Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BLUEGRASSHOLELICS

bbelle 04 Oct 00 - 07:16 PM
GUEST 04 Oct 00 - 07:49 PM
Midchuck 04 Oct 00 - 07:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Oct 00 - 07:58 PM
bbelle 04 Oct 00 - 08:03 PM
Mark Clark 04 Oct 00 - 08:18 PM
RocketMan 04 Oct 00 - 08:25 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 09:05 PM
Nathan in Texas 04 Oct 00 - 09:41 PM
rangeroger 04 Oct 00 - 09:52 PM
bbelle 04 Oct 00 - 10:08 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 04 Oct 00 - 10:35 PM
bbelle 04 Oct 00 - 11:00 PM
John Hardly 04 Oct 00 - 11:33 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 04 Oct 00 - 11:38 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 04 Oct 00 - 11:47 PM
ddw 05 Oct 00 - 12:04 AM
kendall 05 Oct 00 - 08:47 AM
JedMarum 05 Oct 00 - 09:01 AM
Steve Latimer 05 Oct 00 - 09:37 AM
bbelle 05 Oct 00 - 09:42 AM
mousethief 05 Oct 00 - 11:32 AM
catspaw49 05 Oct 00 - 11:55 AM
mousethief 05 Oct 00 - 12:05 PM
Steve Latimer 05 Oct 00 - 12:17 PM
kendall 05 Oct 00 - 01:10 PM
Lonesome EJ 05 Oct 00 - 01:16 PM
kendall 05 Oct 00 - 01:41 PM
Wesley S 05 Oct 00 - 03:46 PM
catspaw49 05 Oct 00 - 03:59 PM
bbelle 05 Oct 00 - 04:10 PM
Rick Fielding 05 Oct 00 - 04:19 PM
MK 05 Oct 00 - 04:34 PM
Mark Clark 05 Oct 00 - 05:05 PM
Bev and Jerry 05 Oct 00 - 08:03 PM
Art Thieme 05 Oct 00 - 09:22 PM
guinnesschik 05 Oct 00 - 10:03 PM
Sorcha 05 Oct 00 - 10:17 PM
catspaw49 05 Oct 00 - 10:28 PM
Mark Clark 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,the same guest 05 Oct 00 - 11:00 PM
Art Thieme 06 Oct 00 - 11:29 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Oct 00 - 11:48 AM
Kim C 06 Oct 00 - 01:29 PM
Ebbie 06 Oct 00 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Arnie 06 Oct 00 - 02:17 PM
Bev and Jerry 06 Oct 00 - 03:15 PM
bbelle 06 Oct 00 - 03:21 PM
Geoff the Duck 07 Oct 00 - 11:09 AM
Frankham 07 Oct 00 - 03:00 PM
Mark Clark 09 Oct 00 - 10:49 AM
Ebbie 09 Oct 00 - 05:44 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: bbelle
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:16 PM

I love bluegrass ... I love to sing, play it, and listen and watch others sing and play it. I love the old tunes and the new tunes. And I like most of the people I've met who feel the same as I.

I have wondered for a while, though, as to what makes a bluegrass tune a bluegrass tune?

Is it the way a tune is written?

Is it the lyrics or the music or both?

Is it the way it's sung or played?

Can you take any tune and make it into a bluegrass tune by following a simple formula?

Never having been one to be wishy-washy, I certainly have my own ideas on the above, but I'd like to hear yours.

moonjen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:49 PM

1 it has mandolin on it
2 it can be played really fast
3 everyone is wearing hats
4 everyone is hovering around one mike
5 BILL MONROE ever touched the song
6 it sounds like Irish music with a southern twang
7 someone is singing ridiculously high and lonesome
8 less than six chords probably no more than three
9 If it has ever been played in Kentucky
10 if the singer wants beef steak, whiskey, and sweet heaven when he dies
if the song has 8 to 10 of these traits IT'S BLUEGRASS
5 to 7 more than likely
4 or below it aint unless it was written by #5


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Midchuck
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:54 PM

You forget Tapscott's Criterion:

You Cannot Play the Bluegrass Music Without the Five-String Banjo.

