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Bluegrass Odyssey A Documentary in Pictures and Words, 1967-86 cover
  • ISBN: 9780252026157
  • ISBN10: 0252026152

Bluegrass Odyssey A Documentary in Pictures and Words, 1967-86

by Neil V. Rosenberg

  • List Price: $34.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/2001
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Description
The fruit of four decades of collaboration between bluegrass music's premier photographer and premier historian, Bluegrass Odyssey is a satisfying and visually alluring journey into the heart of a genuinely American music. Combining Neil V. Rosenberg's commentary with more than two hundred of Carl Fleischhauer's photographs, this elegant visual documentary captures the music making together with the culture and community that foster it.

Fleischhauer's striking photographs take the reader to the festival stages, grassy hillsides, upscale clubs, barbershops, and parking-lot jam sessions where bluegrass thrives. In addition to wide-angle photographs that document the places in which bluegrass and its people are found, Fleischhauer offers arresting performance portraits of musicians such as Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, the Lewis and Stoneman families, the New Grass Revival, J. D. Crowe and the Kentucky Mountain Boys, the Dillards, and dozens of others.

Rosenberg's narrative explores the dynamics of bluegrass performance, from the practice of "ganging around the mike" to the tight harmonies and intricate exchanges as players respond to each other's musical ideas. Noting the blend of influences that have shaped bluegrass -- ranging from rural and small-town "preachin' and prayin'" to an assembly-line precision and coordination that reflect the factories and offices to which many rural southerners migrated -- Rosenberg traces the genre's emergence as a fully realized musical culture deeply rooted in community and family.

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