Category: Print Reviews

The Music of the Stanley Brothers – Gary B Reid

| March 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

I have to declare upfront that I had a peek at an early draft of this book. Also, over the years (from about 1981), I have watched Reid gather together the building materials that have gone towards the writing of The Music of the Stanley Brothers.  […]


Donna Ulisse shares some writing secrets

| August 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

There’s a school of thought that says you can’t teach songwriting. Folks can either write lyrics and compose interesting melodies, or they can’t. But if the craft itself can’t be taught, those interested in pursuing it can gain some valuable perspective and timesaving advice by […]


Pre War Dobros examined in new book

| July 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

As is true for most students of the bluegrass instruments, resonator guitarists are especially enamored of the instruments made just prior to the US entry into WWII. In the late 1930s and early ’40s, almost all of the reso-guitars were being made by a pair of […]


Kentucky Traveler – My Life in Music, a review

| January 13, 2014 | 2 Comments

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 […]


Byron Berline – A Fiddler’s Diary

| December 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

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 […]


Reflections on Aereo-plain

| July 26, 2013 | 4 Comments

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 […]


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

| July 19, 2013 | 7 Comments

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 […]


Lonesome Melodies: A Review

| March 26, 2013 | 2 Comments

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 […]


Two new mandolin books from Mel Bay

| December 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

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 […]


Blue Yodel #51 – Bluegrass Bluesman

| October 29, 2012 | 2 Comments

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 […]