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The most complete book to date on West Virginia traditional music, "Mountains of Music" is a collection of articles taken from the pages of the popular magazine over the past 25 years. Detailing the lives and experiences of 25 critical folk artists from across the state, the book takes the reader into the backwoods, up the "hollers" and into the homes of those for whom music is part of an ancient heritage-one that includes hard work, strong faith and a clear mountain identity. Through extensive oral accounts, a generous use of photography and the keen observations of some of the most respected folklorists in the country, the book reveals not only the music, but also the personal lives, cultural imperatives and family histories of these musicians. For devotees as well as newcomers to this infectiously joyous and heartfelt music, "Mountains of Music" captures the strength of tradition and the spontaneous power of living artistry.

Mountains of Music book

From heavenly harmony to devilish fiddling, West Virginia's folk music is a treasure unique to this mountainous region. For the past 25 years, the story of West Virginia's traditional life has been deftly told in the pages of GOLDENSEAL magazine. Now, the best of GOLDENSEAL is gathered for the first time in a richly illustrated volume, "Mountains of Music: West Virginia Traditional Music from GOLDENSEAL," now available in bookstores across the state, or direct from Goldenseal.

You can now order this and other Goldenseal books from our Online Shop.

"The vibrant strands of this music and its colorful practitioners delineate a unique culture where music and music making are part of a treasured history," says book editor John Lilly, editor of GOLDENSEAL magazine.

Artists featured in the book include champion fiddler Clark Kessinger, U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, National Heritage Fellowship recipient Melvin Wine, recording stars Lynn Davis and Molly O'Day, dulcimer pioneer Russell Fluharty, internationally known entertainers the Lilly Brothers, bluesman Nat Reese, banjo woman Sylvia O'Brien and many others. Contributing writers and photographers include Carl Fleischhauer, Charles Wolfe, Ivan Tribe, Michael Keller, Gerald Milnes and Michael Kline, among others.

Woody Simmons
Woody Simmons, one of the many musicians profiled.

With 224 pages, more than 150 photographs, an introduction by Lilly, a comprehensive index and an extensive appendix of suggested listening, the book is a revealing trip into West Virginia folk culture. "Mountains of Music" was published by the University of Illinois Press as part of its Music in American Life series.

The book is available from the Goldenseal office for $33.95, plus $2 shipping per book; West Virginia residents please add 6% sales tax (total $37.99 per book including tax and shipping). Go here for a handy order form or visit the Online Shop.

Nat Reese
Bluesman Nat Reese
Publication of the book was made possible, in part, through financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. For more information about "Mountains of Music: West Virginia

"Mountains of Music: West Virginia Traditional Music from GOLDENSEAL"
A volume in the series Music in American Life
University of Illinois Press
224 pages. 8 ½ x 11 inches. 150 photographs.
Paper, ISBN 0-252-06815-7. $33.95