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Bluegrass Bandwagon

GUEST,guest 29 Mar 02 - 06:55 PM
Anahootz 29 Mar 02 - 07:37 PM
Rick Fielding 29 Mar 02 - 08:19 PM
lardingo 29 Mar 02 - 09:52 PM
Banjer 30 Mar 02 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,Fortunato on the road with Kyle Shiver 30 Mar 02 - 09:45 AM
Barbara Shaw 30 Mar 02 - 11:14 AM
kendall 30 Mar 02 - 11:23 AM
Barbara Shaw 30 Mar 02 - 11:34 AM
Mark Clark 30 Mar 02 - 11:58 AM
reggie miles 30 Mar 02 - 02:00 PM
Mark Clark 31 Mar 02 - 09:42 PM
Art Thieme 01 Apr 02 - 07:43 PM
Marion 01 Apr 02 - 09:53 PM
53 01 Apr 02 - 10:35 PM
Steve Latimer 01 Apr 02 - 10:48 PM
Lin in Kansas 02 Apr 02 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Vixen @ work 02 Apr 02 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,pdbanjo 25 Apr 02 - 02:51 PM
Jim Krause 25 Apr 02 - 03:03 PM
Steve Latimer 25 Apr 02 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 25 Apr 02 - 03:53 PM
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Subject: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 06:55 PM

Is anyone else disgusted by the influx of lame country-pop acts who have now decided they play bluegrass?


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Anahootz
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 07:37 PM

Well, I was more disgusted when some of these same act were pushed into country-pop by Nashville...

Marty Stuart ring a bell? Vince Gill? How 'bout Ricky Skaggs?

All started out as grassfreaks, but had every door in Nashville shut on them until they decided to play by the rules of the machine.

Don't be disgusted by the performers, be disgusted by the labels and by the consumers that didn't support the artists...


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 08:19 PM

Yes. Although I'm always glad to see musicians make a living, and it's nice that some veterans are getting mainstream recognition, I'm sad that so few current 'fans' have ever even heard traditional Bluegrass. Alison Krauss is a fine musician, but oh how I'd love to see more people take the time to check out Kenny Baker, Curly Ray Cline, or Paul Warren.

I've always been way 'over the top' in my protectiveness of Bluegrass, 'cause it's just so darn emotional to me.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: lardingo
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 09:52 PM

I don't really mind all that much. At least by being exposed to some of the instruments used in bluegrass, the general public might realize that there is more to a bluegrass musician's repertoirre than "Dueling Banjos."


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Banjer
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 02:13 AM

I'm afraid that Bluegrass is destined to follow in the path of the nickel coca cola. There used to be lots of Bluegrass music here but what passes for a 'public radio station' here has just about forced it out with their fund drives. Now the only bluegrass left is an occassional show which one has to travel a good distance to get to. With their fund raising the station has pushed bluegrass off the air and the reason for that,I think, is those of us who enjoy bluegrass (true bluegrass, not this new-age garbage) are like our Appalachian forefathers, not rich! Therefore available music has become has become synonymous with available money. It's unfortunate but I guess it's the way of the world today.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: GUEST,Fortunato on the road with Kyle Shiver
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 09:45 AM

what Rick said, only, shine the light on Charlie Waller with the Country Gentlemen, Bill Harrell and the Virginians, Tom Mindte with the Pawtuxent Partners, etc.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 11:14 AM

Most of the country acts doing bluegrass now are people who used to do bluegrass before. My taste is very traditional, and I take my bluegrass seriously so I hope they won't ruin it with their star syndrome. On the other hand, it's the music I love regardless of who does it, so if I hear good bluegrass on the radio (yeah, right, imagine that) I don't care who's doing it.

I was actually more upset with Alison Kraus giving up bluegrass to become a country/pop star or whatever genre it is that she does now. I remember seeing her at Strawberry Park bluegrass festival with Alison Brown playing banjo, and they were just two kids in jeans putting on a helluva show. I have no problem with them growing and experimenting musically, but I do miss the sounds they used to make.

As for jumping on the bluegrass bandwagon, this music begs people to jump aboard. It's all about participating, and probably the majority of people who attend a few bluegrass festivals eventually take up an instrument and join the bandwagon. The connotations of jumping aboard are different though, because there's rarely any serious money involved, so people do it for love, do it for community, do it for the music. Maybe those country/pop stars have the same motivation?


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: kendall
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 11:23 AM

Barbara, where I come from, women are not welcome in Bluegrass. That's why I'm FROM there.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 11:34 AM

I think that's changing as more and more women participate. I've never had a problem in Maine or elsewhere. But you know what? I'd still love the music if I was the only woman playing bluegrass.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Mark Clark
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 11:58 AM

Yes... what Rick and Fortunato said.

