Rock & Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story by Sebastian Robertson. Illustrated by Adam Gustavson. Henry Holt, 2014
Robbie Robertson’s rise to fame as a founding member of The Band, and writer of some of the iconic songs of the late 1960s and early 1970s, is chronicled by his son Sebastian in a substantial and engaging picture book biography. From the time he was a young child visiting his Mohawk relatives on the Six Nations Reservation in Canada, Robertson was immersed in “rhythm, melodies, and storytelling.” And from the time he got his first guitar, he spent hours practicing. “On the reservation, eleven-year-old Robbie had surpassed the adults as the best guitarist.” He formed his first band at thirteen, and at sixteen was off to Arkansas to join a Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. He continued to practice, refine, and develop his playing style, coming up with a unique sound that drew the attention of Bob Dylan, and helped pave the way for folk music going electric. The narrative creates both a sweeping picture of Robertson’s influence and accomplishments with small moments and details that marked defining moments in his career and, sometimes, rock & roll. The volume is further enriched by a timeline with photographs, and Sebastian’s terrific q-and-a interview with his father. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
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