Ed Whitelock is a professor of English at Gordon State College in Barnesville, GA, just 106 miles southwest of Philomath. He is co-author, with David Janssen, of Apocalypse Jukebox: The End of the World in American Popular Music (2009) from the PopMatters imprint of Soft Skull Press.
For Bark, the question isn't whether life's glass is half-full or half-empty; the point is to drink it all in deeply because it's the only glass we get. This is music that celebrates life despite its necessary pains and setbacks.
This excellent single-CD anthology celebrates the short-lived but important Ric and Ron Records, whose early 1960s releases captured the bubbling stew of street blues, jazz, and soul that would coalesce into the commercial pop sounds that identify New Orleans' diverse yet distinct music today.