Category: Reviews

Kentucky Traveler – My Life in Music, a review

| January 13, 2014 | 2 Comments
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Kentucky Traveler – My Life in Music by Ricky Skaggs, with Eddie Dean I enjoyed Ricky Skaggs’ autobiography Kentucky Traveler, so help me, I really did. When I first heard of it I was skeptical, and afraid it would be sort of embarrassing somehow. I’ve […]

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Byron Berline – A Fiddler’s Diary

| December 5, 2013 | 0 Comments
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While it is a known fact that Blue Grass Boy Doug Green keeps a diary recording his activities, it isn’t so well known that another bluegrass musician did so. Well, in fact, this book is based on journal entries by Byron Berline’s wife Bette and […]

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Reflections on Aereo-plain

| July 26, 2013 | 4 Comments
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I have a vivid memory of the first time I ever heard John Hartford’s Aereo-Plain album. It was on vinyl; played on a record player that dated back to the time of the album’s release, with speakers stretching out to their wires’ limits to the deck […]

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A Review of Murphy Hicks Henry’s Pretty Good For A Girl

| July 19, 2013 | 6 Comments
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For those of you who might be in a hurry, here’s the abridged version right up front: Pretty Good For A Girl, Murphy Hicks Henry’s epic history of women in bluegrass music, is a magnificent and important work, and if you have any interest in […]

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Lonesome Melodies: A Review

| March 26, 2013 | 2 Comments
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The level of excitement peaks when anticipating a book about one of the elite members of our bluegrass community. Such was the case when there was news of the completion of David W. Johnson’s book about the Stanley Brothers, Lonesome Melodies: The Lives and Music […]

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Two new mandolin books from Mel Bay

| December 7, 2012 | 0 Comments
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Mel Bay has a pair of new mandolin books, aimed at two different strata of pickers. Children’s Mandolin Method, written by William Bay (son of the company’s founder, Mel) is just what the title suggests. It follows the familiar method book template, starting with simple […]

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Blue Yodel #51 – Bluegrass Bluesman

| October 29, 2012 | 2 Comments
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I spent yesterday with Josh Graves by reading Bluegrass Bluesman: Josh Graves A Memoir, a collection of transcribed interviews given in the ’90s by the resonator guitar master. Expertly edited by Fred Bartenstein with help from a lot of good folks, which I’ll come back […]

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Bean Blossom – a first-timer’s visit

| June 14, 2012 | 1 Comment

When I was learning to play banjo in the mid-1970′s, one of the first albums I bought was the two-album live recording from the Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom festival, which became one of my favorites and a great source of material to learn from Bill […]

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Bean Blossom – a second look

| January 9, 2012 | 1 Comment
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Bean Blossom, that place of many legends that has attracted bluegrass fans from so many territories world-wide, that has two internationally-distributed LPs that bear its name and yet about which so little of its history has been known for so long. That is, until now, […]

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The Starday Story

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments
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Just as the rock ‘n’ roll era dawned and country music and its off-spring bluegrass music was being overwhelmed by the popularity of this new musical style, a savior appeared in the form of Don Pierce and his recent acquisition, Starday Records. Starday Records was […]

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