How a group of industry outsiders became popular music sensations
In October 2001, an unlikely gathering of
musicians calling itself the MuzikMafia took
place at the Pub of Love in Nashville, Tennessee.
"We had all been beat up pretty good by the
'industry' and we told ourselves, if nothing else,
we might as well be playing muzik," explains
Big Kenny of Big and Rich. For the next year
and a half, the MuzikMafia performed each week and garnered an ever-growing,
dedicated fan base.
Five years, several national tours, six Grammy nominations, and eleven million
sold albums later, the MuzikMafia now includes a family of artists including
founding members Big and Rich, Jon Nicholson, and Cory Gierman along with
Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy, James Otto, Shannon Lawson, Damien Horne
(Mista D), Two-Foot Fred, Rachel Kice, and several more in development.
This book explores how a set of shared beliefs created a bond that transformed
the MuzikMafia into a popular music phenomenon. David B. Pruett examines
the artists' coalition from the inside perspective he gained in five years of working
with them. Looking at all aspects of the collective, MuzikMafia documents the
problems encountered along the ascent, including business difficulties, tensions
among members, disagreements with record labels, and miscalculations artists
inevitably made before the MuzikMafia unofficially dissolved in 2008. A final
section examines hope for the future: the birth of Mafia Nation in 2009.
David B. Pruett, Weymouth, Massachusetts, is an assistant professor of music
at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. A native of North Carolina, he has
been published in the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the
World, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, and the Country Music Annual.
192 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 28 b&w illustrations, 6 maps, discography, videography, index