Acoustic Stories by Bill Amatneek

Acoustic Stories - Bill AmatneekBill Amatneek has had quite a career playing bass and banjo in and around bluegrass and acoustic music. He was visible in the 1970s with Vern and Ray, and left a permanent mark as bassist on the seminal debut album from The David Grisman Quintet in 1977. Later tours found him supporting Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, along with one-off dates with folk luminaries Peter, Paul & Mary and the Father of Bluegrass.

Along the way Bill worked as a music journalist, and saw his pieces published in Rolling Stone, Down Beat, and Bluegrass Unlimited. In 2003, he collected several of these articles into a book, Acoustic Stories: Playing Bass with Peter, Paul & Mary, Jerry Garcia, and Bill Monroe. It was honored as Best Music Book of the year by the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.

Now Amatneek has revised and greatly expanded the book, which will be re-released in a 2nd edition on October 15 as Acoustic Stories – Pickin’ For The Prez and Other Unamplified Tales. Contained are 33 stories and 49 photos/graphics over 328 pages, including the 19 tales from the 1st edition, and plenty of new ones.

The list of artists profiled here is quite impressive:

Peter, Paul & Mary

Bob Dylan

Dionne Warwick

Frank Wakefield

Aretha Franklin

Fried Soup

Judy Davis

Jack Brooks

Tony Rice

Buell Neidlinger

Bill Keith

David Grisman

Pete Seeger

Roland Whie

Jim Hurst

Mimi Farina

New Riders of the Purple Sage

Kate Wolf

Jerry Garcia

Stephane Grappelli

Isaac Stern

Ali Akbar Khan

Lou Gottlieb

Mary Travers

Bill Monroe

Steve Silver

Buddy Bolden

Al Collins

Will SudmeierEric Bibb

A number of the entries are not specifically centered on music or musicians, such as the title piece written about the personal deliberations about whether the author should play a show for George W. Bush, with whose politics he vehemently disagreed. I don’t think I’m spoiling a surprise in telling you that he did the gig.

Bill AmatneekThis is a very personal project for Bill. He designed and typeset the book himself, and selected the photos, including a number of his own. The first printing will a limited run of 1,000 copies in hard cover, on high quality paper, each numbered and signed by the author.

Pre-orders are being accepted now online for $27 each, shipping included. California orders will also be charged sales tax.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.