Country Music People October 2017 - Page 15

The Country Gentlemen in 1971: Jimmy Gaudreau, Bill Yates, Charlie Waller & Bill Emerson. What kind of effect did its new, wider audience have on bluegrass? The move into the world of folk music, peopled by urban college students and city-dwellers, had a positive effect on bluegrass. Whereas the exhilaration of acoustic banjos and fiddles played at breakneck speed excited and pleased them (They had, after all, been told first, by folklorist, Alan Lomax and then Pete Seeger, that bluegrass was folk music,), the northern urbanites could not always identify with the down-home, cracker-barrel way in which Southerners’ presented bluegrass music. Those same down- home southerners, who preferred to remain as bluegrass musicians rather than work in the mines or the textile mills, grabbed the life-line and soon learned the requirements of this new urban, folk music ‘market.’ Cross fertilisation began, as the original southern bluegrass pickers included, more overtly, folk material into their sh