Being from the South rules. Having a magazine that celebrates all aspects of Southern art is even cooler. Enter the Oxford American in its latest incarnation and of course, the annual Southern Music Issue.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the popular issue and as an added bonus, there’s a double-CD inside chock full of 55 songs that will continue to make you proud to live in the lower-east side of the U-S-of-A.
Disc one begins with an introduction by Morgan Freeman. Just the sound of his voice made me smile on my way home from work as I popped in the CD to give it a spin. But that was just the beginning because as soon as Freeman says, “Let’s boogie,” Little Walter immediately launches in with “Hate to See You Go” and the boogie definitely begins.
After getting a full spin out of disc one, I accidentally dropped it behind my passenger seat and broke it in half trying to get it out. Fortunately, disc two is equally as packed and it’s still in my CD player after a full week on repeat.
Any fan of Southern music will be pumped to blast the sounds of Elvis, Lucinda, Isaac, Ella and of course, Jerry Lee around the house. And for anyone who’s been looking to broaden their Southern horizons a little, this two-disc set is the perfect start. At the very least and if you time it just right, you can have it playing as your friends arrive at your next party and you’ll certainly impress.
The magazine is not to be overshadowed by the music, though. There’s articles and more information about the CD’s songs including an incredibly awesome piece on Little Walter by Alan Light which makes me wish I could go back in time and NOT drop disc one under my passenger seat.
If you’re like me and you still have a boat-load of gifts to buy before December 25th, you can’t go wrong picking up a few copies of the Oxford American’s 10th Anniversary Southern Music Issue. The lucky folks who get a copy will thank you for sure. And for only $10.95, you’ll thank yourself for not spending thirty bucks on that tie your dad will never actually wear.