Posted:  Jan. 10, 2014

  Inspired by the Hank Williams and Leadbelly recordings he heard as a teenager growing up outside of Boston, Jim Rooney began a musical journey that intersected with some of the biggest names in American music including Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Bill Monroe, Muddy Waters, and Alison Krauss. In It for the Long Run: A Musical Odyssey is Rooney's kaleidoscopic first-hand account of more than five decades of success as a performer, concert promoter, songwriter, music publisher, engineer, and record producer.

As witness to and participant in over a half century of music history, Rooney provides a sophisticated window into American vernacular music. Following his stint as a "Hayloft Jamboree" hillbilly singer in the mid-1950s, Rooney managed Cambridge's Club 47, a catalyst of the ‘60’s folk music boom. He soon moved to the Newport Folk Festival as talent coordinator and director where he had a front row seat to Dylan "going electric."

In the 1970s Rooney's odyssey continued in Nashville where he began engineering and producing records. His work helped alternative country music gain a foothold in Music City and culminated in Grammy nominations for singer-songwriters John Prine, Iris Dement, and Nanci Griffith. Later in his career he was a key link connecting Nashville to Ireland's folk music scene.

Writing songs or writing his memoir, Jim Rooney is the consummate storyteller. In It for the Long Run: A Musical Odyssey is his singular chronicle from the heart of Americana.

For me this should have been a good read from a person who was in the music business from the 60s and forward. He was the musical director for some of the Newport Jazz Festival concerts. Now I have a number of those records yes records and cds. But that the music that comes across those does not come across these pages for me. I kept reading thinking it was me. He was part of some of the most interesting people in the business. Muddy Waters, James Taylor, Bill Monroe, and Allison Krauss, just to name a few. The feeling you get when you listen to any one of these artists is amazing and I now it is difficult to put it into words but for me this book was flat. For the life he has had and the things he has done I was expecting something a little better. Maybe someone else will see something it that I missed and I can go back and reread at another time.

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