Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me

Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me
Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me by Brad Paisley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My interest in Brad Paisley began, as so much in my adult life did, at Borders. Back before Borders became locked in a death spiral, we used to get promo CDs for the listening stations. After a couple of months, the staff would get to paw through a box and pick out what we wanted. Since I'm hearing impaired, I have very specific tastes in music. I care less about the music itself and more about the singer & lyrics. I want to actually hear them singing and I want to be interested in what they're singing. So I often glanced through what was left after my co-workers descended and picked out whatever looked interesting. One of those CDs was Paisley's Time Well Wasted. Thus began my love affair with country music.

I was excited when I saw Paisley was coming out with an autobiography because I knew he wrote many of his own songs and I was hoping he'd talk about his various inspirations. Barring that, I wanted to to learn about his life, the whos and hows of it all. This is not what Diary of a Player is about. Paisley focuses very narrowly on the guitar. He and his co-writer, David Wild, do an excellent job of giving the impression of an average joe hanging out at the local music shop, without compromising Paisley's privacy or personal life. Paisley name-drops like crazy and portrays the country music genre as mostly one big happy family.

While he traces the guitar's impact on his life, he doesn't get technical in a bid, I would guess, to hang onto the casual music lover. So anyone hoping for some tips is doomed to disappointment. To make it even more maddening, Paisley actually mentions a conversation he had with a guitar teacher about teaching some of his songs, but doesn't share any of that advice or info with the reader. I got three things from this book. First, Paisley considers himself a musician who also happens to sing. Secondly, his family is very important to him. Thirdly, he wants you to know that he's worked extraordinarily hard to get where he is.

I gave this three stars because it wasn't what I expected and it could have benefited from a more structured, linear, narrative. If you're a fan of Paisley or a high school student looking for resources for a biography report, check this out. If you're looking for info that's not on Wikipedia, this is not going to fit your needs.

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