Sunday, October 05, 2008

Are you bluegrass curious?

Tired of the same old country and rock? Looking for something new? Why not give bluegrass a shot?

It's folky without being maudlin. It features great technical playing without sacrificing its downhome soulfulness. It's got those wonderful close harmonies. And it's a truly independent music scene. (There's not much money in bluegrass.)

Today's bluegrass sales pitch is prompted by a great bluegrass mix over at Stranger Dance. Check it out! It's just about the right size for CD and makes for some nice autumnal listening. My little girl and I had it on the car radio yesterday on our way to go apple picking. Good stuff. (Anybody need a ton of fresh-picked Michigan apples?)

Now enjoy some great old bluegrass from some of the giants of the genre:

The Dillards - Dooley (buy). Read about The Dillards at AMG.

Ralph Stanley - Rank Stranger (buy). I've always loved this one.

Doc Watson - My Rose Of Old Kentucky (buy). Read about this great album.

The Osborne Brothers - Down In The Willow Garden (buy). You can't have a bluegrass post without at least one murder ballad.

The Country Gentlemen - Fox On The Run (buy). For sentimental reasons, this is probably my favorite bluegrass song. My daughter's too. My son prefers Rocky Top. Can't argue with that.

Bill Monroe - Rocky Road Blues (buy) Read more about the Father of Bluegrass over at Old Blue Bus.

If you're intrigued but not sure where to get started, check out this post by Brendan (from The Rising Storm) about The Essential Bluegrass Discography.


boyhowdy said...

Nice stuff here, as always, Paul. To my immense wonderment, bluegrass is my childrens' favorite style of music. Thanks, on their behalf and mine, for some stellar tracks, and the linkage to that wonderful mix.

Stranger Jay said...

Thanks for the shoutout, and I'm glad you liked the mix Paul - you've picked some great bluegrass cuts yourself.

Always love to see a little bluegrass love in the blogosphere

halfpear said...

"Fox on the Run" was originally by Manfred Mann, if you can imagine that! Somewhere along the line, bluegrass absorbed the song.

Paul said...

For years I thought the bluegrass version was first, because I learned it that way and it just sounds like it was always meant to be a bluegrass song. I was really surprised when I learned that the Manfred Mann version was not a cover.

Vaughn said...

I'm always taken back by the fact the some people have to be coerced into listening to Bluegrass. It's always been a part of my life and what's not to like?
I can be a bit of a snob about it though: 1)There's times when certain players (Tony Rice for instance, but not always) will let the song serve them, instead of the other way around, 2) I'm always a little suspect when drums are involved in a Bluegrass band and 3) Newgrass (?!) my ass.
Thanks for the heads-up on that mix and your contribution is always welcomed and appreciated.

Vaughn said...

No way, "Fox on the Run" was originally a Manford Mann song?! Whodathunkit? You learn something new everyday...
Next you're gonna be telling me that, "Gin and Juice", by The Gourds was a...a...a Snoop Doggie Dog song! Ha!

Anonymous said...

Some first class stuff here. As always, thanks!

Santo said...

I have always loved Rank Stranger too. The Knitters did a pretty good cover of it on "The Modern Sounds of the Knitters" ( I have a soft spot for the Knitters because my first punk rock album in the early 80s was "Los Angeles" by X -- most of the same musicians in the Knitters.