"This book is an excellent contribution to the history of music cultures in the Pacific Northwest and is a laudable example of a civil history based on a cultural form that impacts daily life but often remains invisible."
"Armbruster's research is deep and wide and his writing style, graceful, clear, and vastly entertaining, so carries the reader along that one doesn't want to put the book down."
-W. Royal Stokes, Jazzhouse Diaries, March 2013
"Armbruster spins an informative narrative thread. . . . Before Seattle Rocked recalls how this connective tissue [music] binds all of the city's inhabitants and reconstructs the musical skeletons overlooked or under cooked by previous local history books."
-Steve Griggs, Examiner, February 2012
"Covers most imaginable music-related subjects in our community's past, from Bach through the Wang Doodle Orchestra and beyond."
-Paul Dorpat, Pacific Northwest Magazine, December 2011
"Finally, for those who prefer to trace local music history even further back, Seattle historian and musician Kurt E. Armbruster offers this extensively researched and compelling book."
-Brangien Davis, Seattle Magazine, December 2011
"This is a lively tour of Seattle's musical heritage which opens a new window on local history."
-Mike Dillon, City Living, November 2011
"[Seattle's] culture and nightlight were dependent upon live musicians, from saloons at the turn of the century, to taverns in the 1920s, to symphony halls in the '40s and '50s. Throughout Seattle's history, music was truly woven into the city's cultural fabric."
-Andrew Gospe, The Daily, November 2011
"It's amazing how much musical history Kurt E. Armbruster has uncovered . . . He clearly talked to everyone . . . and as lucid and lively as his own prose is, he's often upstaged by interviewees who are born raconteurs."
-Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times, October 2011
"The book details a vibrant local scene featuring every kind of music, reflecting both the people of the time and the places they came from."
-Josh Kerns, My Northwest Blog, October 2011
"Armbruster's book effectively analyzes Seattle's professional music scene and provides a solid overview of the city's classical, jazz, and blues cultures. The author's attention to subsets of Seattle music previously underrepresented in the scholarly literature provides a refreshing deception of a rich pre-rock musical culture."
-Alexandria Waltz, Pacific Northwest Quarterly