In case you're not aware of this publication, do yourself a favor and skip this write-up. Get up right now, head to your favorite bookstore or newstand, and buy the Oxford American Music Issue. Not only will you find in-depth articles and essays about Southern music, past, present and future---but you'll also get a CD sampler filled with music from the artists written about in the magazine.

The disc will almost make you dizzy with all the different artists and styles presented, from the down-n-dirty soul of Swamp Dogg's Total Destruction Of Your Mind to the gospel-inspired spiritual sounds of The Blind Boys of Alabama's Run On For A Long Time. Whether it's a classic from Memphis Minnie, or the latest country-fried steak from The Gourds, this compilation is sure to satisfy any Southern appetite.

Inside the mag is a wealth of photos and articles, including one on eclectic 78 collector Chris King, whose collection is one of the finest anywhere. His take on listening to ancient shellac slabs can be summed up like this: "it takes a special breed--there's only so many weird, whacked out eccentrics who get a big kick out of that three-minute experience."

There's also a celebration of Willie Nelson on his 70th birthday, with commentary from his close friends, an early song on the CD, not to mention a black & white photo from his pre-pigtail days.

As we say in the South: "Git it while the gittin's good."

Oxford American Magazine Website

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