Lullaby is as evocative as the music it celebrates. Mark Kemp, who
grew up in North Carolina, instinctively understood rock and roll,
particularly SOUTHERN rock and roll, was his salvation.
Like most southerners of his generation, Kemp (who came of age in the
1970s), heard racial epithets among his older relatives , was the first
in his family to attend a racially integrated elementary school, and
watched television sitcoms depicting the south and southerners as
dimwitted rednecks. Taught to respect his elders, he took umbrage with
his relatives' attitudes toward the changes going in his hometown, the
south, and the United States.
When he was introduced to southern rock music -- the Allman Brothers
Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd -- he felt a keen kinship with the bands. Kemp
found a new identity through their music. No longer a small town boy
with a racist heritage, he identified himself with tolerance and
In Dixie Lullaby, Kemp chronicles the course of southern rock and
roll from the Muscle Shoals Sound in the 1960s, through the heyday of
Capricorn Records, Jimmy Carter's administration, R.E.M., and, more
recently, the Drive-By Truckers, coming full circle. Along the way, Kemp
becomes alienated from his father, leaves his hometown for New York,
served as music editor for ROLLING STONE, was the vice president of
music editorial for MTV Networks, married, developed a problem with
addictions, divorced, recovered, reconciled with his father, and wrote
Music fans should not miss this memoir. Kemp's interviews and insights
are worth much more than the price of the book.
Kemp now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he's the
entertainment editor at The Charlotte Observer.
- Southern Scribe
2005, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved