"From the melancholy genius of Bix Beiderbecke to the prairie visionary poetry of songwriter Greg Brown, Iowa has produced more than its fair share of great musicians and songwriters. Photgrapher Sandy Dyas has captured the rough and sweet uniqueness of many recent Iowa artists in beautiful images that make you want to dance in a hot bar on a summer evening while singing along with their every word. Even though this is not an all-inclusive, academic history of Iowa musicians and songwriters, Sandy's honest photographs reveal as much about the artists as any hisorical/biographical book could"-Dave Alvin
“These photographs bring to life a world very dear to me, through the eyes of a photographer whose love of that world is palpable on the page. You can hear the songs in these photos: in the stage lights, in the landscapes and barscapes, and in the faces of the people who make my favorite music in the world. I will read and reread this book with gratitude; it’s a vehicle—a hard-driven, hard-rusted, hard-loved farm truck!—driving me right into the music, and there’s nowhere I’d rather be.”—Thisbe Nissen, author Out of the Girls' Room and into the Night
“Sandra Dyas’s photos capture Iowa’s middle landscape, the one where human habitation has made a place for itself between the mechanization of the prairie and the collapse of the family farm. This is the Iowa that gets lived in and sung about. You might catch a glimpse of it at deep twilight, on some nameless county road, where you’ll find a guitar picker or fiddler or steel player: a mere mote on a blanket of soybeans and corn. Like every farmer or elevator operator or grain dealer who’s at home in the idea of moving on, Iowa’s musicians put down roots where they are. You really can’t miss the resemblance in these photos—wanderers who came to make a life and like it or not succeeded at it.” –-Robert Cantwell
About the Author
Sandra Dyas received her MFA in intermedia and video art from the University of Iowa in 1998; she teaches photography at Cornell College and has a thriving freelance photography business. Her photographs have been published on and in numerous CDs, websites, and magazines including No Depression, Vogue, Acoustic Guitar, and the New York Times.
Chris Offutt is the author of Kentucky Straight, Out of the Woods, The Good Brother, The Same River Twice, and No Heroes. His stories and essays have been published in Esquire, GQ, the New York Times, Best American Short Stories, and Best Stories of the South.