Down to the River / The Music of Bill Monroe
Good photographers, when fully immersed in a place where life is happening, write both history and fancy with their lenses. Sandra L. Dyas, whose work periodically appears in these pages, is more than a good photographer, and has spent more than the usual amount of time in Iowa City clubs (and environs) capturing images for Down To The River (University of Iowa Press). Chris Offutt’s opening words are lyrical, and rendered largely unnecessary by what follows. Like Charles Peterson in Seattle, Dyas shoots from the dance floor, and her portraits reveal the strong voices of the musicians, and the artist. Her style is quite different from Peterson’s, of course, but Dyas’ connection to the community she chronicles is not. A CD sampler completes the package….
Charles K. Wolfe passed away before completing The Music Of Bill Monroe (University of Illinois Press) with bluegrass historian Neil V. Rosenberg, a revised and extended version of Rosenberg’s earlier Bill Monroe And His Blue Grass Boys: An Illustrated Discography, published in 1974. It is an impressive body of work, both the music and the research. Monroe’s career is separated into discrete periods, each introduced by a learned and lucid essay. Discographical information (including both audio and video recordings) is impressively detailed.