A young musician tries to break into the business in Nashville and becomes entrapped by a shady producer.
Webb isn’t sure if he can become a successful singer/songwriter, but he wants to give it a shot. On the deck of his free-to-live-in houseboat he writes a new song, “Rock the Boat,” and plays it for Gerald Dean, the indie producer he’s working with on a CD. Dean advises against pursuing the song, then demands more money to finish production of the CD. Despite reservations, Webb decides to clean out his savings to pay the man. Just after the session Webb meets Harley, a street musician, and jams with him, playing the new song. Events demonstrate to Webb that Dean has stolen “Rock the Boat” and is accusing Webb of stealing two valuable guitars as a distraction. Fortunately, Harley may be able to help. Brouwer keeps both chapters and book as short as possible; despite this, his characters shine as individuals, and clearly he has done his research on the dangers the music world poses for new talent. If the story relies on luck, it still works as a cautionary tale of the music industry, where newcomers easily fall prey to con artists.
A quick read for music lovers. (Fiction. 12-18)