Thursday, May 27, 2010

Today I officially announced the book I am working on, Tough Breaks: The Story of Baltimore Club Music, which is a project I have been thinking about and working toward for several years now. The official site for the book is, but I've also launched a page on the fundraising website with the goal of raising $5,000 by July 1st, and also recently began began posting on Twitter under @alshipley to promote the project. Many, many updates will follow on this blog, especially as the Kickstarter deadline gets closer, but for now I'll just attach the press release and ask you to spread the word!

Tough Breaks: The Story Of Batimore Club Music press release
Baltimore, Maryland, May 27th, 2010 ---

This week music critic and journalist Al Shipley is announcing his first book, Tough Breaks: The Story of Baltimore Club Music, and the launch of its companion website, Over the last two decades, Baltimore club music has evolved from a nebulous, eccentric fusion of house music and hip hop, locally popular but virutally unheard of outside Maryland, to one of the mid-Atlantic city’s greatest cultural exports.

Over the past 5 years, the press coverage of Baltimore club music has increased exponentially, and Shipley has played an integral role in that progress, as a contributing writer for the Baltimore City Paper and the proprieter of the Baltimore music blog Government Names. And with the regular column The Club Beat, he’s interviewed dozens of Baltimore club producers and DJs, and broken major stories in the genre’s recent history, such as the tragic 2008 death of Khia “Club Queen K-Swift” Edgerton and the major label signing of club veteran DJ Class.

Despite a growing fanbase and media interest in Baltimore club music, much of its 20-year evolution has gone undocumented, relegated to underground clubs and white label vinyl 12”s far outside the public eye, even as thousands of Baltimoreans danced to its frantic 130 BPM groove. As the first full-length book to delve into that history, Tough Breaks aims to be a complete and definitive document of Baltimore club music, an oral history in the words of its participants with timelines, photos, discographies and thorough critical examinations of the music and culture.

Over the next few months, as Al Shipley conducts interviews and research, the book’s progress will be documented on the official website,, as well as his Twitter ( And throughout the month of June, Shipley will be raising $5,000 to finance the writing and publication of Tough Breaks with the fundraising website, as well as promoting the project via various print and online outlets, and a series of segments on Baltimore public radio station 88.1 WYPR.

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Congrats! Good luck raising the $$$$, I'll definitely toss something into the collection plate and GOOD LUCK!
This looks like its gonna be really cool. Its always better to write about stuff you are passionate about.
awesome al!

much success al!
Good shit... to be honest, I was always an arm-distant listener of club. But growing up/living/DJing in B-More, no way I could help but know about and respect it tho'... so I'll def. be interested in reading this. Should be great shit.

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