by Tom Brown
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and Bluegrass Time by Phil Zimmerman is more than a collection of photographs. The book also contains a host of stories, biographies and interesting bluegrass facts, from the secrets of Bill Monroe’s mandolin to the famous jam on the back of the flat bed truck.
The book spans a vibrant time in bluegrass history from the early 1970’s to the early 1980’s. A time when giants walked the earth and today’s big names were just starting out. Festivals at this time were just starting to become three day events and bands like the Grateful Dead were rubbing elbows with groups like Charlie Moore and the Dixie Partners.
The book illustrates this dichotomy showing long haired hippies on one side of the field and button down church going folks on the other, a diversity that is still making bluegrass music strong today. Veterans of the scene will enjoy the updates and seeing where their favorite artists are now. Many are professors of music at prestigious schools while others are involved in production or out there still performing.
The younger generation can see where today’s headliners started out and it serves as a reminder of our roots and a guide to the way forward. Phil is blessed to have been involved in such an exciting time and it is great that he has put together this collection of photographs and stories to share his experiences with us. The wealth of images makes it a convenient read for anyone and a great gift idea for this holiday season.