“New York Groove” by Frank Mastropolo

New York Groove: An Inside Look at the Stars, Shows and Songs That Make NYC Rock

Frank Mastropolo
Edgar Street Books (2022)
ISBN 9798986715681
Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby for Reader Views (09/2022)

If you have ever been interested in music, history, music history, rock, punk, or almost any other kind of music, you should check out “New York Groove.” It gives a historical look at several clubs, musicians, and songs of New York City. Some of these will be familiar to almost everyone, but there are also some little gems that have unfortunately disappeared.

“New York Groove” is broken down into three sections: Downtown, Midtown, Uptown. These sections are only about Manhattan, not all of New York City. Mastropolo does a great job of incorporating a lot of history for each section. There does seem to be a lot more information about the Downtown area, but for anyone who has lived in New York City or knows anything about music, they will understand why there is so much information in this section.

There are also some great historical pictures in each section of artists, club door fronts, and some celebrity homes. These pictures add to the depth of the narrative. They also help people who have lived there recognize the area of where some former clubs once stood. As a former resident of New York, this reader enjoyed looking at these and being like, “Wow! I did not realize that club was there.”

Despite the love for the history and pictures, this reader felt that the sections jumped all around. Clubs, musicians, and songs were all mixed together. More organization in each section might make it more readable. There also seemed to be a lot of focus on some musicians (i.e., Jimi Hendrix) instead of a more global look. This reader understands that some musicians had a huge impact on the music scene of New York City and that is why they are focused on, but limiting the focus on those musicians or increasing focus on the global side might make it even more enjoyable.

Overall, “New York Groove” is a great look at the music scene of New York City’s rock and punk scene. It is a nice walk-through memory lane and insightful history of clubs that most people are not aware of. This is a definite must read for music history fans.

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