Bidgood, Lee. 2017. Czech Bluegrass: Notes From The Heart Of Europe. University of Illinois Press.

                   192 pages, 6 x 9 in.  Series: Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World

Watch: Promotional video

Listen: Interview with Lee on the New Books Network podcast

“Lee Bidgood is the first person to do a serious accounting of the forces, political and artistic, that have contributed to the popularity of this outlier music in this unlikely locale. By putting himself in the narrative, he gives us an up-close and personal sense of the various aspects of the bluegrass and old-time music wave that has swept across the Czech and Slovakian musical landscapes for years—and still counting.”

                                                            -Tony Trischka, from the foreword


 Review by Philip Nusbaum, Journal of Folklore Research, 1/2018

 Review by Irena Přibylová, Narodopisná Revue, 2/2018

 Review by Tom Dickins, The Slavonic and East European Review, 7/2018

 Review by Katy Leonard, Journal of American Folklore, Summer 2019

Selected Articles

“…increase and diminish the tone”: The Banjo-Mandolin Hybrids as Instrument of Control"

* Article in progress *

Presented at the Banjo Gathering , November 2022. I am eager to hear what folks think, and if y'all hav eany comments, suggestions - please contact me via this site - Thanks!

Bidgood, Lee. 2019. "Believing and Singing: Translating Songs of Faith in the Czech Republic," in Od Folkloru k world music: Hudba a Spiritualita, Irena Přibylová and Lucie Uhlíková, eds.  Náměšt' nad Oslavou: Městské kulturní středisko, pp. 246-262.

Czech and English mix in worship on Sunday morning with the Církev Bratrska Prague 6 congregation - this article contrasts this kind of translation with that done by Czech bluegrassers in their "gospel" singing.

Bidgood, Lee. 2018. "The Americanist Imagination and Real Imaginary Place in Czech Bluegrass Songs,” Popular Music and Society 41:4 (390-407).

 "Czechs have inscribed "real imaginary" elements of Americana on their landscape, articulating an imagined "Amerika" in translated, newly-created, and recontextualized bluegrass songs that reveal a playful blurring of boundaries between what is American and what is Czech."

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the journal Popular Music and Society available online:

Bidgood, Lee.  “Bill Monroe and Czech Bluegrassers: Imagination and the Production of Place in Music,” Bluegrass and Old Time Country Music: Buried Roots of Early Days [a special edition of the  International Journal of Country Music] (Winter 2016) 23-46.

"Bluegrass' appeal  ... is based in a sense of place that is to a significant degree constructed and/or imagined. In seeking to understand the connections between place and imagination, I provide an alternative to essentializing narratives of heritage and place-identity that have accrued to bluegrass in its relatively short history."

Other Academic Writing