Motorcycles, Minotaurs & Banjos:

A Modest Odyssey

Road Dog Publications 2023

Available in print, as an ebook with assorted hyperlinks, and as an audio book narrated by little old me.

This book is about twenty-one days, and sixty years. A motorcycle ride down the spine of Appalachia, with a little banjo and big myth for company, to play and sing at the graves of dead banjo heroes. About making a life about making work. This book is about outsiders. Interlopers. Class migrants. Death. Awakening. Creative Process. Growth through risk-taking. It’s a book about ghosts. Music. Writing. Not writing. What’s this book not about? “Finding myself.” I know who I am. 

Praise for…

A crazy idea, when it arises from passion’s fire, is always the best idea. “Motorcycles. Banjos. Graves.” Notionally, Steven Sherrill’s quest to visit the final resting places of his banjo heroes and play in homage is simple, private, quixotic. But his account proves the opposite: his is a complex journey that ends at the crossroads of the Appalachian region and the music it gave birth to, the author’s own history, the idea of the journey of each individual’s life, and the deep mysteries of creativity. He takes an odyssey into the nature of the odyssey itself. The dreamlike voice of Motorcycles, Minotaurs, & Banjos—funny, sharp, melancholic yet finally triumphant—is sui generis, as is this book. The ostensibly unrelated constituents of the pilgrimage it recounts fuse into an indivisible whole that is unlike any work of literature you will ever read. ––Melissa Holbrook Pierson, The Perfect Vehicle

{Motorcycles, Minotaurs, & Banjos} In which Steven Sherrill pays homage to the ghosts of Appalachian folk music and takes us on a thrilling journey to the heart of America. As in the best road trip stories, the goals become urgent and yet mysterious, the destination proves unexpected, and the answers show us questions that we didn’t even know we had. This volume sits on the shelf among the masters of the open road—Jack Kerouac, Cheryl Strayed, and Robert Persig. Hold it to your heart and get ready to find stillness amid constant motion, wisdom above the rumbling motor of a Royal Enfield 650, and shelter inside the quirkiest Airbnbs of all time. —Elizabeth Kadetsky, The Memory Eaters

Steve Sherrill really takes off on this one, a mystical ethereal illustrated journey down the Appalachian spine to visit the graves of America’s legendary folk banjo frailers. On the trail of some kind of personal equipoise through musical communion with these lost soloistshe finds their graves, peace offers figural totems, plunks out and sings their signature songs, rain or shine as day or night winds wail. Talk about ride sharing. Minotaurs, Motorcycles, & Banjos is an odyssey worth taking. Jerry Zolten, Great God A’Mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds

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