"My overall philosophy for any project is to get in, get out
and leave as few of my footprints as possible."

The Inspiration for Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas

My friends and colleagues who play and write music inspired this book. Being a musician isn’t an easy calling. The men and women who sing, play and write songs often put up with low pay for long hours. But these are also the people who could not and would not do anything else – the ones who take simple joy in a well-made guitar, who practice that chord until their fingers bleed, who hear the songs constantly in their heads, drive hundreds of miles to play one gig, and share that passion with others no matter the cost.

In this collection, I wanted to put together not a history nor a tribute (although those elements are certainly a part of some of the essays) but a sampler about the rich musical legacy of the Carolinas. I hoped to find writers – who may also be musicians themselves – with strong voices and great stories and who had a personal interest and a strong connection to the music and the people of this region.

Each person who picks up Making Notes will want to see his or her favorite band or musician or song or venue or event included. In North and South Carolina, we have the good fortune to have so many wonderful music connections that it was impossible to include them all. My hope is that readers will find some old favorites but will also be open to new-to-them musical experiences they read about.

– Ann Wicker

Press & Kudos

The states of North and South Carolina have a great musical history that is often overlooked. Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas is a complete and comprehensive look at the rich musical heritage that the Carolinas brought to the Americas. Featuring interviews with the music players and creators who hail from these states, Making Notes is another look at the genres that the Carolinas have made so famous. Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas is highly recommended for community library music collections and for any who want to see another aspect of American music history.”

– Midwest Book Review

Making Notes is a rollicking road trip through the music of the Carolinas, an amazing collection of memories from people who lived the music life and still remember it like it was only yesterday. It’s a compilation of amazing memories about music rooted in the Carolinas – but universal in its appeal to anyone for whom music is like oxygen for their soul. If you really love music, don’t miss this book.”

–Terry Hummel, former publisher, Rolling Stone

Doc Watson, Arthur ‘Guitar Boogie’ Smith, Earl Scruggs, R.E.M., Don Dixon, James Taylor and James Brown are part of the same musical heritage. The writers and musicians contributing to Making Notes remind us the Carolinas have given a good account of themselves.”

– Rodney Crowell, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter

“This is a beautifully packaged, thoughtfully edited book of essays and stories about musicians from North and South Carolina. What amazed me most, besides the melodic flow of the book, was how much I didn't know about these famous musicians. I thought the great Nina Simone was from Europe! Each story brings new knowledge and great little quirks. Easy to pick up, hard to put down – if you make music, know music, or just love music, treat yourself to this lovely compilation. Kudos to the deft editing of Ann Wicker!”

–Amazon.com reviewer

Making Notes makes new magic of music you love – there’s a ‘Wow, I’d never heard that before!’ on every page."

– Jim Wann, musician and Tony award-nominated author/composer of Pump Boys & Dinettes

The range of the music and geography covered in the book is impressive, especially considering the size of the musical landscape. The essays consistently bring the subjects into greater light through telling details. In addition to the articles one would expect to find on performers such as Doc Watson and Nina Simone, the book addresses lesser known figures like Peg Leg Sam and Gina Stewart and subjects such as the preservation of Gullah spirituals and Charlotte’s shout band tradition.

– Steve Weiss, North Carolina Libraries

Reviews for Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas