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Bluegrass In Baltimore: The Hard Drivin' Sound & Its Legacy

By Mandolin Cafe
May 11, 2015 - 10:45 am

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Bluegrass in Baltimore - The Hard Drivin' Sound & Its Legacy

Bluegrass in Baltimore - The Hard Drivin' Sound & Its Legacy

Baltimore, Md. — Due to an influx of Appalachian migrants who came looking for work in the 1940s and 50s, Baltimore found itself the recipient of an extraordinarily talented crop of musicians and for a brief time was the center of the bluegrass world.

Based upon interviews with many of the legendary players from this golden-age of bluegrass in Baltimore, who had moved to the city in hopes of a better future and found it in music, Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin' Sound and Its Legacy, is the first book to take an in-depth look into how the music that was played in Baltimore came to wield influence across a broad musical landscape.

The book will be published by McFarland Books and released June 2015.

Bluegrass in Baltimore looks in detail at the highly-influential scene in Baltimore that produced such key figures as Del McCoury, Earl Taylor, Walt Hensley, Alice Gerrard, Hazel Dickens, Mike Seeger, and Mike Munford and explores the impact the music they made had on a wide-range of musical luminaries including Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Pete Wernick, Sam Bush, Chris Hillman, and many others.

The journey of these Baltimore musicians was not an easy one. They struggled in the face of a music industry that viewed the music they made as the "poorest example of poor man's music." There were missed opportunities, personal demons, and the always up-hill battle these pioneers had to fight because of the prejudice against their hillbilly backgrounds. Due to this many of these original Baltimore musicians found they were often resigned to the overlooked role of early innovator or forgotten influence, but the music they made and the influence they had has lasted forever.

Author Tim Newby is the features editor at Honest Tune Magazine. He is an active participant in Baltimore's thriving musical scene.

Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin' Sound and Its Legacy is available for pre-order.

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Greg Stec
May 11, 2015 02:53 PM
I get bluegrass and early country-western influences from my mom. She and her family (minus her dad; died from an accident in the coal mines nr Scranton, Pa in 10/1942) moved to Baltimore mid-1943. I suppose though I'm not certain she'd listen to the Opry over the old NBC Red Radio network. Growing up she'd have local station WBMD playing when Ray Davis was broadcasting from Johnny's New and Used Cars, forty-eight oh one HART-ford Road. I remember hearing Ralph Stanley live n on the air, and sometimes Ralph would sell a car! My bluegrass influences did not really solidify until the Dirt Band's Circle came out in 1972. I was seriously hooked then.
May 15, 2015 06:43 AM
This book looks great, and I look forward to reading it, and thank you to the author for writing it and the publisher for publishing it, but, is that a nylon string guitar on the cover?
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