From the moment they picked up the radio signal of Bill Monroe’s mandolin, Texans have been enamoured with this uniquely American style of music. But the high lonesome sound couldn’t have put down roots without a tradition of mentorship that runs through families and spans generations.
Following on from their earlier collaboration about the growth of bluegrass music in Texas, authors Braeden Paul and Jeff Campbell have gotten together to write a stand-alone follow-up book, Texas Bluegrass Legacies: Families and Mentors Through the Generations, that is planned for publication next month.
Paul explains …
“We had previously written a book called Texas Bluegrass History: High Lonesome on the High Plains (The History Press, 2021), and decided to write a second book. Rather than just write a second volume, we wanted to center this next book around a specific theme. I grew up in a musical family with a dad and grandfather that both played bluegrass music. In thinking about my own background, it hit me that lots of bluegrass artists share a similar story to mine. Families and mentors play a huge role in keeping bluegrass music thriving. With that in mind, Jeff and I decided to include families such as The Whites, Scott and Curtis Vestal, and the Pyeatt Family, the first Asian American bluegrass band in Texas.
Jeff and I also decided to include stories about Camp Bluegrass in Levelland, and the downtown Garland Square jam sessions where so many young musicians were mentored by folks such as Alan Munde, Joe Carr, and Jim Paul Miller, among others.”
Campbell agreed, saying…
“After Texas Bluegrass History was published, I was exposed to a lot of artists who were not included in the first book. The Bluegrass Heritage Play It Forward program, Camp Bluegrass, and Braeden Paul’s family made me realize how important families and mentors are to bluegrass music. We felt it was not only important to cover the branches but also the roots of Texas Bluegrass.”
Texas Bluegrass Legacies can be ordered from History Press, a division of Arcadia Publishing, Barnes & Noble bookstores and on-line at Amazon.
Publisher: History Press (July 24, 2023)
Paperback: 128 pages
Dimensions: 15.24 x 0.79 x 22.86 cm (6.00(w) x 0.31(d) x 9.00(h) inches)
It is well illustrated with many black and white photographs.
Braeden Paul is a music reviewer, historian, and musician. As a mandolinist, he has performed with multiple Dallas-based bands and made guest appearances with various artists such as Grammy Award winner Michael Cleveland. He is the co-author of Texas Bluegrass History and has written music reviews for both Bluegrass Today and the Bluegrass Society of America. He is the founder of Braeden Paul’s Bluegrass Preservation.
Jeff Campbell is a historic preservationist and museum professional who also performs with the Fort Worth Library Band, the Kanikapila Island Strummers, and the Opihi Gang Hawaiian Band. Author of Murder and Mayhem on the Texas Rails and co-author of Texas Bluegrass History, he has written for Plano Magazine, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Cowboy Poetry at the Bar D Ranch.