Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: Piano Girl by Robin Meloy Goldsby

Piano Girl: A Memoir: Lessons in Life, Music, and the Perfect Blue HawaiianPiano Girl: A Memoir: Lessons in Life, Music, and the Perfect Blue Hawaiian by Robin Meloy Goldsby

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The subtitle for this book is Lessons in Life, Music, and the Perfect Blue Hawaiian. It is a memoir, spanning the author's career as a lounge pianist, from her accidental beginning as a college student vacationing on Nantucket Island through gigs at top New York hotels, island resorts, and German castles. It is all done with quirky humor, candid insight, and true love for the music she plays.

Beginning as a college student from Pittsburgh vacationing on Nantucket Island, Ms. Goldsby takes a job as a waitress which doesn't quite work out. She arranges to use a local bar's piano during off hours to practice, and the owner of the bar asks her to play at night for his customers. Thus begins a career. She moves from dive bars and beach lounges to New York city, and jobs at prestigious hotels. There are jaunts to Caribbean islands, stage shows, and other gigs. She gives us an insider's view of auditions and agents, producers and private clients. Sitting behind her piano, she sees all of New York life pass by: the business moguls, mob bosses, the down and out who just need a place to sit, and some truly crazy and scary customers. Her life is never dull, but it always seems fulfilling. The story ends in Germany, where she moves with her bass player husband, raises two children, records CDs, and plays her lounge piano music in ancient castles.

The book is funny, warm, inspiring, and a treat to read. Anyone who enjoys autobiography, memoirs, or music will find much to enchant here.

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