Greg Spatz, fiddler with John Reischman and The Jaybirds, is more than just a talented musician. He is also a published author with two novels and a collection of stories to his credit, who serves as a professor of Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University. His most recent book merges both of his artistic pursuits, and carries a special appeal for followers of bluegrass and acoustic music.
Fiddler’s Dream, published in April 2006 by SMU Press, is the story of a prodigious young fiddler, who makes the move to Nashville at 19 to pursue his dream of working in a professional bluegrass band. Though the story isn’t wholly focused on the musical side of his quest, it has been praised by critics for the degree to which Spatz fuses the details of a musician’s thoughts, dreams and frustrations with a more common coming of age literary theme.
The book combines these two threads throughout, as the young fiddler searches out his estranged father, with whom he has had no contact in years, and who was himself a famous bluegrass artist.
Here is snippet of a review by David Flood that appeared recently in The Seattle Times:
The novel “Fiddler’s Dream” is not just a coming-of-age story but a poetic insight into the world of the musician. Don’t expect a history of bluegrass music but rather a tightly focused chronicle of one fiddler’s odyssey, down to the throbbing fingers. Although the dramatic build up just prior to Jesse meeting his father seems to go on too long, Spatz cuts this novel off on just the right notes, creating one of most inspired final sentences I have read in a long time.
Find more details on the book, or order online, at the SMU Press site.