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“Black’s own relevant musical experience, alongside his interviews with White, his family, and country music icons such as Marty Stuart, make this biography a must-read for bluegrass aficionados. Although White may not be a household name to those outside the bluegrass scene, he richly deserves this long-awaited tribute.” –Library Journal, Apr. 13, 2022

“Superb. . . Bob Black has delivered another instant classic biography of one of bluegrass music’s most valuable, but perhaps under-appreciated, influencers and torch-bearers. If you read but one bluegrass history or biography this year, make it Mandolin Man: The Bluegrass Life of Roland White.” –Bluegrass Unlimited, Apr. 2022

“Kudos to Bob Black for shining a light on a great musician and even better person…Mandolin Man tells not only the story of the twists and turns of [Roland] White’s long and winding career path, but also of the evolution of bluegrass music itself. His points of intersection with nearly every acoustic music icon are mind-boggling, and Black connects it all in fascinating detail with many first-person stories from and about dozens of iconic musicians.”  –The Nashville Musician, Apr.-June, 2022

“Drawing on extensive interviews with White’s fellow musicians and friends, Black, who played banjo in Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, has produced an in-depth biography of the great mandolin player and multi-instrumentalist, whose death on April 1 left many music fans bereft. This is a warm and appreciative book that keeps White’s presence alive.” –No Depression, June 9, 2022

“Credit Black, a former member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys who has also performed with Ricky Skaggs and Ralph Stanley, for recognizing White as worthy of a full-length biography. He’s done a thorough job of capturing this song-filled life…Black does a nice job of explaining White’s musicianship in ways non-musicians can understand…” –Humanities Tennessee, June 23, 2022; Nashville Scene, June 30, 2022

“Black offers up a loose, easy narrative that unfolds like a pleasant ramble down a country lane…” –NewCity (Chicago), July 7, 2022

“This is a terrific book, loaded with dozens of stories and memories and endless inspiration.” –Inland Northwest Bluegrass Music Association Jul-Aug, 2022

“Now, thanks to White’s friend, banjo player Bob Black, who played with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys and who co-founded Banjoy, we have an affectionate fan’s notes and tribute to White in the new book Mandolin Man: The Bluegrass Life of Roland White (Illinois)… Black draws on interviews with friends and fellow musicians to offer a warm portrait of White and his contributions to bluegrass. Fans of Roland White will certainly appreciate Black’s book, and turn its pages as they listen to White’s enduring music.” –No Depression, July 14, 2022


Recently Bob Black did a podcast with Dan Miller, editor of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine. Dan talked with Bob about his career in bluegrass and his writing of the Roland White biographical book. Here is a link to that podcast:


Read an interview with Bob Black on Bluegrass Today.






Summer Sky Schedule of Bands / 2022

July 1 – The Great Bluegrass Herons

July 8 – Burlington Street Bluegrass Band

July 15 – The Anderegg Family

July 22 – Riverbottom Ramblers

July 29 – Castle Ridge 

August 12 – BANJOY

August 19 – Straightback Chair





















75: Bluegrass Unlimited Podcast with Bob Black