Peter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:58 PM

A record I've always been fond of is one I've got with the Charles River Valley Boys taking on a range of Beatles songs. Made in 1966.

I suspect there are lots of bluegrass purists who'd say that doesn't count. Sounds pretty good to me. In the tradition, I'd call it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: bbelle
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:03 PM

Peter ... c'mon, show your "stuff!" I know you can do it.

MoH ... thanks, you get the idea.

Guest ... you don't have a clue.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Mark Clark
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:18 PM

That's an interesting question, moonjen. A great many tunes have become bluegrass standards that didn't start out as either bluegrass, old-timey or country tunes. some that come to mind are:

Fox On The Run --- Manfred Mann.
The Bells of St. Mary's --- movie theme.
Limehouse Blues --- old jazz standard.

McGrath, you posted before I finished or I'd have added a reference to that album. My copy still has the $0.97 price tag on it from Rose Discount Records on Chicago's Wabash Ave.

A tune often crosses into the bluegrass genre when a banjo player or mandolin player gets inspired and decides to work it up. Once it's been "ported" the other band members can build on it pretty easily.

I'll be interested to see how many other people come up with.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: RocketMan
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:25 PM

I've not been one to worry too much about whether a tune was Bluegrass or not. A quick, off the top of my head answer is anything played and/or sung in the style of Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys and Bill's contemporaries such as Flatt and Scruggs, Stanleys, etc. This definition leaves a lot of room to maneuver. Oh yes, count me as a Bluegrassholelic too!

RMan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:05 PM

The Dillards and the Greenbriar Boys. I don't know. Are they officially "bluegrass" or some beautiful bastardized version? Doesn't matter. I love them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Nathan in Texas
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:41 PM

Don't remember who said it, but I've always liked this definition. "Bluegrass is music that's too fast to pick and to high to sing"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: rangeroger
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:52 PM

Other songs can become bluegrass songs if they are played that way.

IE: Pink Floyd's " Dark Side of the Moon" as done by the Austin Lounge Lizards.

rr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: bbelle
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 10:08 PM

But ... back to the original question: What component(s) make it, thus? In your opinion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 10:35 PM

Is the extra LE in the thread title on purpose to spell the word ASSHOLE in the middle of BLUEGRASSHOLELICS?

Rich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: bbelle
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:00 PM

I just spelled it the way Rick did. Shudda figured ... Rick cain't spell worth sheet.

So, to answer your question, no, it wasn't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: John Hardly
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:33 PM

There's a certain tradition in the WAY it's played that 1. makes strangers be able to play it together (not unlike folk dances that people can participate in as complete strangers and end up COMMUNITY). 2.carries over as a common thread even in the newest of newgrass--we know to what Bela, Sam, Tony, Mike etc. are connected. We can't DO it but we know from where it comes.

That didn't make any sense...I'm gonna come back to this and try again later--I know what I feel just can't say it right.

John millring Hardly


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:38 PM

If you don't know what makes a bluegrasss tune a bluegrass tune, there is just no point in trying to explain it to you;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:47 PM

Actually, Moonjen, I thought that Guest's response was right in line with a number of similar definitions of types of music that have appeared here, blues, folk, country...and it was intended as humorous. If Guest was a visitor trying to find kindred souls--as most of us were at one time--your response might have seemed cold and even contemptuous.

--seed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: ddw
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:04 AM

Jen, I'm sure you know where the name came from, but I interviewed Bill Monroe about 25 years ago and asked him that question. What he told me was that he took a lot of old-time tunes and altered the chord patterns to put in a lot of relative minors, sevenths and "jazz chord" to give them a different sound. I may be mistaken on this, but my recollection is that the original Bluegrass Boys did not have a 5-string banjo in them; the instruments were mandolin, guitar, fiddle and bass. I think Earl Scruggs was Bill's first 5-string player, but he wasn't there at the start.

