Join the NC Reads Statewide Book Club and Read “Step It Up and Go” by David Menconi

Step It Up & Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk by David Menconi has been selected as the June bookclub selection for North Carolina Reads: North Carolina Humanities’ statewide book club.

The NC Reads bookclub is free and has been featuring books from February through June, that explore the history and culture of North Carolina and highlight issues of racial, social, and gender equality. The 2023 book selections pose critical questions about how North Carolinians view their role in helping to form a more just and inclusive society. Held virtually, the monthly book club events allow participants to hear from the authors and other guest speakers.

At the heart of North Carolina Reads is NC Humanities’ desire to connect communities through shared reading experiences.

Visit the NC Humanities website to register, download the reading schedule and discussion questions, learn where to get the book, and find out more about the bookclub.

About the Book

book cover for Step It Up & Go by David Menconi

2020 North Caroliniana Society Book Award

First Runner-Up, 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Awards (Culture)

Locates the soul of North Carolina music in its people’s humble pragmatism. . . . Menconi’s loving testament to our state’s musical heritage is brisk and fun but will also be cited as a reference for years to come.


This book is a love letter to the artists, scenes, and sounds defining North Carolina’s extraordinary contributions to American popular music. David Menconi spent three decades immersed in the state’s music, where traditions run deep but the energy expands in countless directions. Menconi shows how working-class roots and rebellion tie North Carolina’s Piedmont blues, jazz, and bluegrass to beach music, rock, hip-hop, and more. From mill towns and mountain coves to college-town clubs and the stage of American Idol, Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk, Step It Up and Go celebrates homegrown music just as essential to the state as barbecue and basketball.

Spanning a century of history from the dawn of recorded music to the present, and with sidebars and photos that help reveal the many-splendored glory of North Carolina’s sonic landscape, this is a must-read for every music lover.