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Bluegrass Odyssey
Neil Rosenberg and Carl Fleischhauer

Event Date: February 27, 2002

The event was sponsored by the American Folklife Center, the Center for the Book and the Office of Scholarly Programs at the Library of Congress.

On February 27, Neil Rosenberg and Carl Fleischhauer presented an illustrated lecture based on their newly published book, Bluegrass Odyssey: A Documentary in Pictures and Words, 1966-86. The fruit of four decades of collaboration between bluegrass music's premier historian and photographer, Bluegrass Odyssey offers a fascinating journey into the heart of a quintessentially American musical form. Combining Neil Rosenberg's commentary with more than 200 of Carl Fleischhauer's photographs, this elegant publication captures both the musicians who create the music and the culture and community that foster it.

Carl Fleischhauer's striking photographs explore the myriad formal and informal venues where bluegrass thrives. In addition to offering images that document the bluegrass milieu, Fleischhauer also offers classic performance portraits of many seminal bluegrass musicians including Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and Ralph Stanley, as well as artists such as Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stewart in their formative years.

Neil Rosenberg's narrative explores the dynamics of bluegrass performance, from the practice of "ganging around the mike" to the tight harmonies and intricate exchanges as players respond to each other's music. Rosenberg notes the blend of influences that have shaped bluegrass and traces the genre's emergence as a fully realized musical culture deeply rooted in community and family.

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American Folklife Center

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