A Story of Rhythm and Grace: What the Church Can Learn from Rock and Roll About Healing the Racial Divide

Jimi Calhoun, Author . Brazos $15.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-58743-220-0

Some religious people are skeptical about rock music due to its association with what they view as morally unacceptable behavior. It is refreshing that Calhoun, an evangelical Christian minister and former professional musician, can see beyond these dated stereotypes and unapologetically highlight the good that rock has to offer. As an African-American growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, Calhoun knows firsthand about the effects of racism. His personal anecdotes about this period are eye-opening, heart-wrenching and exciting. The author enjoyed unique opportunities, hanging out and playing bass with such famous musicians as Dr. John, the Allman Brothers and Mick Jagger. His historical and sociological insights about racism and the civil rights movement are fascinating and make this project worthwhile. Unfortunately, Calhoun doesn’t succeed in building a bridge between rock and racial harmony. His argument is overly simplistic, never achieving the sophistication found in his personal stories and historical analysis. Still, those looking for an unusual perspective on one of the most turbulent times in recent U.S. history will be intrigued. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009
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