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Bell Rocks Baltimore Book Festival

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Earlier this week, I mentioned Matt Bondurant’s great reading at the Baltimore Book Festival. Later that day, the fine folks at the CityLit Project (a new website should be up soon) put together Litapalooza featuring musically inclined authors. Niki Lee, J. Robert Lennon and Madison Smartt Bell all put on fantastic performances.

Bell performed songs from his new Gaff Music cd Forty Words for Fear. Co-written by poet Wyn Cooper, the songs are described by eFolkMusic as “dark, brooding collection of bluesy, shotgun shack tunes. Late night music for late night people.” Other critics have referred to this work as “sonic moonshine” and I couldn’t agree more. Check out the cd here. I’ve got a long drive ahead of me this weekend and it will definitely be in my cd changer.

I won’t go into J. Robert Lennon’s music too much right now because I’m hoping to get a Slushpile interview out of him. So we’ll leave that discussion for another time. But in the meantime, be sure to check out his website.

It was a great show, and an all-around humbling experience. Hell, I’m still struggling to write a story that doesn’t begin with “It was a dark and stormy night…” and these guys are not only critically acclaimed authors but extremely talented musicians as well. Be sure to see them perform if you can.