MUSIC FROM THE TRUE VINE - Mike Seeger's Life & Musical Journey BOOK: MALONE
Author - Bill C. Malone (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2011) 236 pages, hardbound. I am always thrilled to see a new book by Bill Malone, who is one of the best authors when it comes to music. Here he has detailed the life and work of the late Mike Seeger, and it should prove to be a fascinating read for most of our customers, as Seeger was one of the most important “movers and shakers” in spreading the word about rural American music— both Bluegrass and Old-Time. Seeger was a good musician who could play just about every stringed instrument. As a member of the New Lost City Ramblers, and as a producer of some very important records, he really introduced many to the beauty of rural music that had been largely looked down on by serious “folklorists” for years. To his credit Seeger focused strictly on the music, and did not attempt to use it for political purposes; neither did he look on the music as “quaint”, but embraced the southern musicians for what they were—real people who had a gift for creating and transmitting some wonderful music. In an easy-to-read, fact filled book, Bill Malone covers Seeger’s background, his introduction to Bluegrass at the country music parks like New River Ranch and Sunset Park, his years with the New Lost City Ramblers, and his work in bringing forgotten artists like Dock Boggs, Cousin Emmy, Elizabeth Cotton and Sam & Kirk McGee to the attention of a young and eager new audience.