Another characteristic of "traditional" Bluegrass is that the vocals are either a high, floating solo voice (like Bill's) or, if there are harmonies, they are high and "tight" — i.e. not the conventional tenor-baritone-bass spread of groups such as barbershop quartets. Maybe somebody who knows more music theory than I do can give you a better definition of "tight" harmony.

As for your spelling — I think it's appropriate to most practitioners of the are I've run into. I love to listen to the music, but I haven't tried to play it for years because I have been physically blocked out of jam sessions for not playing the style well enough to suit the players. Come to think of it, I wouldn't be too happy if a 5-string picker jumped into a lot of my blues tunes, but I'm not sure I would be that rude.

cheers,

david


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: kendall
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 08:47 AM

Almost any song or tune can be played bluegrass style. The main thing that makes it bluegrass is how the instruments are played. In the old time string bands, they all played in unison all through the piece. In bluegrass, each instrument is featured in a "break" It makes the piece more interesting. Its called Bluegrass simply because Bill Monroe, the originator of this style is from Kentucky.
I too, like Bluegrass, up to a point. But, when they start with "My Martin is louder than your Gibson" I'm gone.
A friend once decsribed bluegrass as sounding like a popsicle stick in a bicycle wheel. It does get that way when they all try to out slam each other and start attcking the instruments instead of playing them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 09:01 AM

People occasionally accuse our Celtic band of having a bluegrass sound. I generally thank them for the compliment!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 09:37 AM

Moonjen,

I thought that Guests answer was very appropriate and humorous.

Don't know what makes it 'Grass, but I sure like it.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had the audacity to have drums on their Will The Circle Be Unbroken releases. Sounded mighty fine to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: bbelle
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 09:42 AM

I never said I don't know what bluegrass is. I asked for your opinion of what it is. Nevermind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:32 AM

Once at the venerable Pacific Northwest Arts and Crafts fair (aka "the Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair"), I heard a bluegrass combo play "I've Just Seen a Face" and it sounded VERY bluegrassy. That was my first exposure to bluegrass and it left a very good impression.

I wish somebody would answer the technical question about the harmonies. My wife and I were listening to my CD of Flatt & Scruggs Greatest Hits and she said, "yeah, that's the sound" when they were singing in harmony. But we couldn't really say WHAT the sound consisted of. We just knew it when we heard it.

Falling, yes I am falling,
And she keeps calling me back again
--Lennon & McCartney

Alex
O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:55 AM

Hey MT....Arlo and his band did a 'Grassy rendition of that too. I think it was at a Wolftrap gig in the late 70's.

BTW....Am I the only one who thinks of some of the slow, High Lonesome, and mournful kind of Bluegrass songs too?

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:05 PM

No, Spaw, you're not the only one. I almost quoted "How Sweet to Be Remembered" instead of "I've Just Seen a Face" for my closing tag. But I can't remember as many of the words.

Alex
O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:17 PM

"Spaw,

I'm with you on the mournful stuff. Willow Garden, Rank Stangers, How I Long to See The Old Folks being some of my favourite bluegrass songs.

Arlo did his Bluegrass version of I've Just Seen A Face on the same Album as Reuben Clamso (Definately not a Bluegrass song). I believe it the album is called One Night. Really enjoyed the album. I had it on Cassette and tried to find it the other day to no avail. I'd love to hear it again.

And Rich, Bluegrasholelics is a Fieldingism. Another thread referred to Bluegrass snobs as Bluegrassholes, Rick took it from there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: kendall
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:10 PM

What makes bluegrass music what it is, is not a matter of opinion. Re read my post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:16 PM

I'm not sure that Bluegrass is always defined by the instrumentation,but there is that sound,the high harmonies,one voice singing high melody,the other ringing above it.The Louvin Bros,the Everlys,Jim and Jesse,they all had that high lonesome harmony that made almost all their work(even Cathy's Clown by Don and Phil) sound Bluegrass.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: kendall
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:41 PM

the "high lonesome sound" is another aspect of Bluegrass, but, you could use that in almost any song. Its the instrumentation mainly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 03:46 PM

I can't remember where I first heard it but someone said that "if the woman is still alive at the end of the song then it's not bluegrass".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 03:59 PM

LMAO Wes!!!!!!!! Completely lost it ............

