Grammy Award winner Anthony Hamilton stresses the importance of experiencing life in his latest book, “Cornbread Fish’n Collard Greens: Inside the Music.” He explains the meaning behind 30 songs or “Ingredients” as he refers to them. They include some favorites such as “Comin’ From Where I’m From,” “Charlene,” “Ain’t Nobody Worryin,” “The Point of It All,” and “Home for the Holidays.” Each title makes you recall the song and then, Hamilton adds a few lyrics to get you singing.
Once hooked, he divulges their essence which leaves him vulnerable, yet personable. It reveals unconditional love for his music, his interactions with others, and his ability to navigate stardom and the world while staying humble. It makes him more relatable. Unfortunately, there are no page numbers to jot down for those who like to take notes. Still, I think it’s an interesting read for fans. I am one.
The paperback also features nine recipes with images including a cast iron cornbread, southern trout, and collard greens with smoked turkey. Most contain a protein plus a starch or vegetable, essentially a complete meal. I like the spacious formatting. On the left side, it showcases what you’ll need, a cooking tip, ingredients, serving size and estimated cooking time. On the right side, it lists the easy-to-follow directions. This is a great start for a full-blown cookbook. However, I prefer more recipes and/or music and food pairings to expand upon his “ingredient” reference.
Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, the singer, songwriter and producer found refuge in the back of his grandmother or Big Mama’s couch. There, his imagination thrived. The only things that would disrupt greatest-in-the-making was the smell of cornbread, fish and greens cooking in Big Mama’s kitchen. All of which—some believe —gave him his stability, serenity and soul. This man of faith grew up to become a lyrical genius. I’m glad he did.
Hamilton lives by these words and he wants you to do the same, “We’re going to take this day and we’re going to love something completely and deeply. Then, the next day, we’re going to find something else to love and love it unapologetically.” It shows in his catalog of music, his beautiful existence and this publication.
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