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Bluegrass Rambles

Everything you need to know about bluegrass, whatever that is

Ted is an IBMA-nominated music writer who travels to bluegrass festivals with his wife and picks guitar in as many jams as he can.

Bluegrass Rambles

Everything you need to know about bluegrass, whatever that is

Ted is an IBMA-nominated music writer who travels to bluegrass festivals with his wife and picks guitar in as many jams as he can.

Authenticity, Experience, and “Real” Bluegrass

I've been thinking about similar things for a while as well. The questions and demands that bluegrass/country should remain 'essentially' the same may wind up being futile. Things change, subcultures shift, etc. The music and arts of those subcultures must necessarily change too.

Having said that, there is a large value to keeping the music that Mr Monroe and others began, developed, etc. available to future generations not only as 'museum listening', but for cultural understanding and musical enrichment. No other style of music works in quite the same way as Bluegrass. Jazz is similar in several ways.

I guess once we put parameters on what the music must sound like or what the lyrics can/can't have in order to be 'true bluegrass', the death march of the genre has begun. At the same time, though I love Classical music, Jazz and blues/rock, they are not the same as bluegrass and vice versa.

Last caveat.. this genre has been around for 75ish years. That's a long time by today's standards, but it's not a very long time for a musical tradition. It would be interesting to see if recordings extend the life of styles. The 'Test of Time' phrase certainly means something different now than it did even 25 years ago.

Good conversation to be had here.

      Nice article Ted. Interesting ideas about  Bill Monroe,one of the starters of bluegrass. I never Knew that the Kingston Trio were bluegrass. But that song you put up sure sounds bluegrass. My Dad liked them and he took me to see them when I was real young. They were folk by then.

       I watched the IBMA awards tonight on Facebook. IBMA did the feed, it was real poor quality, Were they outside?  They just had one camera angle off to the side. Apparently they had lost a sponsor recently and could not  do a good quality show.  There was some good music. Flatt Lonesome won 3 awards, Vocal group of the year, Song of The Year and Album of the year. They did a couple of songs too. 

        Best Jim