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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.

Where Is Bluegrass Headed?

   What is Bluegrass?  It is banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar and bass.   Bluegrass has gone back to banjo,mandolin and fiddle being the main instruments playing lead parts in bands. Still a good amount of guitar,like Mollie Tuttle and Buddy Robertson, but not as much as in the days of Tony Rice.  Bluegrass still has that twangie sound, thanks to the banjo and mandolin. Keep on pickin'

Jim

I think a large part to the answer of that question is the audience. Just like other forms of roots music, it is an aging demographic that, while still being able to attract a younger audience, will nevertheless decline. That certainly doesn't mean that the genre will fade away, but I think that the festival circuit that you travel and cover so well here at ND does have a certain life expectancy. And if that goes, it'll reduce the opportunities for both fans and musicians. What we don't see in our crystal ball is what event might transpire to change that outcome. All it takes is another 'O Brother'-like film and it can quickly regain some of it's past glories and popularity. 

And yet my 20 year old daughter bought herself a banjo and is taking lessons.  She's going to a bluegrass Festival with us in Lincoln, NE in May.  Granted these are newer and hipper groups; Greensky Bluegrass, Mandolin Orange, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades and Devil Makes Three.