Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass

Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass

Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass

Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass


With retail sales of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack exceeding 6.5 million copies since its 2000 release, bluegrass music has re-entered the spotlight as a major American style, spawning huge successes with subsequent albums. Author Stephanie P. Ledgin has captured the rich history of this music in Homegrown Music, a lively, informative book that is perfect for newcomers and devoted fans, musicians, and non-musicians. Though recognized and embraced internationally, bluegrass is one of only two musical genres native to America and, like jazz, it boasts a colorful and lively history, one that is captured here in all its detail complete with candid interviews with such legends as Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Covering such aspects of bluegrass as instrumentation, songs, the festival experience, and "parking lot picking," Homegrown Music also offers candid interviews with many celebrated bluegrass figures. An extensive up-to-the-minute resource guide of print,audio-visual, and Internet materials rounds out the volume. Enthusiasts of all ages will find much to discover and much to enjoy.


I first met Stephanie Ledgin nearly twenty-five years ago. But I probably had already met her, at least via the printed page, long before that without actually realizing it.

She came into bluegrass, as she puts it, by the back door, when she was hired on at Pickin' magazine in 1975 as one of its editors. She was not “born into the music, ” and she wasn't even all that familiar with it at the time. However, she fell in love with it and stayed with it all these years as a professional writer and photographer, working for numerous publications. Along the way, she became so involved in the music that she produced two successful bluegrass series in New York City and managed the career of an Italian flatpicking guitarist. Imagine that! Bluegrass in Italy! That says a lot for Stephanie's dedication—and it says a lot about bluegrass.

Bluegrass music moves people and embraces them. It comes from the heart of America yet shares its soul with fans around the world. It is symbolic of our heritage and all things American. Bluegrass is as refreshing as it is exciting. From its top-notch musicians to its excellent songs, what a great music bluegrass is to pass along to our children and to our friends.

Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass is the first introductory book about America's homespun music that speaks the language of the twenty-first century. It tells you where bluegrass has been, where it is now, and where it is heading as we move along the technology highway. Well written and lively, Homegrown Music offers something for everyone, listeners and pickers, young and old alike. This book is an ideal “Bluegrass 101.”

Get ready to explore some wonderful down-home music. When you finish reading Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass, I am sure you will agree and understand why “Bluegrass Rules.”

Ricky Skaggs

April 2004 . . .

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