Ethan Smith
July 26, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Spanning genres as diverse as gospel, bluegrass, and musica tejana, this impressive release combines a friendly hypertext interface with an attractive, information-dense design. Through a map, time line, glossary, photos, and video and audio clips, musicologists on Crossroads: Southern Roots illustrate the tangled web of influences that’s shaped the heterogeneous sound of the Southeast. And if all that erudition gives you a headache, pop Music of the American South into a CD player and get down the old-fashioned way with an inspired selection of 16 tracks by the likes of the Mississippi Mass Choir, Carl Perkins, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. A

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