This reading list serves as a decoder ring for the odd and sometimes unrelated storylines of Bear and Banjo as they appear in the season one universe of the podcast. The starting point was Greil Marcus’ essential, “Old Weird America,” to which I owe a huge debt of gratitude for both inspiration, and for providing a compass to navigate our character’s world. How he tied Dylan’s Basement Tapes to the greater canvas of American music in the 20th century parallels the story of Bear and Banjo. Zora Neal Hurston with “Of Mules and Men,” provides a much-needed vehicle for understanding and translating how African-American folklore formed the basis for much of the music that inspired Bear and Banjo. Tom Piazza, who contributed an episode to the anthology is one of my favorite music journalists. His ability to place context around the joy and pain of the touring musician was essential. Despite the immense talent of the Louvin’ Brothers, they never fully got their due. And although they were public-facing figures there are some similar parallels and they even overlap in the storylines of season one. Other books about the music business helped me portray the loud characters and hitmakers who fill out this world.