Hold To A Dream – John Cowan bio coming in May

Backbeat Books has announced a May 21 release for Hold To A Dream – A New Grass Odyssey, the official autobiography of John Cowan, written with Jimmy Schwartz.

In addition to a chronicle of John’s life and career, the book’s narrative is advanced through a series of vignettes and interviews Cowan conducted with some of the many influential artists he played or interacted with during his career. Included are discussions with  Kris Kristofferson, Béla Fleck, Sam Bush, Loretta Lynn, Jim Messina, Bonnie Bramlett, John Carter Cash,, and Bernie Leadon.

The full history of New Grass Revival comes to the fore through these conversations with Sam and Béla, along with interesting discussions about their post New Grass pursuits.

John also takes us along on a tour of his passion for R&B and blues music in an interview with Sam Moore of Sam & Dave fame, and the Laurel Canyon scene talking with Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Bernie Leadon of The Eagles. We also get a nice look at the hit pop/rock horn band, Chicago, in an interview with Robert Lamm.

So Hold To A Dream not only tells of John Cowan’s time with New Grass Revival, and its intersection with Leon Russell, it also provides a fascinating take on the popular music of the late 1960s and ’70s and how it affected the author. A final interview with Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues seals the deal. It’s a bit like two books in one.

Co-author Schwartz is a longtime friend of Cowan’s, who has worked for many years as a writer, editor, and creative director in advertising in Chicago. Their collaboration on this book was sparked by a comment John made over dinner that they should work on something together. Hold To A Dream is the result.

Backbeat Books is an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, and is completely dedicated to publishing books on music and musical artists.

One expects that a wide audience might exist for a book with as wide a stylistic reach as this.

Be on the lookout for more details as we get closer to the release date in May.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.