cover of book

On the Bus with Bill Monroe: My Five-Year Ride with the Father of Blue Grass
by Mark Hembree
University of Illinois Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-0-252-05341-2 | Paper: 978-0-252-08649-6 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04442-7
Library of Congress Classification ML419.H43A3 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 782.4216420922

A backstage audition led Mark Hembree into a five-year stint (1979–1984) as the bassist for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys. Hembree’s journey included playing at the White House and on the acclaimed album Master of Bluegrass. But it also put him on a collision course with the rigors of touring, the mysteries of Southern culture, and the complex personality of bandleader-legend Bill Monroe. Whether it’s figuring out the best time for breakfast (early) or for beating the boss at poker (never), Hembree gives readers an up-close look at the occasionally exalting, often unglamorous life of a touring musician in the sometimes baffling, always colorful company of a bluegrass icon.

The amusing story of a Yankee fish out of water, On the Bus with Bill Monroe mixes memoir with storytelling to recount the adventures of a Northerner learning new ways and the Old South.

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