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Polka Heartland: Why The Midwest Loves To Polka, Photographs by Dick Blau and Words by Rick March

Monday, October 12, 2015

"Polka Heartland" captures the beat that pulses in the heart of Midwestern culture--the polka--and offers up the fascinating history of how "oompah-pah" came to be the sound of middle America. From the crowded dance tent at Pulaski Polka Days to an off-the-grid Mexican polka dance in small-town Wisconsin, "Polka Heartland" explores the people, places, and history behind the Midwest's favorite music.

From polka's surprising origin story as a cutting-edge European fad to an exploration of the modern-day polka scene, author Rick March and photographer Dick Blau take readers on a joyful romp through this beloved, unique, and richly storied genre. "Polka Heartland" describes the artists, venues, instruments, and music-makers who have been pivotal to polka's popularity across the Midwest and offers six full-color photo galleries to immerse readers in today's vibrant polka scene.

Goodreads Summary

There is so much rich cultural information in this book, that its almost hard to start with how awesome the whole thing is. You get the complete tour of everything Polka in this book, from the many variations depending on country of origin, to the different instruments used in the traditional sound. Any lover of this style of music and dance will find a wealth of knowledge to explore within these pages. On top of the history and culture of how polka came to be, there is a great collection of pictures of people dancing, musicians playing, popular dance clubs around the world, and famous musicians. Although the book does focus mostly on the American Midwest there is much more than just American tradition here. There are many lifetimes worth of tradition that will be passed down until the end of time.

3.5 Stars

Reviewed by Chris

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