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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.

Japanese Band Bluegrass 45 Celebrates 50 Years

     Hey Ted,

         This is an interesting piece. Interesting story about a band I never heard of. They sound pretty good, throwing some comedy into their act. I see that they are playing together at this years IBMA festival.  The duck shaped mandolin looks nice. Have they been together the whole time?

     It is interesting to see that Bluegrass is popular in Japan. Thanks for sharing.

Jim

Thanks for the comment, Jim. They have not been together the whole time. Two members live in the U.S. Most of them have busy, non-music careers, but they get together from time-to-time to perform. This celebration at IBMA should be terrific. The international appeal of bluegrass is a story well worth much greater attention.  - Ted

Saburu Watanabe Inoue resonded to a query I wrote him asking for a comment about bluegrass in Japan. He sent back the comment below, which he asked me to edit for English clarity. I hope I got it right. 

“An article on Bluegrass 45 was written by our dear friend, the late Denis Gainty, who passed away this Spring. He was teaching at Georgia State University while doing research on Japanese history and martial arts as well as jamming bluegrass.

While he was teaching English to kids in Japan, he found out that bluegrass had existed here since 1958. He made friends in the Japanese bluegrass community and started to think about why there was bluegrass in Japan.

I had a lot of great times with Denis, and one late night in Hokkaido, where were had traveled together for the Yakumo Bluegrass Fest, we agreed that the same spirits were found in bluegrass and samurai.

Bill Monroe, whose ancestry was Scottish, once said he saw the solo player as a hitter in the batter's box to be like the samurai warrior facing his enemies. It's the “Body and Soul” of bluegrass as well as the feeling of the trees swaying in the wind.”