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Rural Roots of Bluegrass: Songs, Stories & History Paperback – September 1, 2003

4.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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  • Rural Roots of Bluegrass: Songs, Stories & History
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wayne Erbsen is an active teacher, writer, musician, and publisher who has made it his lifelong passion to collect, preserve, and perform historic American music.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Native Ground Music (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883206405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883206406
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book will appeal to readers who are new to bluegrass as well as readers interested in the history of old-time and bluegrass music genres and musicians. Wayne Erbsen has previously written on bluegrass and old-time, but this book updates and embellishes earlier work. Erbsen begins by providing an engaging historical overview of the various roots music traditions that contributed to contemporary bluegrass styles. He explains how the string band music of North Carolina, Tennessee, and other areas form a foundation for Bill Monroe's later contributions, thereby affirming both Monroe's important role in developing the genre while also acknowledging the sources that Monroe drew from in crafting his own style. I especially like the biographical sketches of major musicians such as Snuffy Jenkins, Bradley Kincaid, Eck Robertson, the Coon Creek Girls, the Blue Sky Boys, and other artists who may not be as well known. Erbsen's introduction to the basic instrumental and vocal techniques used in bluegrass will appeal both to musicians who want to learn to perform in this style as well as to listeners who simply wish to develop their musical ear. The book includes lyrics, melodies, chords, and historical background on nearly 100 old-time, gospel, and bluegrass songs. The music is presented in an accessible and engaging way, and Erbsen's clear writing style sets a great tone for encouraging novices who wish to learn the tunes. The book also includes an excellent and extensive presentation of photographs of musicians and a good list of resources for further reading and listening. Having all of this information in one volume that is a pleasure to read is a valuable resource for anyone interested in American music.
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Format: Paperback
When I was a student at Warren Wilson College in the late 80's I took a guitar class with Wayne Erbsen. I soon discovered I had no musical talent but somehow still got an A in the class. I guess Mr Erbsen decided that my showing up to class and trying my best every day was good enough.

I never did become a musician. But I have maintained my life long love for music and especially the rural old timey songs of my Appalachian family roots. So I was thrilled to find this outstanding collection of lyrics and sheet music. Now I can look up the words to "In The Pines" and "Shady Grove" that I could never quite figure out on my own. But best of all is the wealth of information that is provided on early performers such as Wade Mainer and Ernest "Pop" Stoneman. Bill Monroe liked to take all the credit for "inventing" bluegrass. But clearly this music had roots that preceded the Bluegrass Boys and Erbsen does a fine job of telling us more about these lesser known performers and their music. Highly recommended for any fan of bluegrass or old timey music.
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Format: Paperback
Rural Roots Of Bluegrass: Songs, Stories & History is an eclectic medley of a book that profiles great bluegrass musicians, offers a wealth of music (including a classic song with notes and lyrics on almost every page), and packed from cover to cover with fascinating anecdotes of history, and so much more. Rural Roots Of Bluegrass is an enjoyable romp through the history of enduring favorite tunes and the great people who performed them. Also highly recommended is the Rural Roots Of Bluegrass CD ($14.95) by Wayne Erbsen and Laura Boosinger which features 13 vocals, 3 instrumentals, and has a total playing time of 54 minutes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an interesting and informative book. I didn't realize that it was in a smaller size (about 6 x 9") when I ordered it, but it serves my purposes. There is another full-size version of the book, also sold on Amazon - that has 8 1/2 x 11" pages - in case you want full-size sheets of music to read from.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've strung up a spruce topped Lanikai tenor ukulele in low G using a Worth brown low G string. I've enjoyed collecting folk songs to play and sing using this instrument. I found this book interesting in giving a history of folk and bluegrass music. I also discovered new songs I hadn't been aware of before. I use Google to search for more chords and verses and come up with very nice versions of the songs. This book was worth every penny and even gives just enough music theory to be helpful but not overwhelming. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great review and inclusion of many original songs that fill in the questions many have had.--the music is there as well--very complete for musicians and people whose interest delves deeper than just literature
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are at all interested in the history of gospel, bluegrass, or country music, then you must read this book. Thoroughly researched and entertaining, Rural Roots..." is another winner by Wayne Erbsen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good book about the history of bluegrass. It has relatively small print and pages (9 inches by 6 inches) which does not make it very easy to use in a music stand. The book has index of three pages of musicians and one page of songs. Good job Wayne.
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