Hi friends! In this video, I talk about what distinguishes bluegrass music from folk-influenced rock/pop, as well as what distinguishes it from old-time music.
And here’s the listening list I promised:
Classics and Modern Classics
Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys – Little Maggie
Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys – Uncle Pen
Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard – The One I Love Is Gone
Del McCoury Band – Nashville Cats
Dolly Parton – Travelin’ Prayer (This video is hilarious! Great performance. And yes, to the haters: I know this is a Billy Joel song. But Dolly’s version is straight-up bluegrass.)
New Grass Revival – Can’t Stop Now
Alison Krauss & Union Station – Oh Atlanta
Here’s what it sounds like when rock and pop influences are conscientiously introduced into bluegrass by pickers who are deeply rooted in the bluegrass tradition. Hear how it’s radically different from the classic stuff, but the instrumental playing is still very much based on how the more traditional bands play?
Compare this to jam bands that may casually be called “bluegrass” but might really be incorporating folk influences into rock and pop music, rather than the other way around. (It’s worth noting that the musicians above don’t necessarily market these recordings as “bluegrass,” either.)