But as I've said here before, I originally got to real folk and traditional music because of the folk-like music I heard on the radio. Even though I don't listen to much of the country-pop material being hawked today, it will cause a curious few to follow the bread crumbs back to the real stuff.

Keep in mind that bluegrass has probably never been more popular than it is today. During the late fifties and early sixties, even Bill Monroe would put the band in a station wagon, tie the bass on top and drive to California for a one night stand. Bluegrass musicians never made a living until the festivals came into being in the late sixties.

Even in the forties and early fifties, the national audience for bluegrass was much smaller than it is today. We tend to think of those past times as the heyday of bluegrass but in reality the market has steadily grown over its history.

And don't forget Ralph (Joe) Meadows.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: reggie miles
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 02:00 PM

I had learned about a local bluegrass jam/open- stage/potluck event that had been happening in the neighborhood over ten years ago but hesitated checking it out as I wasn't playing much that would be considered bluegrass. When I inadvertently stumbled into a meeting that a group of bluegrass enthusiasts were having at a local folk fest a few years ago I asked someone associated with the same event if she thought that my instrumentation washboard, musical saw, homemade resophonic and rootsy musical background would fit in with what was happening there. I was rather surprised at her telling me flatly that my talents would not be welcome, but I figured, hey, it's their event and they can have whatever they wish happen there. Not wanting to tread where I wasn't wanted, I avoided it for a few more years.

A few months ago I was approached by the woman heading up the event. She had been listening to me at a new open stage that was happening at a local coffee house. She told how much she had enjoyed my performances there and I told her the story about the comments made to me by the woman at the meeting. She invited me to next event and I went to check it out for the first time since hearing of it all those years ago.

It was a fantastic event that took place in an huge old grange hall. Upon my arrival I found folks were jammed into every nook and cranny jamming up a bluegrass storm. Then, an impressive potluck seemed to appear as if from nowhere. After food sampling, the lights went off in the seating section and the open stage began. The bands, each one a powerhouse, all had tight harmonies and soloists that were stunning. I was blown away at the lineup of great band after great band occupying the stage all evening long.

A banjo player I had played with at the coffeehouse open stage asked if I was going to sign up to play that evening. I told him I couldn't possibly get up there alone and follow all those bands. So he rounded up a few loose jammers. We rehearsed a few minutes in the back room and before I knew it I was standing on stage as the last installment of the evening's open stage offerings with a whole host of grassy back up. Upright bass, banjo, mandolin, second guitar and harmony vocals joined me and my homemade Nobro. Not nearly as tight as what had been happening previously that evening but the audience was forgiving and applauded and hooted as wildly as they had for every other act. What an eye opener! I now wish I had started going to the event way back when I had first heard about it all those years ago. I guess I've jumped aboard the wagon but I have just slightly more blues in my grass.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Mark Clark
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 09:42 PM

Regie, Your experience doesn't surprise me at all. I'm glad to hear you finally went and had such a good time. The woman who discouraged you years ago may just have been anti-social or she may have been thinking of how you might fit into one of those tightly rehearsed groups.

A popular band in Chicago many years ago (The Piper Road Spring Band) featured many of the instruments you mention and did a show that was somewhat looser than you'd see in a big name bluegrass band and yet they were very popular with audiences. They were also very nice people.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Art Thieme
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 07:43 PM

Piper Road Spring Band (originally the Fiends Club Band) was from the Jefferson County area of Wisconsin S.E. of Madison on U.S. highway 12. All the years I played at the Green Dragon Inn in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, so did they. They were really liked by a guy named BILL MONROE (the one and only) who had them open for him quite a few times. As loose as they are and as tight as Bill's bands always had to be over the years, this might seem incongruous to many. But it was cool as hell I've always thought. P.R.S.B. had a washtub bass for a long time in the 70s. These days John Widdicomb plays a stand-up bass and original band member Bill Kangaroo always stroked a washboard. Bob Mason played (plays) a nice mandolin and Big Al Bila was and still is the fiddler. They are a great BAR BAND. Still loose as ever I've been told. And they just keep on keepin' on. I, for one, am real glad of that.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Marion
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 09:53 PM

Apparently there's a remastered version (whatever that means) of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" just recently released.

