What do you get when you blend 21 writers, a pile of shoes, and a fire? Believe it or not, that’s not the first line of a joke. What you get is one of the most interesting anthologies that has come out in a long time.
The Shoe Burnin’ Anthology and CD available now for pre-order from River’s Edge Media (Order here) includes poems, stories, essays, and songs from Chuck Cannon, Susan Cushman, Joe Formichella, Ed Southern, Michael Reno Harrell, Suzanne Hudson, Shari Smith, Scott Owens and a baker’s dozen more notable Southern musicians and literati based on the premise that “Any pair of shoes has a story to tell.”
The first Shoe Burnin’ occurred on a cold winter’s night some years ago in Alabama; when the firewood ran out, a box of old shoes provided the assembled group of friends and artists with the fuel they needed to stock the hearth and share stories and songs late into the night. The bond forged that night began a tradition of fireside Shoe Burnin’s, and in remembrance, many stories and songs shared since have involved shoes — all the places they trod and the myriad experiences of those who wore them. “The Shoe Burnin’, Stories of Southern Soul” is a collection of those works.
Grammy Award winning musician, Rodney Crowell, says “Homicidal librarians, French twisted, stilletto’d and on the lam, flip flop shod Bessie Smith wannabe’s and cowboy booted, beauties out to prove that to get gone a woman doesn’t need fast footwear; good-ole-boys sporting Red Wing lace-up’s and an emergency medical trained aversion to Converse wearing co-ed’s pulling volunteer duty on a cat-4 tornado cleanup crew; guilt ridden bird-dog lover’s and holders onto of life’s half-forgotten keepsakes: all this and more from a coalition of wordsmiths, story-tellers and song-swappers whose whiskey whetted forebears first stumbled onto the notion that on a cold winter’s night in the deep south, it’s better to burn shoe leather than brave a trip to the woodpile.”