

At the heart of Tartt’s novel is an eponymous painting, “The Goldfinch” (oil on canvas, 1654) by Carel Fabritius (1622-1654). This Dutch masterpiece, which shows a goldfinch tethered to its perch by a chain on its ankle, is now worth millions of dollars. Shortly after he completed the painting, Fabritius was killed in an explosion in a powder factory in the city of Delft, the Netherlands.

Flash forward three and a half centuries . . . Another explosion destroys a large section of New York City’s MetropolitanArt museum, killing the mother of thirteen-year-old Theo Decker. Traumatized by the death of his mother, whom he dearly loved and who dearly loved him, Theo staggers through the fire and smoke, chaos and debris, of the shattered building, but not before a mortally wounded antiques dealer places in his hands an expensive ring and the rare, world-class museum piece, “The Goldfinch.”

A central theme of this novel is an oxymoronic concept: “the randomness of fate.” An accidental 17th-century “cause” has uncanny connections with 21st-century “effects.” Chance occurrences shape one’s destiny. The story moves from New York City, to Las Vegas, back to New York City, and on to Amsterdam. Haunted by memories of his mother, Theo becomes—as an art thief, in danger of prison—a fugitive, seeking to elude Interpol. Moreover, his life is threatened by minions of the criminal underworld peopled by art thieves and drug dealers.

Theo develops a dark, nihilistic perspective of life: “an unsettling sense of transience and doom”; “the absurdity of human affairs”; “groundlessness and flux, nothing to hang on to”; “chaos and uncertainty of the world we live in”; “the darkness of nothingness.” “All human activity seemed pointless, incomprehensible, some blackly swarming ant hill in the wilderness. . . . For humans—trapped in biology—there was no mercy: we lived for a while, we fussed around for a bit and died, we rotted in the ground like garbage. Time destroyed us all soon enough.”

For readers with a philosophical bent, The Goldfinch provides many such metaphysical and existential musings. Donna Tartt is not only a high-echelon literary artist and stylist, but also a provocative philosopher and psychologist. She challenges us to ponder questions such as: (1) Do our lives, and the existence of the universe, have any pattern, plan, meaning, purpose, or goal? (2) Are truth, goodness, and beauty merely relative—artificial, arbitrary prejudices constructed by our own conceits? Apparently, the answer to the first question is no; the answer to the second question is yes. It’s a gloomy world-view: Life is short. Death is sure. Period.

How can one cope with, and overcome, such debilitating nihilism? What antidote can be found for such skeptical doubt and pessimistic despair? Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch suggests Nietzsche’s answer: “It is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified. We have art in order not to die from the truth.”

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

 

Robin Ruddy releases delightful, empowering self-help book

May 12, 2014

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by Dave Carew

If you don’t know who Robin Ruddy is, you probably haven’t kicked around Nashville too long. Long associated with the celebrated Girls with Guitars concerts and a huge array of other Music City events, Robin is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist who has toured twenty-six countries with artists such as Rod Stewart, Shania Twain, Ray Stevens, and Lynn Anderson.

A person like Robin would seem to be living her dreams. So how did she do it? And how can YOU do it? If you’re feeling despondent . . . or frustrated with your life . . . or “stuck in a rut” that has little or nothing to do with the life you WANT to live . . . how can you break free and achieve your most precious dreams?

An excellent starting point would be to run out and grab a copy of Robin Ruddy’s charming new self-help book Coconuggets: 10 Secrets to Success in a Coconut Shell. By sharing the delightful story of Tarry the tortoise . . . and of his journey from Confusion Island to Prosperity Island . . . Robin shares 10 rich life-lessons that can help ANYONE build a more prosperous life (according to YOUR definition of prosperity for YOUR life).

There are few books you can read in about an hour and get a “take-away benefit” that can enrich the entire rest of your life. This is one of them. Coconuggets is highly recommended for everyone with a dream, who needs a great strategy for making it happen.

For more information please visit:
http://www.coconuggets.net/

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor and ghostwriter, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

Book Review by Roy E. Perry: “House of Sand and Fog” by Andre Dubus III

May 1, 2014

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Editor’s Note: Roy E. Perry, the self-described “amateur philosopher of Nolensville,” wrote book reviews for “The Tennessean” and “Nashville Banner” for thirty years. He is a regular contributor to “Underground Nashville.”

BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY:

Andre Dubus III’s novel House of Sand and Fog (1999) was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for The National Book Award, and the basis for an Oscar-nominated motion picture.

The Boston Globe described the novel as “a page-turner with a beating heart.” The Washington Post Book World called it “Elegant and powerful . . . An unusual and volatile literary thriller.” And James Lee Burke (no mean novelist himself) wrote that it is “stunning….No one who reads this novel will ever forget it. I have never felt so strongly about the talent of a young writer in my life. House of Sand and Fog is one of the best American novels I’ve ever read.”

