Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a musician. I am a music lover, though, and I appreciate good music and the 'behind the scenes' people and forces that combine to push it into the popular consciousness. From that perspective, I could enjoy and appreciate That Brant County Sound! The Ballad of Jim Allison and Thunderbird Recording by Thomas A. “Tom” Ryerson. It is an in-depth look at the country music scene at a particular time and a particular region in Canada. I am not Canadian, but I learned a lot about how music is made and produced in Canada. I am from Alabama and though I have not researched it, I believe similar people and forces came into play in my own region to create the sub-genre of Rock and Roll called Southern Rock. It was fun to compare the growth of Southern Rock in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to what happened with country music in Brant County. Sometimes one man, in this case, Jim Allison, can make all the difference in the world.
That Brant County Sound is straightforward and relatively simple. It is the story of Jim Allison, and how for one shining moment in time he created a machine, a sound, that made a real impact on the Canadian music industry. There are a lot of biographies of the bands, families, and individuals that came together to define this sound. I learned a lot about Canadian country music, which I admit, up until I read Tom Ryerson’s book, my knowledge consisted of one Canadian country artist, Shania Twain. The characters are real and so are their struggles. The writing is good, and the book is very informative. I liked it. I enjoyed it. I think Thomas A. Ryerson has made an important contribution to history and to music. Any music fan from any country in the world can learn from and appreciate That Brant County Sound!