"Classical traditional bluegrass music is mountain music grasping the feelings of the country people and their hard realities through the simple, eloquent songs of death and lost lovers, lonesome mountains and cabin homes. There's something chilling about the high, haunting sound of a tenor-range trio, the hammering drive of the Scruggs-style banjo, and the lonesome wail of a fiddle. A whole new generation has encountered in bluegrass the most honest, forthright statement of human emotions to be found."
Bob Artis tells the fascinating story of bluegrass music, from its roots in the traditional ballads and folk dances of Europe to its development in the central and not-so-central homes of America. The story of homemade music is traced through the careers of those who lived it and loved it:
These are only the highlights, for the author spotlights all of the characters in the story of Bluegrass, Jim and Jesse, Jimmy Gaudreau, the Country Gentlemen, Chubby Wise, Mac Wiseman, Carl Story, "Pop" Lewis and his family; Jimmie Skinner, the Greenbriar Boys, the Louvin Brothers, Earl Taylor and hundreds of others. The settings are also depicted —from the bluegrass bars on Washington to the endless summer festivals. Bluegrass captures the very soul of the mountains and the rhythm of the music.
Appendixes include a discography of the major bluegrass artists and directories of bluegrass radio stations, organizations and publications.
About the Author
Since 1968 he has been involved in every phase of bluegrass: performing, recording, promoting, teaching and writing. As mandolin player for the old and respected Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers, he recorded four albums with them. When Mac Martin left the band in 1972, Bob assumed leadership.
Bob Artis's other activities include helping to found the thriving Western Pennsylvania Bluegrass Committee; promoting concerts; publishing a bluegrass newsletter; and contributing articles regularly to Bluegrass Unlimited and Muleskinner News.
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