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: bbelle
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 04:10 PM

"Knoxville Girl" a classic and one of my favorites.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 04:19 PM

I didn't coin the word used in the title here. The word I used was:

Bluegrassholeaholics.

Perhaps harder to spell or pronounce, but that's what it was.

Old time country music, acoustic blues, and Bluegrass music mean so much to me that I rarely can find the words (amazing!!) to describe what I feel when listening.

Kendall (unlike soooo many) actually has defined one of the real distinguishing characteristics of this music. Like Jazz, the ensemble plays (or sings) the melody and then the soloists (often) improvise over the chord pattern. Always keep in mind though, that it was the fans (mainly players) who NAMED it "Bluegrass". ALL the first generation practitioners just called it "country" music.

While laying the floor in my music shed, I've been listening to tapes of Flatt and Scruggs, Stanleys, Reno and Smiley, Monroe, The Sauceman Brothers, Jim and Jesse, Red Allen, and the Osbornes. Amazing! The good stuff stays sooo fresh. By the way, "speed" is NOT a major component in Bluegrass...if you listen to a lot of it. Monroe tended to do many of his instrumentals lightening fast, but generally there are far more medium tempo songs in the whole repertoire than really fast ones.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: MK
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 04:34 PM

I think Bluegrass is to Country music, what Dixieland is to Jazz.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 05:05 PM

Michael, That's a really good point. Bluegrass, in 1945, was to country music what beebop was to swing (or dixieland to early jazz). Interestingly, they both (bluegrass and beebop) came into being at about the same time.

Of course today, country is to bluegrass as Kenney G. is to Miles or Diz or Bird.

Cheers,

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 08:03 PM

If bluegrass is defined by the instrumentation, it's not the instruments themselves but the way they're played. That's why banjo and fiddle contests typically have separate categories for bluegrass and old time banjo, the same for fiddle.

Also, bluegrass of the forties (Louvin Brothers, Osborne brothers etc.) is a far different thing than bluegrass of the twenty first century so it's hard to generalize about it.

Finally, close or tight harmony is universally sung in thirds by two (or more) people whose voices are similar in range and timber and who have similar speech patterns. That's why they're often brothers or people who've been married forever.

Bev and Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 09:22 PM

Bill Monroe's banjo player with the original group was one DAVID AKEMAN (better known to country music fans as STRINGBEAN). Sting played old-timey style --sort of--frailing with some picking. Not fluid at all. Lester Flatt said that Stringbean, as good a fellow as he was, just couldn't keep up with the pace. He was a drag on the whole band. When they found the flowing and rolling notes that Earl Scruggs had incorporated into his finished product-- his style-- they simply had to add him to the band. He, even more than Bill some say, defined the bluegrass sound. Bill was the dictator-businessman that was needed to hold things on the right notch musically and artistically while probably being stubborn and pigheaded enough to demand things be done THE RIGHT WAY---his way---Monroe's way.

THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY---according to Bill.

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: guinnesschik
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:03 PM

Like any question about "what makes it so," Bluegrass is more felt than heard. It has to do with the technical side of the music, but the true answer lies in the spirit of the music. And moonjen, *G* I know you feel it, so quit tryin' to rationalize, and pick that gee-tar!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:17 PM

Here is an idea for the pot, prompted by something above.

In "usual" harmony, ie, choral or barbershop, the high lead tenor (or soprano) has the melody. In Bluegrass, the tenor may have the melody, but the "high" tenor harmony is above the lead..........(eh?) I don't know, I just recognize the sound.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:28 PM

Just following up on Art's post.....

