Josh Graves Book

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Dean Upson's picture

For Josh Graves Fans, The University of Illinois press is about to print "Bluegrass Bluesman, a memoir"




MarkinSonoma's picture

Thanks for the heads up Dean, i had this one this one earmarked as a "must read" and was wondering when it would see the light of day. So it will be available on Sept. 20.

Andy's picture

Dean, Thanks for posting this. Terrific news. I had not heard that such a book was being written, so this is a great surprise. Father of bluegrass dobro, and Uncle to us all! Just ordered my copy, so I'll have a nice present arriving at the end of next month :)

Dean Upson's picture

I had not known about the book either, and probably would not have unless a friend told me about it.  I pre-ordered it right away, it should be a very interesting read.  Josh was the one that "hooked" me and I still like his music and style at least as much and more than othersSmile


Bill_from_Michigan's picture

I can't wait for this book! I need a break from re-reading the Tony Rice book!

MarkinSonoma's picture

Jerry started a thread on the JDBB about the book on 8/21, here is his post:

"Hello everyone,

I want to make you aware of a book about Josh Graves. Anyone that knows anything about me, knows that Josh Graves was my inspiration to play this crazy instrument and if he had not played the Dobro, you probably wouldn't either.

I have known the writer Fred Bartenstein since he was a young kid in the role of what is now known as assistant producer under the infamous Carlton Haney at one of the earliest (1968-1978) successful, long running Bluegrass festivals, The Berryville, Va. Bluegrass Festival. I was there as a teenager when I met Mike Auldridge, Stacy Phillips, Russ Hooper, Bobby Wolfe, and Kenny Haddock. A veritable Dobro feast for a young player of the times. I'm rambling now. 

I haven't yet read the book myself, but have faith that with Fred's expertise, this could be a great read and an important book for the legacy of the man who I consider my mentor. I snagged this next piece of ordering information so you can get in on the party. I hope you will get it and learn a little something about the history of the Dobro in Bluegrass music and the times it grew up in.


Jim McNab's picture

Thanks Dean. Got it on my radar now. Thanks Mark for the post from JD.  

Dean Upson's picture

It is also available from Amazon for quite a bit less money.

Will Andrew's picture
Betty's picture

I highly recommend this book - I'll see the finished product at IBMA's World of Bluegrass on Monday, but I read it in drafts a few years ago, and found it a fascinating and absorbing read. To be able to read what Josh had to say about his life, in his own words and in vivid detail, is an extraordinary thing. 

The book has an unusual history. Back in 1994, Bary Willis interviewed Uncle Josh over the course of several days for a biography that was never completed. Willis is a retired airline pilot and compiler of "America's Music" Bluegrass" (Pine Valley Music, 1997). The tapes of those interviews were transcribed by a stenographer who was not familiar with the subject matter, so there were many errors in the transcription. The tapes were then lost, leaving only a hard copy of the transcripts. 

Fred Bartenstein, who is a bluegrass historian, journalist, and broadcaster, did a terrific job editing these transcripts, correcting the errors that came about because of the way the tapes were transcribed, and turning it into a coherent and fascinating read.

I especially treasured the sections where Josh talked in great detail about his relationship with Earl Scruggs, how much he adored him and tried to copy him. It is such a vivid portrayal of a relationship that was important not only to Josh, but to the development of the sound of the dobro.

Fred B. added additional materials, as well -- including some of the tributes to Uncle Josh that I collected back in 2000 and 2001 for the Josh Graves Tribute Album that we presented to Uncle Josh on stage at the SPBGMA Awards Show in Feb. 2001. These include excellent tributes from Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas, Rob Ickes, Sally Van Meter, Phil Leadbetter, and more.  I am happy beyond words that these tributes are now published in a way that will preserve them permanently.

We will have this book on the merch table at ResoSummit, if anyone wants to get it there, and I'm assuming it will also be available from Rob's website at some point soon.







Trapper's picture

This is a great read :)

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