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Songbook Review: A Southern Sun
Joseph Akins
Cover image of the songbook A Southern Sun by Joseph Akins
A Southern Sun
Joseph Akins
2014 / HeartSong Music
96 pages / 15 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Southern Sun is the companion sheet music book to Joseph Akins’ 2013 album by the same name. All fourteen pieces from the recording are included plus a second version of “An Inspiration” transposed into an easier key signature. Joseph did the transcriptions, which were then proofed and edited by myself, Pam Asberry, Greg Maroney, and Neil Patton (what a team!!!). This book provides a wonderful assortment of playing styles and genres of music from slow and dreamy to spirited and jazzy. Most of the playing challenges come from the timing in some of the improvised passages, but pianists at an upper-intermediate to early-advanced playing level should have little problem with this music. The pieces are so much fun to play that a little extra effort here and there will be well worth it! Playing instructions are clear and concise with suggested pedal markings and metronome settings. The book is spiral-bound with full-color front and back covers and the scores have a nice roomy layout and are printed on a sturdy paper stock. There are a few octave chords, but most of the music is single notes and intervals of an octave or less. There are a couple of pieces written in more challenging key signatures, but most are not complicated (see below). This is one of my favorite songbooks from 2014 and I highly recommend it! It is currently available in the printed version and as a download from josephakins.com.

The song titles, the key(s) they are in, and the number of pages are:

A Southern Sun - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 5 pages
Along Stones River - Key of F (1 flat) / C minor (3 flats) - 5 pages
Waltz in the Rain - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 6 pages
Dancing on the Sea - Key of G (1 sharp) - 6 pages
An Inspiration (easier version) - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 6 pages
An Inspiration (original version) - Key of Db (5 flats) - 6 pages
Muscadine Wine - Key of F/D minor (1 flat) - 6 pages
Sunshine - Key of A (3 sharps)/ C - 7 pages
Winter Is Coming - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 8 pages
So Beautiful - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 6 pages
A Tennessee Morning - Key of G (1 sharp) - 6 pages
An Eagle’s Flight - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 6 pages
Theme From a Dream - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) - 5 pages
Down on Town Square - Key of A/F# minor (3 sharps)/F (1 flat) / Eb (3 flats)/ Db (5 flats)/C - 6 pages
Watertank Hill - Key of G (1 sharp) - 7 pages
November 4, 2014