Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hooray for Bluegrass

Bluegrass is probably my favorite genre of music--unless you count the Grateful Dead as it's own special genre (which it is).  But, if you lump the Grateful Dead in with the rest of the jam-band rock that is out there then bluegrass is most certainly the winner.  
I just the other night realized that I can even remember the first time I thought bluegrass might be really awesome and that I should look into it a little further.  I heard a peppy song (about biodiesel oddly enough) called Well-Oiled Machine by a contemporary bluegrass band called Hot Buttered Rum.  It was included on a CD that we got for free through a magazine subscription that we received for free because we'd bought tickets to a music festival. (Whew!) I'd never heard of the band before and to my recollection I'd never really heard bluegrass before...or if I had it certainly hadn't made much of an impression on me.
And from that rather chance encounter with that one catchy song my deep admiration of bluegrass would be born.
There is something about all those strings that makes my spirit soar!  It makes me feel so good I am radiating with joy and spirit.
I like the whole spectrum of bluegrass from the very, very traditional such as the music from Bill Monroe and Lester Flatts, to the very, very progressive, from groups like Railroad Earth, Bela Fleck, and Yonder Mountain String Band.  The warmth of the strings, the beauty of the harmonies, the freestyling improvisation, the speed of those fingers flying over the strings--I find it all just extraordinary and enthralling!  Especially the fiddle.  Oh, how I love the fiddle.
As such, I am so glad that we've got a number of excellent local bluegrass bands to listen to around here. In fact, the local bluegrass scene is keeping my dancin' shoes hopping two weeks in a row.  It makes me oh so happy.  Just what the doctor ordered.

(These photos were from Sunday night's triple bluegrass show:  Maverick String Stretchers (local),  Ted Ness & The Rusty Nails (local), and The Blackberry Bushes touring from Seattle, WA.)


  1. I love bluegrass! And, always have loved it. I like the breakdowns. Did these groups play Under the Double Eagle? It was written as a march tune by Wagner early in the 20th century. Foggy Mountain Breakdown was written by Scruggs, I believe. You have chosen a great genre. Those two are my favorites.

    A friend played the five-string banjo and the fiddle. Of course, he played expertly any stringed instruments. I went to many festivals where he played. There were no drums or screaming guitars!

    I am glad you discovered this genre.

    1. They did not play Under the Double Eagle (at least not this night, but the String Stretcher may have in the past....)but that is a grand tune. Yes, breakdowns!

      I am SO glad that CD crossed my path and led me to find the genre. I was trying to ask Matt if he could remember when that was and he thinks it was 2006. To think I had so many years before bluegrass!!

  2. I've got a mandolin you can have if you want to learn to play it. Nuttin' fancy mind you.

    I like bluegrass too. In my world it is all intertwined with old time gospel as that is how I heard it growing up. I like the more progressive stuff too.

    1. Really? You don't play it? Hmmmm....I wonder how much it would cost to ship it....

      Yes! I love the spiritual nature of those gospel bluegrass tunes. Some of my peers do not care for this end of the genre, but it makes me feel all full inside. The progressive end is really wonderful too though, and I hear much more of it live than I do that traditional. I cannot help but dance! Oh joy!


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