During the final years of Bill Monroe’s life, bluegrass fiddler Gene Lowinger took a series of on and off-stage photographs of Monroe on the road, preparing for shows, performing, interacting with fans and audiences and in informal settings with family, friends, and fellow musicians.
This book presents this collection of photos of Monroe’s last years as well as other photos documenting Lowinger’s involvement with the bluegrass scene beginning in the early 1960s. As a fiddler for Monroe, Lowinger was given unique access to Monroe’s private life, and his photographs capture poignant scenes, from energetic performances to moments of quiet repose.
Lowinger’s photos accompany his own story of a New Jersey boy obsessed with folk and bluegrass music, and he recounts college trips to country music parks in Pennsylvania to see Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Mac Wiseman, and Bill Monroe; his stints as a fiddler for the New York Ramblers and Blue Grass Boys; and his memories of playing at the Grand Ole Opry and music festivals. A photographic reflection on Bill Monroe’s public and private life, I Hear a Voice Calling also testifies to the bluegrass master’s profound mentorship and guidance.
I’ve known Gene Lowinger since our early days in the urban bluegrass scene of the sixties. His photographs have always offered unique perspectives on unique subjects. Now they are skillfully melded with personal remembrances of his own singular career as a ‘Jewish Blue Grass Boy.‘- David Grisman.
This amazing photo collection and others can also be seen on Gene Lowinger’s website