I first heard the term "Americana music" about four years ago, and it's convenient, because it includes a lot of music I like: folk rock, folk, bluegrass, outlaw country, and Grateful Dead.
When I was first exposed to The Kennedys, I thought of them as a folk rock group, and specifically, a successor to The Byrds, a band that I liked a lot in my youth, and still do. However, "Americana music" appears quite a few times in this book, and during Pete Kennedy's long musical career, he has been in the thick of it. The long list of people he has worked or jammed with includes Emmylou Harris, Chet Atkins, David Bromberg, Charlie Byrd, Roger McGuinn, Dave Carter, Steve Earle, Danny Gatton, Doc Watson, Tom Paxton, and Eric Andersen.
I think that the most important lesson in this book is just how much hard work it takes to be a professional musician like Pete. In addition to the long hours of practice and jamming, he took lessons from Joe Pass and Johnny Smith.
If you've heard the phrase, "life begins at 40", that is about how old he was when he went on his first full-scale tour, with Mary Chapin Carpenter's band. That led to another gig with Nanci Griffith's band, the Blue Moon Orchestra, and ultimately meeting his wife, band mate, and songwriting partner Maura Kennedy.
I'm going to pass along two anecdotes from this book that I especially liked. When he was a teenager, his garage band chipped in and bought a copy of "Are You Experienced?", Jimi Hendrix' first album. After listening to it, they concluded, "this is what we're going to sound like from now on." The drummer said that he was going to have to quit, because he felt that there was no way that he would ever play that well. The rest of the band talked him out of it.