Music From The True Vine

Among the books mentioned in the University of North Carolina Press Fall/Winter 2011 catalogue is Bill C. Malone’s biography, Music From The True Vine: Mike Seeger’s Life & Musical Journey.

The recently-deceased Seeger was the son of musicologists Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger and the brother of folksingers Pete and Peggy Seeger.

Seeger was multi-talented, a musician, scholar and one of the founding members of the influential folk revival group New Lost City Ramblers. He spent more than 50 years collecting, performing and documenting the culture and folk music of white and black southerners, which he called “music from the true vine,” hence the title.

Also, Smithsonian Folkways released a CD titled True Vine consisting of 23 samples of Seeger’s recordings in October 2009.

Musician and children’s entertainer Cathy Fink is very impressed with Music From The True Vine

“Bill Malone has beautifully captured the center of Mike’s life – to collect, learn, share traditional southern music. Mike’s obsession with the music is a major gain to all music lovers given that artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, The Grateful Dead and older half-brother Pete all learned plenty from Mike and are happy to acknowledge that. But more, Mike worked at making his archival recordings accessible with contributions to Folkways Records (Smithsonian Folkways), Rounder Records, The Library of Congress, University of North Carolina and more.

The book outlines Mike’s personal life, but focuses more on his interest in music, musical development, and enormous contributions that have led to more than one major renaissance of traditional music played in both traditional and contemporary settings.

One thing Malone makes very clear – we owe Mike for his enormous contributions to the fabric of American music. It’s hard to read the book and not wonder how Mike managed to accomplish what he did-but inspiring!

Highly recommended.

Also recommend Mike’s many recordings and videos.”

An interview with Malone talking about Mike Seeger and the book can be found at the University of North Carolina Press website.

Hardcover: 240 pages

ISBN-10: 0807835102

ISBN-13: 978-0807835104

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.