What’s All the Fuss?

For those who think they might ‘Dig Bluegrass’ but want to find out more

If you are visiting this site, I usually assume that you also ‘Dig Bluegrass’. However, maybe you are just browsing and are wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, let me tell you a little bit about the wonder that is bluegrass music Ultimately, it is a form of American roots music, but has mixed roots within Scottish, Welsh, English and Irish traditional music. Bluegrass is a sub-genre of country music so those of you who are into this should definitely give bluegrass a listen. The inclusion of jazz elements in this type of music was inspired by African-American music, and there are also hints of the music played by many immigrants in Appalachia.

While it has similarities with country music, bluegrass differs from the mainstream as it uses acoustic, stringed instruments such as the guitar, the fiddle, the upright bass, the five-stringed banjo and the mandolin. You can also find the harmonica and the resonator guitar contributing to the sound of many bluegrass pieces. This is a sound that has spread all over the world, with many people listening to it in their homes as they make dinner or play games. However, if you are a true fan then you will want to go to a proper bluegrass festival and hear the vocal harmony of this type of music live. These vocals can include up to four different parts of the harmony with one voice singing at a higher pitch than the others.

The songs sung tend to have similar themes, mainly sounding like narratives of the daily lives of the people from whom this music originated. Topics include lost loves, lamenting changes to the region and melodies about life in rural areas like Appalachia. The weather can also find its way into bluegrass songs, especially rain. If this sounds interesting to you, then have a look at the rest of this site and see if you fancy attending a fantastic bluegrass festival to experience this style of music first-hand.

Samuel J Richards

Vintage Bill Monroe_Poster

 

J.D. Crowe and the New South in the 1970s

 

Ralph and Carter Stanley

Flatt and Scruggs