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Coming: An eBook from TDMB: “Beyond Boundaries: Great Music Across Eras and Genres”

The Daily Music Break is going to publish an eBook entitled “Beyond Boundaries: Great Music Beyond Eras and Boundaries” next week. The eBook contains about 40 updated/rewritten posts. It will be available free for a few days after launch. I will let you know when. Please respond below or email me if you’d like me to send you a link.

The site and Facebook page has been on a bit of a hiatus while I worked on this project. To get things moving again, I’ll post some great music as sort of a countdown.

This week came the sad news of the passing of Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.

It’s my opinion that he is in the conversation when great lyricists are discussed. There is no “best” “or greatest” in this. There is, however, a layer of lyricists that are consider at the top. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, John Prine, Lennon and McCartney and Paul Simon are some of the names that generally are heard. Robert Hunter’s name belongs there as well.

Hunter is the difference between The Grateful Dead being a great band and The Grateful Dead being, well, The Grateful Dead. The list of songs and the beauty of the lyrics is remarkable. The site has discussed Hunter before.

Hunter performed himself. Below he plays “Ripple” at The Ryman Auditorium (the long-time home of the Grand Ole Opry) in 2013.

Here is a top ten list from the LA Times. It’s a solid list — it’s hard to compose a bad one — with good derscriptions.

(Homepage image: Brian Gatens)

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TDMB offers daily one-video email blasts. A different genre each day of the week. They are quick hits: Just great music and a bit of context.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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