Country Music People October 2017 - Page 17

Where is bluegrass at today? Although we are now able to place bluegrass music into three distinct generations - First generation: 1939 – 1954; Second generation: 1955 – 1986, and third generation 1987 - … ? I place a question mark and not a date because, personally, I have not witnessed any real watershed moments since the emergence of Alison Krauss. I’ve watched bluegrass as it moved from its farm-boy, testosterone-drenched, male dominated, boisterous beginnings to its more multi-sex, equitable, refined and, at times, genteel, academic, modern state. I have heard great musicians like, ex New Grass Revival member, Béla Fleck, place his banjo not only in bluegrass but also: jazz, pop, rock and even classical music settings (listen to the concerto, co-written by him with virtuoso bass player, Edgar Meyer, on the album, Perpetual Motion); Chris Thile and, what was to become, The Punch Brothers, did some amazing things when he too took a similar route. Then there was neoclassical bluegrass from the likes of The Johnson Mountain Boys in the 80s and 90s and now played by The Grasscals. There is jamgrass, and that generally used in the performing of what might be called, ‘new acoustic music,’ but unless someone out there can convince me otherwise, I am still looking forward to the next great step in the progress of bluegrass. All music types undergo modification, either from the effects social change or technological development. I’m eager to discover what’s in store for the music that has dominated my life – bluegrass. Catch up on your bluegrass with these 10 essential recordings... Act 1 The Seldom Scene The High, Lonesome Sound Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys J.D. Crow and The New South J.D. Crow and The New South The Stanley Brothers and The Clinch Mountain Boys The Stanley Brothers and The Clinch Mountain Boys Let the Whole World Talk The Johnson Mountain Boys Foggy Mountain Jamboree Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs Lonely Runs Both Ways Alison Krauss and Union Station Folk Songs and Bluegrass The Country Gentlemen How to Grow a Woman Chris Thile Wheatstraw Suite The Dillards OCTOBER 2017 - cmp 17