A little over a decade ago there were a few bluegrass-music-related novels released in just a five-year spell.
However, after that spate, there appears to have been none until 2018 when The Banjo Pilot by retired airline pilot, banjo player, and author Barry R Willis.
Earlier this year Willis published a sequel, Icy Strait, relating the adventures of Steel family we met in the first book as they start a new business flying light aircraft, including a seaplane, in the area around Juneau, the Alaskan state capital.
Whereas the first story about the banjo pilot was told by his daughter, Lisa, Duke Steel, now married to Doris, himself tells these tales of the trios’ lives based on Douglas Island, separated from mainland Juneau by the Gastineau Channel.
Covenant Books, the publisher, shared this blurb …
The Alaskan Adventures of the Banjo Pilot is the continuing saga of Duke “The Banjo Pilot” Steel and his family. Learn about Duke’s new wife Doris as she tells us about her secretive and torrid past, and find out why she kept her past a secret all these years from Duke.
Join Duke and his family in their new adventure in Southeast Alaska where they start a brand new bush-flying business throughout the beautiful waters and snow-capped mountains from Ketchikan to Skagway. Join them on their flights up and down the waterways, and live the dangers they must endure in order to survive in this country.
Enjoy Duke and Doris as they start a new bluegrass band in downtown Juneau. And meet Duke’s brother, Gus, as you’ve never known him as tragedy besets him and the family.
Discover how the Russian mafia threatens to either kill them or destroy their business. Will their business adventure come to an early end due to the threats from the mafia? Will the Steel family help expose the mafia to the FBI and help get rid of them from Southeast Alaska, or will the mafia prevail even stronger?
[WARNING] Learn the dirty secrets of child prostitution, and see how the Steels try to help eliminate this evil from Juneau.
Will the Steel family return to their beloved home in Mt. Airy, South Carolina, or will they choose to stay in Alaska?
All these questions and more are explored in this exciting sequel to The Banjo Pilot.
The publisher has produced a brief promotional video also.
Meanwhile, Willis has confided …..
“[Icy Strait] includes many of the adventures I had when I flew as a bush pilot up there in southeast Alaska’s Inland Passage 1975-1976 (for L.A.B. Flying Service and Alaska Island Air, both of which are now defunct). Many of the stories are true experiences.”
Published: March 22, 2021
Paperback: 240 pages
Dimensions: 15.24 x 1.65 x 22.86 cm