Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review

This review originally appeared at Alan's Eyes & Ears:

Little Black Sheep: A Memoir, by Ashley Cleveland. NOOK.

I have known of Ashley Cleveland since her debut album Big Town came out in 1991, and have had positive feelings about her and her music since. She was on the fringes of the Christian music scene in the nineties, and I was a fan of a lot of artists who were on the fringes of the Christian music scene in the nineties.

I lost track of the specific of her career over the years, other than the vague notion that she put out a critically-acclaimed album a few years ago. That album, Before the Daylight's Shot, in fact won a Grammy Award in 2008 for Best Rock Gospel Album.

But I knew nothing about her life. This book fills in all of the gaps. Raw and vulnerable, Cleveland details her troubled upbringing with disconnected parents, and her own struggles and addictions. Even as she was winning Grammy winner in the Gospel music world, she was an alcoholic and addict.

The nice thing about memours by songwriters, is that they tend to be very good writers, and Cleveland's skill with words and images are obvious in the writing. She has come to a nice place in her life and her career as she approaches 50, and she hopes all her worst days are behind her. But as she details in the book, every day has its own struggles, and its own little victories.

Source: A group on Facebook posted that this book was free for a few days through the Nook store, and I grabbed it during that window of opportunity.