Book Review: Beautiful Mess - The Story of Diamond Rio

I had the opportunity to read the book, Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio compliments of Thomas Nelson Book and their Book Review Bloggers program.

Despite a makeshift beginning in Opryland as the Tennessee River Boys, six committed band members persevered through personal and industry challenges to develop into the highly successful group, Diamond Rio.  Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio tells the struggles and victories of the band from conception to present and outlines the individual stories of all the members: Marty, Dan, Jimmy, Brian, Gene and Dana.  The book documents Diamond Rio's recognitions and awards, and features many group photos and select childhood photos of each member.

Learning about the integrity of the band members--their faith, unselfishness, humility and charitable contributions--made the book a positive read overall; however, reading about some of their marriage problems was disappointing.  Starting with the band at a crisis point in Chapter 1 was a good tactic to keep the reader's interest.  Showing multiple photos and telling the life story of each band member helped me keep them distinct from each other.  Overall, the book felt tedious with all the different name/place connections that the author included (e.g., a band member met a certain songwriter whose cousin stayed with the band on their trip to..., etc.), but die-hard country music fans might appreciate these details and recognize more of the names given.  I would recommend this book to fans of Diamond Rio or country music in general.

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