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Strings of Life: Conversations with Old-Time Musicians from Virginia and North Carolina by Kevin Donleavy

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This is an amazing tour-de-force that actually documents 1300 old-time musicians in eight Southwest Virginia counties and ten North Carolina counties that together form a contiguous circle of talent. About 15% of the players are women and 5% are African-American. The old photographs are so wonderful that it would work as a coffee-table book (it is 10.5" X 11") even without the scholarship and the celebration of regional music!

Blacksburg, Virginia: Pocahontas Press: 2004. 347 pages with three indexes, a bibliography and a discography. Trade paperback.