Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Review - Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio

Thomas Nelson has started a new program called Book Sneeze where bloggers can get a book for free in exchange for agreeing to post a review about it upon reading. This post is part of this program. Who doesn't love free books?

A native of Nashville, I was instantly intrigued with the idea of reading a book about one of Nashville's most famous country music groups.

Diamond Rio. You may know them from "Meet in the Middle," "One More Day," or "Beautiful Mess." While they've been around since I was a small child (two decades!) and certainly aren't new on the country music scene, I've always enjoyed their music and felt that they are authentically Nashville. The opportunity to read their story has been quite exciting.

I found the book to be a particularly interesting window into the band's group dynamic. The book details how all six of the members came together, originally as the Tennessee River Boys. It goes on to offer a vivid account of the ups and downs the band faced together as they attempted to launch a music career. Everyone in Nashville knows that the music scene can be tough, but for anyone who isn't a musician this book allows the opportunity to see just how tough.

Along with sharing the story of the band's adventures and struggles, a chapter is devoted to each of the six men who make up Diamond Rio. It's particularly interesting to learn of each man's background and how he came to be in Nashville. Most of the men connected through temporary jobs at Opryland USA, an amusement park that no longer exists in Nashville.

The author, Tom Roland, goes to great lengths to describe problems the band faced when lead singer Marty Roe began having pitch problems. It was an issue that would have torn many bands apart, but these men came together to find a solution and bounce back.

Many musicians and other celebrities make an effort to give back to the community, and Diamond Rio is no exception. One chapter discusses Team Rio, a group they started to run the Country Music half or full marathon here in Nashville to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Along with insight into the personal lives of each man, the book also provides photos throughout the pages. These visual images certainly allow the reader to walk through the years that have passed since Diamond Rio first got its start.

To anyone who is interested in music, particular country, this book makes for a good read. I found myself particularly intrigued since I grew up in Nashville and have memories of some of the people and places that are mentioned in this book.

It's a light read, but it's certainly one that provides some interesting anecdotes about this band and what it's like to make it as a group in the music world.

1 comment:

Playful Professional said...

I'm part of Book Sneeze too and saw this one...maybe I'll pick it up next time!