The bone of contention in this tale is a small hillside bungalow at 34 Bisgrove Street in the low-rent beach-town of Corona, California, south of San Francisco. A bureaucratic screw-up at the San MateoCounty tax office confuses the owner’s house for a house at 34 Biscove Street, whose owners were delinquent paying their taxes. This clerical incompetence leads to the owner’s being evicted from her house, which was sold at auction.

In the past, Kathy Nicolo Lazaro had been a cocaine addict who snorted “white snakes” and she still struggles (unsuccessfully) with alcoholism. Her husband has left her, and now she has lost the house that she inherited from her deceased father. With her life spiraling out of control, Kathy desperately struggles to hold on to the one thing she has left.

Genob Sarhang Massoud Amir Behrani, a former colonel in the Iranian Imperial Air Force, is now the legal owner of the house, which he has purchased at auction at one-third its value, planning to resell at a huge profit. Formerly he had been a man of wealth and power in Tehran, with the ear of the Shah himself. But when the 1979 revolution swept Iran, Behrani, his wife Nadereh, their daughter Soraya, and their son Esmail, are put on a death list and forced to flee the country.

The plot thickens when Deputy Sheriff Lester Victor Burdon, a married cop, falls head over heels in love with Kathy Nicolo, and several steamy encounters occur. Burdon, crossing far over the line, is determined, by hook or crook, to help Kathy recover her house. Their erotic liaison leads to a horrific climax reminiscent of Greek and Shakespearean tragedies.

If sad stories make you cry, avoid reading House of Sand and Fog. But if you’re looking for a powerful, well-written tale, this one is for you.

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

LoveCollide releases stand-out debut album

April 24, 2014

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by Dave Carew

Two years ago, after I first heard Lauren and Brooke DeLeary perform live, I predicted “The DeLearys will be the next big thing in Christian pop/rock.” The only thing I’d change about that statement today—now that I’ve heard their stand-out debut album—would be the name I call them by. “The DeLearys” now are “LoveCollide.”

No matter what they call themselves, young sisters Lauren and Brooke DeLeary have the manifest talent and “X Factor” that separates them from most other young artists. Songs like “Overtake Me”—which has “big hit” written all over it—demonstrate a songwriting talent rarely (as in “almost never”) seen in artists this young.

LoveCollide is very serious-minded in its mission to “draw you closer to Him,” and the over-all feel of this album is one of reflective joy and celebration. In song after song—mostly notably “Sold Out,” “Through Your Eyes,” and “Numb”—the musical (and spiritual) mood is enhanced by well-crafted melodies, beautifully braided harmonies, infectious hooks, and thoughtful, nuanced lyrics that probe important facets of trying to live an authentic Christian life. For two young artists who have shown great promise for years, this album delivers in a big, big way.

For more information please visit:
https://lovecollide.com/

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor and ghostwriter, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

“Technology for Musicians and Songwriters” to be spotlighted at Thursday Indie Connect luncheon

April 21, 2014

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by Dave Carew

How can cool new technologies help musicians and songwriters? What incredible new features and benefits do these gadgets and gizmos offer?

You’ll get the specific (sometimes jaw-dropping) answers at this month’s Nashville Music Industry Luncheon, sponsored by Indie Connect.

The luncheon will feature representatives from several companies showcasing their music-related technologies, including reps from:

* Bombplates . . . a template-based website service;

* Shure . . . showcasing the GLXD wireless system and more;

* Artist Growth . . . a smart-phone app for managing your band’s business;

* Others.

Asked by Underground Nashville why he believes attendees will greatly benefit from this month’s luncheon, Vinny Ribas, CEO of Indie Connect, said, “Many musicians and songwriters don’t keep up on new technology. Others just don’t realize how technologies on the market can make their jobs and lives easier, and even generate additional income for them. The goal of this luncheon is to demonstrate some of those technologies and explain the benefits.”

Here are your specs for the luncheon:

WHEN: Thursday, April 24, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: SOUTH (bar and restaurant), 1524 Demonbreun Street, Nashville

PRICE: $25 at the door or online, which buys you lunch and a beverage. (Registration link below.)

ABOUT THE
NASHVILLE MUSIC INDUSTRY LUNCHEON:

The Nashville Music Industry Luncheon is a monthly opportunity for people from all corners of the music industry to network, master-mind, and be educated by industry leaders. The event is held the last Thursday of each month from 11:30 – 1:00 PM at SOUTH.

For more information or to register please visit:
http://indieconnect.com/events/monthly-nashville-music-industry-luncheon-3-2014-04-24/

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor and ghostwriter, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

http://www.epiclifecreative.net/LambsCroft/

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 


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