Holding the Note
ESSAYS ON ARETHA FRANKLIN, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, BOB DYLAN, PAUL MCCARTNEY, LEONARD COHEN, BUDDY GUY, MAVIS STAPLES, PATTI SMITH
A Financial Times Book of the Year 2023
The greatest popular songs, whether it’s Aretha Franklin singing ‘Respect’ or Bob Dylan performing ‘Blind Willie McTell’, have a way of embedding themselves in our memories. You remember a time and a place and a feeling when you hear that song again. In Holding the Note, David Remnick, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and editor of The New Yorker, writes about the lives and work of some of the greatest musicians, songwriters, and performers of the past fifty years.
He portrays a series of musical lives – Leonard Cohen, Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, and more – and their unique encounters with the passing of that essential element of music: time. These are intimate portraits of some of the greatest creative minds of our time written with a lifetime’s passionate attachment to music that has shaped us all.
Remarkable, not just for the essays' expertise and vividness, but for the aeons he spends talking to his subjects and those around them
This collection of articles by David Remnick can stand as literature. ... He treats the reader as an informed, intelligent equal
The New York Times
Always up close and personal, always tenacious and informed by deep background, and always vivid and veracious