AFBA Shindig on Sunday at Steelstacks

Featured bands are Big Valley Bluegrass and Last Small Town.  For samples of their music visit

Big Valley Bluegrass features:

GINA ROSS (Guitar & Vocals) was born in the Lehigh Valley and lived in Nashville, Tennessee for 16 years where she performed original country music and was a frequent guest on the Ralph Emory Show. She is a gifted songwriter and one of her songs “Jesus in My Soul” was recorded by country music legend Johnny Cash.

KEITH KESTER (Bass & Vocals) was born in the Lehigh Valley and fell in love with bluegrass music at a very early age. No stranger to the stage, Keith has performed several times at Musicfest and regional bluegrass festivals.

PAUL SPRIET (Banjo & Vocals) was born in New Jersey and lists Earl Scruggs, Bill Keith and Alan Munde as his influences. He has been playing banjo for over 40 years and teaches banjo in his spare time.

BILL PARKER (Mandolin, Dobro & Guitar) grew up in Rochester, NY now living in the Bethlehem, area. He caught the bluegrass bug about 5 years ago when he started playing the mandolin. With a hard-charging, high energy style, he puts passion into every note he plays. Primary influences are his father, Ronnie McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Shawn Lane & Jesse Cobb. In addition to mandolin, Bill also plays guitar, bass & dobro. Preferred brands are Martin Guitars, Loar & Eastman Mandolins


The following directions
will take you to the ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem, PA were the Shindig is held

From New Jersey, New York and Points East:

Take I-78 W. to Exit #67 (Hellertown/Bethlehem).
Follow Rte. 412 NORTH
Turn RIGHT onto Founders Way
Go straight. You will pass the building on your right.
Parking will be past that on the left and right.

From the Poconos and Points North:

Take Rte. 33 S. to Rte. 22 W.
Take PA-378 S toward BETHLEHEM
Turn LEFT onto W 3RD ST
Turn LEFT onto Founders Way
Go straight. You will pass the building on your right.
Parking will be past that on the left and right.

From Philadelphia and Points South:

Take the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike to Exit #56
(Lehigh Valley) to Rte. 22 E.
Take PA-378 S toward BETHLEHEM
Turn LEFT onto W 3RD ST
Turn LEFT onto Founders Way
Go straight. You will pass the building on your right.
Parking will be past that on the left and right


Bluegrass Bluesman

A Memoir


 The life and music of a bluegrass pioneer, in his own words

A pivotal member of the hugely successful bluegrass band Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, Dobro pioneer Josh Graves (1927–2006) was a living link between bluegrass music and the blues, maintaining ties with black artists and comporting himself as a classic bluesman with a gold tooth and snappy headgear. In Bluegrass Bluesman, this influential performer shares the story of his lifelong career in music.

In lively anecdotes, Graves describes his upbringing in East Tennessee and the climate in which bluegrass music emerged during the 1940s. Deeply influenced by the blues, he adapted Earl Scruggs’s revolutionary banjo style to the Dobro resonator slide guitar and gave the Foggy Mountain Boys their distinctive sound. Graves’s accounts of daily life on tour through the 1950s and 1960s reveal the band’s dedication to musical excellence, Scruggs’s leadership, and an often grueling life on the road. He also comments on his later career when he played in Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass and the Earl Scruggs Revue and collaborated with the likes of Boz Scaggs, Charlie McCoy, Kenny Baker, Eddie Adcock, Jesse McReynolds, Marty Stuart, Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, and his three musical sons. A colorful storyteller, Graves brings to life the world of an American troubadour and the mountain culture that he never left behind. Also included are tributes from more than twenty of Josh Graves’s musical contemporaries and disciples, along with material on his instruments and repertoire.

“An excellent autobiography of a highly creative musician. Graves was a first-rate storyteller with a discerning sense of what was important in his many memorable experiences.”–John Wright, author of Traveling the High Way Home: Ralph Stanley and the World of Traditional Bluegrass Music

“Josh Graves inspired hundreds of musicians to pick up the steel bar and slide it over the strings of the Dobro. . . . It’s good and fitting that the story of this talented and influential musician is being preserved in his own words.”–from Neil Rosenberg’s foreword to the book

Born in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, Josh Graves (1927–2006) is universally acknowledged as the father of the bluegrass Dobro. In 1997 he was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Fred Bartenstein has performed many roles in bluegrass music, including magazine editor, broadcaster, musician, festival MC, talent director, scholar, and consultant. He lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Paper – $21.95




Josh Graves


Edited by Fred Bartenstein; Foreword by Neil Rosenberg

Pub Date:



176 pages


6 X 9 in.


41 black & white photographs


Music in American Life

Music Biography & Personal Papers See all Subjects

Exam and Desk Copies Rights and Permissions Media Review Copies


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