you do, you have to apply effort to your trade.” With more than half a century of professional experience in the world of bluegrass, Doyle Lawson is more than qualified to pass judgement on whether the genre has retained its core values. “We have a lot of people that are aware and have stayed aware of the roots and the tradition of this music, but at the same time we all know that nothing stays the same. You have to be careful and try to figure out how to preserve the traditions of the music and keep that intact, but you have to do tunes that people can relate to today. You can never be 1946 or 1960 or whatever, those days are gone. The people that you’re trying to present your music to today, oddly enough some of these people have never even heard of Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and people like that. So if you want the music to continue on you try to move with the times yet keep the integrity of the music intact. “Keep your eye on the fact that there’s a tradition there and there are also boundaries within that that determine that it still is bluegrass. I’ve always been one that’s wanted to be innovative and I still am. But if you take it too far, and I’ve done things that probably some hardcore traditional people didn’t agree with, but I’ve never done anything with my music that stepped too wide of the mark that my peers or the first generation people didn’t do before I did. You have to be aware of the fact that you have to move along with the times and you have to sing songs that will appeal to people today. Don’t get me wrong, I love first generation music. Nothing thrills me more than hearing Little Cabin Home On The Hill but a lot of people today can’t relate. They don’t know what a little cabin home on the hill is! You try to keep the music intact, keep the tradition there, and yet stay in the current time. I try to do that with my music. There’s a way to do it.” The very qualities that Lawson mentions and his sage advice are seemingly where bluegrass has succeeded and country music has failed in recent years. “Country today is obviously not what it was thirty years ago, twenty years ago, whatever. The good thing about music is as a person I’m free to choose what appeals to me and to my ears. It’s not up to me to pass judgement on any type or style of current whatever. I like a lot of music but I hate noise, and sometimes when you turn on the radio you hear a lot of noise, but I don’t have to listen to that. My observation is that it’s become so formulated these days - they write about pretty much the same theme and every record you hear sometimes you can’t tell one from the other. It’s become a commercial, formulated package that obviously is selling to some people. I’m not saying it’s wrong, it’s just not for me.” Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver: Life Is A Story is out now.