Mescalito Riding His White Horse: Insipred by The Musical Adventures of Peter Rowan is part Rowan biography, part author Mike Fiorito’s autobiography, part Peter Rowan interview, part Fiorito dream journal, part song lyric analysis, and part exploration of Buddhism. All of that makes this book a fairly wild ride, but Fiorito is able to weave these threads together in a way that eventually makes perfect sense.
I have been a Peter Rowan fan for decades and I’ve had the opportunity to interview Rowan several times over the years, the first being in 1997. Even so, in reading Fiorito’s book I learned quite a bit about Rowan, and also some wonderful jewels of information relating to the history of bluegrass music. Rowan holds the history and traditions of the music he writes, records and performs as valuable and important. His knowledge is extensive and he is a talented storyteller.
As most bluegrass fans know, Rowan has had a very long, distinguished, and eclectic musical career covering a wide range of musical styles and genres. One of the interesting explorations in this book involves tying together all of the seemingly diverse musical contributions that make up Peter Rowan’s career into something that is cohesive.
If you want to know how bluegrass, country, folk, rock, Tex-Mex, singer-songwriter, southern gospel, peyote chants, blues, Tibetan singing, and more, can meld in a way that is harmonious, read Mescalito Riding His White Horse and it will become clear…or about as clear as it can possibly get.