Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review: Diary of a Player by Brad Paisley and David Wild

Just like his songs, this book is a great read. Laugh. Cry. Think. It's all there. And as much as they would like you to think that the main thread running through this book is the guitar, it's not. This is a love story pure and simple. Sure, one of the love interests is the guitar. But there's much more.

Before going on, however, I need to disclose how much I love Brad Paisley. And much like the story he tells in the book, it's his songwriting that speaks to me the most. I've said before that Paisley is the artist with the greatest number of songs that make me cry. Then. Waitin on a Woman. He Didn't Have to Be. Letter to Me. Anything Like Me. Then there's the songs that make me laugh. Online. Ticks. Toilet Song. Mr. Policeman. I'm Gonna Miss Her. Both lists are extremely long for an artist only a decade in his career.

Now back to the book. This book is a love story about a boy and his Papaw. Doesn't sound like a best seller, but this is country music. It's a story about a love for music. And a guitar. About staying up late trying to figure out, note for note, what some old geezer is playing on an old tune that only other old geezers listen to. It's about a teenager playing on a big stage with a bunch of old dudes but not letting it go to his head. It's about a love for tradition -- in both music and values. There's a love interest in songwriting itself and the process one goes through in crafting a tune. There's a love story about his wife Kim. That actually doesn't make up too big of a piece of the pie, though. There's the love of being a father. There's the love for Nashville -- all the people that make up the country music family both musicians and fans. There's a great story about the H20 tour and the Nashville floods. Lastly, there's a beautiful story about a Martin guitar.

This book is crafted in a way very similar to Paisley's songs. The only difference is Wild takes the place of Brad's songwriting partners. The result is equally emotional. Equally old-fashioned wholesome goodness. And equally country.