Acoustic Stories: Pickin’ for the Prez and Other Unamplified Tales ($27.00), contains 33 acoustic stories are from Bill Amatneek’s life as a string bassist playing with some of the greats of acoustic music. His writes about concertizing with Peter, Paul & Mary, jamming with the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, pickin’ bluegrass with the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, and playing a life-endangering cocktail gig for a US president. The thread that binds these stories together is the author’s love of playing music. Amatneek brings you into the dressing room, onto the stage, and into the band, immersing you in music and music making. Readers who love any kind of acoustic music and readers who appreciate a good tale, well spun, will love these stories. Renowned storyteller Milbre Burch said of him, “I don’t know anyone who’s doing the work Bill Amatneek’s doing: telling funny, sweet, thoughtful, humble, generous stories about the very specific and rarefied culture of the folk musician. I think the folk music world has found its Homer.”
Bill Amatneek has had quite a career playing bass and banjo in and around bluegrass and acoustic music. He was visible in the 1970s with Vern and Ray, and left a permanent mark as bassist on the seminal debut album from The David Grisman Quintet in 1977. Later tours found him supporting Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, along with one-off dates with folk luminaries Peter, Paul & Mary and the Father of Bluegrass. Along the way Bill worked as a music journalist, and saw his pieces published in Rolling Stone, Down Beat, and Bluegrass Unlimited. In 2003, he collected several of these articles into a book, Acoustic Stories: Playing Bass with Peter, Paul & Mary, Jerry Garcia, and Bill Monroe. It was honored as Best Music Book of the year by the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.