KENTUCKY'S BLUEGRASS MUSIC by James C. Claypool BOOK: KENTUCKY
by James Claypool, (Arcadia Publishing, 128 pages, softbound). Although this book came out over 3 years ago, it has only recently come to our attention. Arcadia, based in Charleston, S.C., specializes in historic photos of southern towns and topics. There is no real text apart from a 4-page introduction, but each of the dozens of photographs is accompanied by informative captions --it is clear that author Claypool is quite familiar with Bluegrass music. There are well over 200 photos in the book, many that we have never seen before. Coverage goes back to the pioneers, naturally focused on Bill and Charlie Monroe. Some earlier artists are also pictured, such as The Coon Creek Girls, Uncle Pen Vandiver, the Carlisle Brothers and Molly O'Day. Some musicians are more associated with country music, but have enough ties with Bluegrass to justify their inclusion: Grandpa Jones, Merle Travis, James & Martha Carson and Jimmie Skinner, for example. The book takes us right up to the "progressive" practicioners of the music, like Sam Bush, Bluegrass Alliance, Mountain Heart and Ricky Skaggs. The photos are well reproduced, and bluegrass fans in general will enjoy having this nice publication.