I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom's Highway

Out Jan. 21, 2014 on Scribner

I’ll Take You There” tells the story of Mavis Staples — lead singer of the Staple Singers and a major figure in the music that shaped the civil rights era. She and her family fused gospel, soul, folk, and rock to transcend racism and oppression through song. Honing her prodigious talent on the Southern gospel circuit of the 1950s, Mavis and the Staple Singers went on to sell more than 30 million records with hits such as “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There.” Their message-oriented soul music became a sound track to the civil rights movement and an inspiration to their friend Martin Luther King Jr. Now Mavis is in the midst of a career renaissance, as a solo artist who has recorded acclaimed albums with Ry Cooder and Jeff Tweedy. Her story is told with unparalleled access to family members and their archives, as well as interviews with Prince, Bonnie Raitt, David Byrne, Marty Stuart, Steve Cropper, Bobby Womack, Mick Jagger and other key figures.

Wilco: Learning How to Die (2004, ISBN 0767915585)

This definitive biography was written with the full in-put of all the band members past and present. It traces the band’s story to its deepest origins in Southern Illinois and with the band Uncle Tupelo, where Jeff Tweedy began growing into one of the best songwriters of his generation. As we witness how his music grew from its punk and alt-country origins, some of the key issues and questions in our culture are addressed: How is music of substance created while the gulf between art and commerce widens in the corporate consolidation era? How does the music industry make or break a hit? How do working musicians reconcile the rewards of artistic risk with the toll it exacts on their personal life?

Published on June 15, 2004 by Broadway Books
Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball (ISBN 0736073833 )

You volunteered to coach the basketball team, but are you really ready? How will you teach the fundamental skills, run effective practices, or harness the energy of your young team? Fear not: Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball has the answers.

In Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball, longtime coaches Keith Miniscalco and Greg Kot share their experience and provide advice you can rely on from first practice to final shot. From evaluating players’ skills and establishing realistic goals to using in-game coaching tips, it’s all here—the drills, the plays, the fun.

Published August 2008
"Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music"

"Ripped" presents the first definitive account of the digital music revolution, which changed the way music fans have sought and acquired music and led to the end of the recording industry as we know it. In the mid-1990s, advances in Internet and digital technology made it easy for fans to store, play, and share music, and leveled the playing field between better-marketed major-label bands and smaller independent artists who communicated directly with their audience. Instead of embracing these new possibilities, the music industry turned their customers into criminals with lawsuits, even as on-line music sharing exploded. With firsthand access to artists such as Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire, "Ripped" chronicles the industry’s decline and the rise of a worldwide grassroots community that transformed music.

Published May 2009
“The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry” (Voyageur Press)

Greg Kot and his “Sound Opinions” cohost Jim DeRogatis tackle one of the liveliest debates in rock history: Who’s cooler, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones? More than two dozen topics are discussed and debated in patented “Sound Opinions” back-and-forth style, with cases being made both for the lads from Liverpool and rock's proto bad boys. From the Cavern and Crawdaddy clubs through head-to-head comparisons of specific albums (e.g., Exile or the White Album?), members' roles within the bands, managers, producers, musical influences, and more, this is the book that confronts the topics fans have debated for years. Illustrated with photography and memorabilia.

Published October 2010

Also with contributions from Greg Kot

“The Trouser Press Guide to 90's Rock” by Ira A. Robbins
Kot authors dozens of entries to this essential guide to underground, independent and alternative music, with critical overviews of Sonic Youth, the Mekons and Bjork, among others.

Published 1997

“Harrison” by the editors of Rolling Stone
Kot contributes a definitive guide to George Harrison’s recording career, highlighting key albums, singles and tracks from the guitarist’s tenure in the Beatles, solo recordings and projects such as the Traveling Wilburys.

Published 2002

“Cash” by the editors of Rolling Stone
Kot’s 10,000-word chapter navigates Johnny Cash’s immense discography, pointing readers to key recordings from each phase in the legend’s career.

Published 2004

“The New Rolling Stone Album Guide” 4th Edition
Kot’s dozens of critical essays include lengthy takes on the discographies of Led Zeppelin, the Flaming Lips, Massive Attack, the Grateful Dead, Paul McCartney, and Tool, among others.

Published 2004

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