This week's pick comes from Gabriela Morales,
Publicity Assistant for Red Hen Press.
Title: Song for ChanceAuthor: John Van Kirk
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Keyboard man Jack Voss spends his evenings in the relative sanctuary of the clubs, playing jazz standards on the piano and occasionally singing some of the songs that made him famous. His 1974 rock opera, The Enchanted Pond, catapulted his band, Vossimilitude, into the stratosphere of rock superstardom. Later, solo albums earned him a reputation as a musician’s musician. Reverence for his genius led his shortcomings—as a husband, father, and friend—to be forgiven, or at least overlooked. But when his life of comparative comfort and solitude is rocked by a devastating personal loss, Voss is led back to The Enchanted Pond. The story of an ill-fated love triangle based on the tense relations between Voss, his childhood girlfriend Avery, and Vossimilitude’s dangerous and charismatic bassist, Hal Proteus, Voss’s masterpiece set him on a path to this day of reckoning. To endure, he must confront the tragic consequences of his self-absorption on the only firm ground left him: the piano.
Why you should [definitely] read it:
When I read it, I forgot for a while that Vossimilitude isn’t a real band. I found myself lamenting that I’d missed them open for the Moody Blues decades ago, that I'd never heard Jack Voss on the radio, that I have no vinyl of their 1975 release, Locked in the Garden. John Van Kirk has done a remarkable job bringing to life this fallen rock god. The bonus materials—the complete Voss discography, liner notes, bonus tracks, the interview with Terry Gross, the appearances by Nick Cave and other familiar rock musicians—help with that illusion, but it’s Van Kirk’s easy command that animates Voss, his era, and, most importantly, the reader. The music of Song for Chance will echo in your head long after you’ve put it down.
Gabriela Morales became Red Hen's Publicity Associate in 2013 after assisting with the Press's 2012 annual fundraising gala. She studied Geography: Environmental Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and has traded Southern California's geographic landscape for its literary scene. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.