DIXIE LULLABY — MARK KEMP
Mark Kemp’s cultural memoir Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South deals with the feelings and experiences from Kemp’s own coming-of-age in the rural South. It was a time of desegregation in public life but not in the attitudes and feelings held by many Southern whites. Contrasting this is the transformative and healing powers of rock n’ roll, beginning with the Allman Brothers Band in the late 60’s and continuing through to the Drive-By Truckers in more recent years. Kemp tells the tales of his own life and struggles against a backdrop of the region’s musical history. In the end he also illustrates how that musical history is intertwined with the social history of the South itself. Beyond being a celebration of all things Southern rock, Dixie Lullaby provides an interesting perspective on a number of race issues which are as relevant today as they were 35 years ago. In addition, Kemp takes the perceptions, misconceptions, and hard truths of the South head on, and captures it all in one man’s journey to find a sense of peace with himself and his conflicted Southern root.