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Six hot music books for summer reading

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Summer is a season for reading on beaches, in chaise lounges, sitting in the sun porch or drifting on a boat. There are plenty of new books this year for music fans this summer. Here are some of the best.

"Texas Flood: The Insider Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan" by Alan Paul and Andy Aledort (St. Martin's Press). Two Guitar World magazine veterans nail the definitive SRV biography (out Aug. 13) in oral-history fashion, with total cooperation from the key players including, in absentia, Vaughan himself via their archival interviews.

"Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock's Greatest Supergroup" by David Browne (Da Capo); "CSNY: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young" by Peter Doggett (Atria). The bona fide singer-songwriter supergroup's 50th anniversary yields two equally exhaustive overviews, both digging deep into the artistry and the abundant off-stage, behind-the-scenes drama. Their American (Browne) and British (Doggett) perspectives gives each book its own flavor, making them a rare side-by-side read that doesn't feel redundant.

"50th Anniversary Woodstock: Back to Yasgur's Farm" by Mike Greenblatt (Krause). A solid companion to this year's anniversary celebration and a nice companion to all other Woodstock-related products, with band-by-band details and set lists along with other well-researched anecdotes and details.

"More Fun in the New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of LA Punk" by John Doe with Tom DeSavia and Friends (Da Capo). The sequel to "Under the Big Black Sun" is a little darker and more somber but still filled with illuminating and sometimes shocking essays from those who were there, watching the scene "grow up" and deconstruct, and offering a sobering perspective on the mythology that remains.

"Ruff House" by Chris Schwartz (Diversion). The founder and CEO of the rap label Ruffhouse Records tells his fascinating story about rising from poverty, abuse and addiction to put together a record label that brought the world hip-hop stars such as Nas, the Fugees, Cypress Hill and more.

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