1. When I Left Home: My Story by Buddy Guy (DaCapo Press) The newly named Kennedy Center honoree offered a surprisingly readable look back at his life here, including a vivid account of the tough times he faced at first in Chicago and intriguing portraits of some of the blues legends whose paths he crossed on the way to become one himself.
1. Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever Will Hermes From New York City punk to the wealth of ethnic sounds that permeated popular culture, Hermes covers them all in this fast-paced and thoughtful book, issued in paperback in 2011. Thorough and intelligent, this is an absolute must-read for music lovers.
Two thousand and twelve saw a bumper crop of ace local and regional releases, including several that did not make this list but were strong contenders, among them three releases from Wichita’s The Wonder Revolution (including Firefly) and Zsa Zsa Ketzner's EP.
There were several surprise releases this year, including the solo debut from Split Lip Rayfield’s Wayne Gottstine, a lo-fi adventure from singer-songwriter Curt Mitchell, and Les Easterby’s The World Palindrome.