Awhile back when we were discussing origins of types of music we said then that in many things its difficult to point out an exact moment. But in Bluegrass, when Earl Scruggs joined Bill Monroe......that was the precise moment that "Bluegrass" began.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 PM

No question, what eventually became known as the bluegrass sound was defined by the Blue Grass Boys of late 1945. Still, how would things have turned out if Don Reno, Monroe's first choice, had not been drafted but instead became the band's banjo player. Without Bill, would Earl have worked it all out on his own? Would Don's playing have captured the nation's attention in the same way that Earl's did?

And surely we don't want to diminish the role of Chubby Wise in the band. He was as much an innovator on the fiddle as either Bill or Earl on their instruments. It sure wouldn't have been "bluegrass" with Brother Birch on the fiddle.

Questions to ponder.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: GUEST,the same guest
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:00 PM

I know how that LE got in there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 11:29 AM

Don Reno developed his own style. That led to the development of BILL KEITH - who Bill Monroe insisted call himself "Brad" in Monroe's band. Brad was Keith's middle name. because Monroe would not allow two 'Bills' to be in the band. HE and only he was BILL.

Renos playing his rolls with almost all melody notes (on occasion) set the stage for Keith to develop his all melody note style for fiddle tunes on the banjo in his arrangement of songs like "Devil's Dream" etc.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 11:48 AM

One of my favourite Bluegrass stories is how StringbeanS (nobody gets that right) was hired by Bill. The Bluegrass Boys took their baseball team almost as seriously as their music. (despite being cross-eyed, Bill was a very good player) String was a long lanky fastball pitcher and was hired to replace the tenor banjoist (Jim somebody...I forget) in the band, but mostly to be the pitcher. Now guitarist Clyde Moody (thumbpick and index pick) was also a good ball player, but in those photos, chubby little Chubby Wise did NOT look like an athelete. Ten to one he was hired for his fiddle!

Regrding Earl's developement. Radio transcripts from his work with Wiley and Zeke Morris sure would indicate that his style was totally formed when he joined Bill. The Morris Brothers played slower, but Earl's "bluegrass chops" were THERE!

Perhaps the most under-rated banjoist in this style is Eddie Adcock. To bluegrass fans he's certainly well-known but it was HE who taught RENO the sigle string work (not the other way around, as some have implied). Keith popularized the "melodic style" with his recording of "Devil's Dream", but Bobby Thompson was playing that style years earlier with Jim and Jessie (when they'd let him!). Bill Keith had a much higher profile...not when he was with Monroe, but because he was a Northerner, played with Kweskin, and was friends with the folks at Sing-Out Magazine. Thompson became a session guy and hence pretty obscure. Remember the great banjo theme from Hee Haw? That was Thompson in all his glory!

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Kim C
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 01:29 PM

A few years ago here in NAshville there was a band called Run C&W, and their shtick was that they dressed like rappers and played old R&B songs bluegrass-style. The scary part was, They Were REALLY Good. Now, these were well-seasoned musicians and songwriters, so they knew what they were doing. I guess it was sort of a joke, but like I said, They Were REALLY Good. Bernie Leadon of the Eagles was their banjo player.

Also our local Vanderbilt station (WRVU-91) has a bluegrass show every Sunday from 2-4 Central time. I have heard a lot of non-bluegrass songs get turned into bluegrass and the funny thing is that 9 times out of 10 it seems to work really well.

Maybe, as Run C&W used to say, that's the way God meant it to be played. :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 01:59 PM

I love bluegrass and to me, one of the best moments in a jam is when somebody says, Now let's 'grass it up, and swings into a rollicking and fresh approach to a familiar song or tune. I love the harmonies in bluegrass too, so different - not necessarily better, but different- from the standard alto, tenor, bass...

Tonight we won't have our normal jam at my home because our favorite bluegrass group from Fairbanks will be playing at a local bar tonight and Saturday. Pleasure.

