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Last year I happened along the website of an artist quite by accident.  This artist is enthralled with the music of Dave Matthews Band and creates exquisite pieces inspired by the band’s music.  At the time I found her website, she was seeking submissions (photos, essays, letters, etc.) from DMB fans in order to put together a book.  Well, that book is done.  It is called “Dave Dances” and the author/artist is Lynda Jo Mykkanen Sokolowski.  Her website is www.ljmsart.com.

I received a copy of the book last week and immediately sat down to flip through it.  The book is a feast for the eyes.  It is packed full of fan photos, band photos, snippets of band memorabilia, and Lynda’s spectacular art and graphic design.  Assembling over 200 pages of these sorts of elements is no small feat, but Lynda didn’t stop there.  Each chapter is named for a DMB song and starts with a vellum page that has the chapter number, title, song lyrics, and an image that overlays one of Lynda’s paintings underneath.  Further, each chapter of the hardcover edition contains an artist trading card, also designed by Lynda.  (I’m wondering who had the job of gluing in the little pockets that hold the cards.)  This is the sort of book that a person can turn to again and again and see something different each time.  Many of the fan stories about how DMB has influenced their lives are quite touching (a few are tear-jerkers).

The final chapter of the book – #11, the Epilogue – is a short story/code/contest called “The Dave-nci Code” by Jeremy Cannon.  I have to get on the stick and read it because contest entry is due by August 18, 2008.

If you are a Dave Matthews Band fan, this is one book you must add to your collection.  I believe that the print runs for both the hard and softcover editions is quite limited, so don’t delay too long in deciding whether to order.  Here are a few photos to help convince you further.

Dave Dances cover

Dave Dances cover

Dave Dances - Chapt. 5 Overlay

Dave Dances - Chapt. 5 Overlay

Lynda's Painting Under Chapt. 5 Overlay

Lynda's Painting Under Chapt. 5 Overlay

Grace Is Gone Artist Trading Card

Grace Is Gone Artist Trading Card

And here’s a bonus I got when Lynda sent me a signed copy of her book:

Dave Dances Cookie

Dave Dances Cookie

I can’t say whether Lynda sends these with each copy of the book, but it sure was delicious!

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