I wonder if this reissue is a response to the popularity of Oh Brother Where Art Thou.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: 53
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 10:35 PM

I have always loved Bluegrass but I never have mastered the art of good flatpickin. I can play the rythm so I'll just keep on tryin.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 10:48 PM

Marion,

It probably is in response to the success of O Brother, but thank goodness for that, it is one wonderful CD. It sure was influential in me getting interested in Bluegrass and Old Time music. Hopefully 10% of the people who bought the O Brother soundtrack will buy this one.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 03:02 AM

Well people--being from Kansas, home of the Winfield Acoustic Music Festival held the 3rd weekend in September each year, I can tell you that Bluegrass is alive and well in the Midwest. For anyone within even a "sorta reasonable" distance of Winfield (about 40 miles south of Wichita), I would highly recommend attending the Festival. I think most everybody who has would agree that the campground pickin' is just as good in many cases as the performers on the main stages.

Most states seem to have a bluegrass association of one sort or another. Ours holds "Pickin' Picnics" every month from April to October, hosts a great "Winter Fest" in February (held indoors for the last few years, in the Marriott Hotel, a very nice venue for this sort of thing).

The thing I like best about bluegrass is that people are usually enthusiastic about your joining in on jams. Granted, there are "purists" who think old country songs are anathema and will put their banjos up and leave if you sing one, but hey, that's their problem, right? And there are so many good BG songs out there that it won't hurt anyone to learn a few so they can join in. Great stuff; and some awesome musicians as well. Anyone heard Tommy Emmanuel?

Lin in Kansas


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: GUEST,Vixen @ work
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 08:52 AM

Well, anybody who's interested in jumping on and/or taking a ride on the bluegrass bandwagon, Shady Creek and Traver Hollow are playing a concert here at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT on 27 April at 7:00 pm. $10 a person.

Spoze I better post this to the what's on thread...

V


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: GUEST,pdbanjo
Date: 25 Apr 02 - 02:51 PM

The fact that Bluegrass remains a viable genre is because it is family oriented. It is passes down thru' generations within families not only within musically talented families but as a genre for pure listening pleasure. I remember as a kid my folks listened to big band swing and altho' I didn't appreciate it then, I do now that I'm ahem over 50. So if you want bluegrass to prevail, introduce your kids to it early in life. If they don't catch on to it then, maybe just maybe, they will when they have kids. I think there is no better band to bring 20 yr. olds into the realm of bluegrass than the band Vince Gill has taken under his wing to promote. That's the Nickel Creek band. Even tho' they are a bit over the top progressively they do promote the bluegrass genre. Record stores can't even catalogue them in a specific genre because bluegrass doesn't sell and they're to unhip to be labeled jazz. Grisman, Fleck and many others have had the same problem. Too bad the term bluegrass is so unsavory to the buying public. They're missing out on good family music and that's surely troubling in these troubled times. PS: I play texas swing on the banjo and not bluegrass for 2 reasons. One is, that I never learned how to play bluegrass ala Scruggs and early on in my career traditionalists scorned me. Secondly, Grassers don't make any money to speak of in the N.W.US unless they play in the progressive style. Texas swing ROCKS!!!


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Jim Krause
Date: 25 Apr 02 - 03:03 PM

Bluegrass is an unsavory term to the public because it hasn't had near the creative promotion that Col. Tom Parker gave to Elvis Presley. I'm convinced that if some very imaginative promoter, manager type came along, Bluegrass would be the hottest thing on top 40 radio.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 25 Apr 02 - 03:11 PM

Jim, although I love Bluegrass, I think that may be a stretch. Bluegrass has never recovered from "Deliverance".


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass Bandwagon
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 25 Apr 02 - 03:53 PM

I remember Charlie Daniels was playing backup for people like Leonard Cohen & others for a few years back in the 60s & 70s, then 'Devil Went Down to Georgia' hit and he's a pop star, now where is he? Still playing great music, I hope, to appreciative audiences.

The labels/agents/suits cause most of the trouble. I still do not like anything Peter, Paul and Mary EVER did, can't bear to listen, though they are each and every one fine musicians/singers, it just never rang true to me. Some agents/suits idea of a 'Folk Group'. Not a natural evolution of three people who had played together for years and found an audience.

Marketing.

That's what's happening to bluegrass re: O Brother. I guess it ends up being what kind of 'career' one wants to have. Play the music when and where you can, get paid if you can, because you love the music.

Or let some weasel 'smarten' you up and market you as the next Bill Monroe.

Or grow and change as a musician and play classical, like Dave Grisman, or jazz like Bela Fleck. I cannot stand the ridiculously repetitive licks of Fleck & the Flecktones, or Grisman's wierder pop/jazz stuff (do like the classical, though). Love thier traditional tunes and appreciate thier talent. Alison Krause may go that route. Hopefully not. Same with Riverdance fiddlers. Neo-New Age Celtic or the Pure Drop? No choice for me, but give the people what they are told they might want?


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