Book Reviews


Review of From Mountains High 

by Tim McManus for Pastoral Music, November 2018, page 34

It’s refreshing for those of us in music ministry to know our roots and have a touchstone where we can return and reorient our ministry. Ken Canedo is one historian who chronicles our liturgical music path. From Mountains Highresumes the narrative from Canedo’s previous book, Keep the Fire Burning. 

Canedo wisely places this era of contemporary Catholic music in the context of the larger secular culture of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. The author reflects on American historical events such as the Vietnam War protests and Civil Rights struggles. In addition, he looks at the sweeping Vatican II reforms, the Charismatic Renewal and the Cursillo movement. Folk music and folk-rock music became a popular genre to bring expression to these current events.  

While reading this book, one realizes how much publishers, composers, and parish musicians are interdependent upon each other to serve the assemblies where we minister. This book is a worthy read for all those involved with music ministry in the Church regardless of preferred genre. 

  CLICK HERE to read the whole review as a PDF. 


Review of From Mountains High

by David Haas, Liturgical Composer and Author (Spring 2018)

This new book, alongside the first volume, is a treasure beyond measure in telling the ongoing story of contemporary liturgical music from so many vantage points.  It is important for us to know whose shoulders we stand on; from whence we came as a singing church experiencing new incarnations and new chapters of birth along the way.  I read the book in one sitting – I could not put it down.  I believe that all pastoral musicians and liturgical renewal enthusiasts should read this book.  New insights will be discovered and wonderful stories will be revealed. Ken, what a blessing you have given us.  We are looking forward to volume three! 

CLICK HERE to read the whole review on the David Haas website. 


Review of From Mountains High  

by Susan Bailey for Catholic Mom (Spring 2018)

The Folk Mass revolution was organic, breaking like a tidal wave over the Church. The demand for music was constant and urgent; young Catholics became excited over hearing and singing the Word of God in a familiar musical language. Much experimentation took place for good and for naught; eventually the necessary infrastructure was created to bring the music more in line with the liturgical needs of the people. From Mountains High traces that evolution of contemporary Catholic music primarily through the workings of its movers and shakers – those who wrote and performed the music, and those who published it… 

I highly recommend From Mountains High (as well as Keep the Fire Burning) to all liturgical musicians, both contemporary and traditional. Ken Canedo has done an important work in documenting the history and background of the Folk Mass and contemporary Catholic music so that we as liturgical musicians can know where our heritage came from and where it is going.

CLICK HERE to read whole review on website. 


Review of From Mountains High 

by Ed Langlois for Catholic Sentinel (June 15, 2018) 

The Catholic folk music revolution of the 1960s broke new ground in Catholic worship and should be recognized for bringing life to faith and faith to life, says composer and author Ken Canedo. 

But in his new book, From Mountains High, published by Portland-based Pastoral Press, Canedo shows that the next generation of Catholic songwriters brought knowledge of Scripture and liturgical sensibility to contemporary worship music, creating a more lasting legacy.

CLICK HERE to read whole review on the Catholic Sentinel website. 



Review of Keep the Fire Burning

by Michele Johns for The Hymn, journal of the Hymn Society (Spring 2010) 

"Ken Canedo details the history of the folk Mass movement from the 1960s to the present day. If you work in a Protestant church, you will be enlightened by the thread of events leading from America's turbulent 60s to the current Protestant Contemporary Christian Music scene. If you are from the Catholic perspective, you will hopefully be proud to discover how Catholic clergy and musicians brought their music through faith, sweat, tears, and prayers to an era of synthesis of style that makes very good sense." 

Click here to read whole review as a PDF.. 


Review of Keep the Fire Burning

by Michael Fitz-Patrick for Liturgy News (Australia) (March 2010) 

"While this book traces the development of the Folk Mass and its music, it does much more than that! It is an important contribution to the history of liturgical reform in the 1960s. The Folk Mass is deeply symbolic. This music contains the collective yearnings, hopes and desires of the people of God as they re-imagined the Church through Catholic liturgy. I wonder what they would say to us today? The book comes back to the eternal question: What is liturgical music and what is its function on the liturgy?"

Click here to read whole review as a PDF. 


Review of Keep the Fire Burning 

by Jeffrey Tucker for New Liturgical Movement (September 20, 2009) 

"For years I've search for the missing link to explain what became of Catholic liturgy by the time I came to know it. One finds old Missals in bookstores or attends the Extraordinary Form or looks back at old instructional books in music or catechesis and it is overwhelming to consider the lost knowledge, the immense chasm that separates what was from what is today. But with Ken Canedo's wonderful book, I feel as if I've found the missing link. This is the only book I know of that looks in depth at the Catholic music of the 1960s to provide an excellent empirical account of the rise of the folk music movement in the Church, a movement that was about much more than music actually. . ." 

Click here to read whole review as a PDF.