Ebbie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 02:17 PM

I love listening and watching good bluegrass players. I look for impeccable timing, tasteful and creative licks with exceptional playing technique. I don't go for the suits and ties, and the fast playing turns me off completely if it's sloppy. Sometimes the singing and playing is too darn good, (which I find can be overdone)and that also turns me off. Of course I play old time music, and go for a more natural style of singing and playing without the flash - which suits me just fine. When people ask me what kind of music I play, I have to tell them it's sort of like bluegrass, and for you Bluegrassholics, check out the Oct. issue of Bluegrass Unlimited - I was told that our new CD has had a review in there. Cheers, Arnie Naiman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 03:15 PM

The difference betweeen bluegrass and old time is that when a bluegrass band starts a song, they all know it. When an old time band finally stops, they all know it!

Bev and Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: bbelle
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 03:21 PM

Ebbie ... you know I'm from Fairbanks ... which group is it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 07 Oct 00 - 11:09 AM

Speaking as an outsider to the world of bluegrass, the big difference to me is that when I play a 5-string banjo I start with a tune. I have listened hard and long to what bluegrass bajo players produce, and I still cannot work out where their tune actually comes from. I have had instuctional books out of the library written by excellent bluegrass banjo players and they never actually mention a tune - all they talk about is "licks" which they seem to be teling you to use instead of a tune.
Blowed if I an work it out!
Old Timey mountain banjo on the other hand made perfect sense from the day I stopped trying to follow Pete Seeger's "Basic stroke" and discovered that clawhammer is how a banjo works.
Quack!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Frankham
Date: 07 Oct 00 - 03:00 PM

I admire bluegrass musicians and singers very much. What I have a question about is a current "bluegrass attitude" which excludes all other forms of music. I see bluegrass as a popularized form of string band music which emantes from the early country music of the 20's. It has it's roots as does jazz or any other form in earlier forms. I notice though, to my dismay, that there are few if any African-American bluegrass musicians. What does this say about a "bluegrass attitude"? There is sometimes a suggestion of racism (sometimes overt) that comes from members of the bluegrass community which makes me wonder if the attitude toward the music itself might not be some kind of "backlash".

And yet it's debt to the tradition of African-American music is unmistakeable.

Frank

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Mark Clark
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 10:49 AM

I'm sure there is some backlash. I know several people who love most forms of traditional music but won't play or listen to bluegrass (or country) because they feel it's too closely associated with political and social attitudes they find abhorrent. Others, myself included, try to look past those things and embrace only the music.

I remember attending the large bluegrass festivals in the late sixties and early seventies. It was a time when long haired young people were sometimes brutalized and shorn by insecure rednecks. Still, hippies and rednecks could attend a bluegrass festival without the slightest tension. They listened and jammed together and even helped each other deal with the, often spartan, accomodations. No one talked about social or political issues, they just played music.

These days I'm usually too busy to get far afield but the bluegrass players here in eastern Iowa aren't rednecks and have no tendancy to exclude people. Bluegrass festivals here aren't too rigid. The same players might be in a hard core jam in the morning and sitting in a folk song circle that afternoon. Being a bluegrass festival, bluegrass music predominates but we don't see many folks with bad attitudes toward other players.

I agree that bluegrass music is way too white even when there is no intended descrimination. Isn't it odd that American whites feel drawn to the music of other ethnicities but the reverse is not necessarily true.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BLUEGRASSHOLELICS
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 05:44 PM

Moonjen, it's Northern River in their current lineup. Carl Hoffman, the lead, is originally -back in the 60's- from New Jersey. Joe Page is a hot mando player from Anchorage, originally from Boston. Gary Markley, also from Anchorage, plays 3-finger banjo and Gary Schultz, the bass player, is from Fairbanks, I think. Great sound, and very popular in Juneau. They all jammed here Saturday afternoon, before that evening's gig along with about 10 others and we had a great time.

Incidentally, there's an up and coming Fairbanks bluegrass group, called 'Clark County', all 3 guys in their early 20's, who have gone back to the sharing-one-mike approach. Carl Hoffman (above) often plays guitar with them and they are really HOT. They're disbanding for the moment while one of them goes for his Master's, but keep an ear out for them.

Ebbie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 13 November 2:50 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.