“I'm excited that the book I edited is coming out in September from University of Illinois Press. Bluegrass Bluesman: A Memoir by Josh Graves tells the fascinating story of his life -- from mountainous East Tennessee, to the road with Flatt & Scruggs, to a solo and sideman career, to reflections on the present and future of bluegrass music. Josh is a great storyteller. There are never-published photos, tributes from more than 20 contemporaries and disciples, and information on Josh's instruments and repertoire.”
The book is the life and music of a bluegrass pioneer, in his own words, edited by Bartenstein. Dobro player, Josh Graves was a pivotal member of the Foggy Mountain Boys, the hugely successful band of Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs following their departure from Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys. Graves was also a living link between Bluegrass music and the Blues. Deeply influenced by the blues, he adapted Earl Scruggs’ revolutionary banjo style to the Dobro resonator slide guitar and gave the Foggy Mountain Boys their distinctive sound.
Graves’s lively anecdotal accounts of daily life on tour through the 1950s and 1960s reveal the band’s dedication to musical excellence, Scruggs’ leadership, and an often grueling life on the road.
Graves also comments on his later career when he played in Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass and the Earl Scruggs Revue and collaborated with the likes of Boz Scaggs, Charlie McCoy, Kenny Baker, Eddie Adcock, Jesse McReynolds, Marty Stuart, Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, and his three musical sons. A colorful storyteller, Graves brings to life the world of an American troubadour and the mountain culture that he never left behind.
For more information or to order an autographed copy visit http://www.fredbartenstein.com/book.html. Shipping of the book is expected to begin in late September.
Fred Bartenstein has hosted bluegrass programs on eight radio stations between 1967 and the present. He most recently produced "Banks of the Ohio: Music From the Homeplace of Bluegrass," a three-hour weekly webcast/broadcast on the history of bluegrass music, for the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.