For those who don’t know, Peter Rowan is a bluegrass musician and composer from the US. For those who’d like to know more about Rowan they could do a lot worse than to read Mike Fiorito’s latest book called Mescalito Riding His White Horse.
Fiorito has for some time now been interviewing musicians from around the globe, some of which have been published here on Shouts, and as a fan of Rowan’s work he managed to delve deep into the musician’s life, art and activism. Drawing from inspirations of Rowan’s musical adventures, the book becomes much more than a biography of Rowan’s life. Fiorito somehow manages to intertwine parts of his own life story, his interviews with Rowan, song lyric analysis and explorations of Buddhism.
See also: Interview: Tibetan Artist Yungchen Lhamo Sings for a Better World
It is not everyday one discovers Asian philosophy in the world of blugrass music but Fiorito manages to introduce those two worlds to the reader, and so much more, in a highly entertaining way. Woven around his interviews are fascinating happenings such as Fiorito’s dreams and a vision of the Dalai Lama, to mention a few.
The book explores the themes that Rowan himself has covered in his songs, such as music history, climate change, eco-activism, social activism and spirituality. Fiorito tells me via email that Rowan is currently working on a new album which addresses the social injustice which some Mexicans experience in their immigration to the United States. Said album will come out next year.
See also: Native Eyez | Intikana, Social Justice Activist, By Mike Fiorito
This is a beautiful book which I recommend to fans of music and spirituality alike. It’s a trip like nothing else, part music history and part psychadelic journey telling.
After our call, when I went to sleep that night, the dream– From Mescalito Rides His White Horse by Mike Fiorito
visions continued. Now I looked forward to going to sleep,
knowing that I’d see Peter.
In one, I was at a concert dancing with Eric Dolphy and Patsy
Cline. Otis Redding played guitar and sang. There were other
people there too, some of whom I didn’t know.
Something amazing had happened. Humans had made
contact with highly intelligent beings from another world. As if
in an instant, these beings taught us how to live more just lives.
How to protect every human being. How to acknowledge the
sovereignty of trees, oceans, and rivers.
We were celebrating our liberation.”
Mike Fiorito is the author of previously published books such as Call Me Guido, Falling From Trees, Freud’s Haberdashery Habits, Hallucinating Huxley, The Hated Ones and Sleeping With Fishes. He is currently working on a new novel. For more info check out his webpage mikefiorito.com.
Halldór is the managing editor of Shouts - Music from the Rooftops!, an investigative journalist, audio engineer, and animal rights activist. Currently based in Cuernavaca, Mexico.