Greetings. This is the home site for “Alive Without Permission,” an evolving book celebrating the people who make, promote and enjoy traditional/roots/Americana music. The book will be mainly comprised of profiles, mostly of musicians but also promoters, djs, fans and other interested parties.
Here’s the story behind the title. When I was pitching an early version of the book idea to agents, the general response was either no response or that the idea was “too narrow.” In other words, there might not be enough potential readers to make the book profitable. It occurred to me that I was, in effect, asking permission to write a book I really wanted to write. Looking to the future, I did not want to one day regret not writing this book, especially because I had not in effect been given permission by people who could care less about the subject. So, I’ll write the book and, sometime in mid-2012, publish it both electronically and, if a suitable publisher is found, as a traditional book.
It also occured to me that many of the people who make this type of music decided long ago they would go their own way without seeking permission — or at least the blessings of money, glory or fame. The more I came to know these musicians the more I was convinced that many of them could have played any type of music they wanted, yet for some reason were drawn to these often ancient tunes with an intensity that to my mind is reminiscent of religious devotion. I wondered why they chose this path, why the music is so important to them, and why they believe these songs will endure long after Lady Gaga has vanished from the earth. And so, I started taking notes…
Thanks for your interest, and please forward this site’s link to anyone you think might be interested. Further information about me can be found at my website: www.daveshiflett.com
Dave Shiflett is a former critic for Bloomberg News and author of three books, including “The America We Deserve,” with Donald Trump. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post, Smart Money, Good Housekeeping, The Guardian, the Telegraph, Food & Wine, The Weekly Standard, The New Democrat, Investor’s Business Daily, Salon.com, National Review, and many other publications. Also a songwriter, his work is currently featured in a New York Times standing feature on the Depression. His columns and original music are posted at www.daveshiflett.com