View Full Version : Have at it...

Scott Tichenor
Apr-17-2004, 3:01pm
Can bluegrass be true to roots? (http://washingtontimes.com/arts/20040416-090926-5677r.htm)

John Flynn
Apr-17-2004, 7:46pm
First, let me say that I love bluegrass music, both the old and the new. But I think these discussions about traditionalism in bluegrass are silly. The genre is not that old. It's like talking about "traditionalism" in rock or country or even jazz. Bluegrass in itself is not traditional roots music like old-time or celtic or blues, but rather it is an innovation on those forms of traditional music. Bill Monroe and others took tradition and made something new and great out of it. Why now do some people want to deny the option of innovating to anyone else? I admit some of the new stuff out there is bad. But it's not bad because it's not traditional, it's bad because someone tried something new and it didn't work. Some of the old stuff was bad too.

John Flynn
Apr-17-2004, 7:54pm
BTW, I just had to add this because it seemed on point and I am still laughing about it: My band found out this week we may be invited to play at an old-time festival this summer. The organizer said one of the rules is that we can't play any tune that was written after 1920. The reason? "We do that to keep the bluegrass people from sneaking in."

Joe Parker
Apr-17-2004, 8:09pm
When I listen to Bluegrass music by current artists and performers I can usually tell which ones have spent time listening to the artists of the '40's,50's & 60's. My guess is that this music will survive, 'roots' intact,as long as those influences remain recognized and respected in the music. If we turn our backs on tradition it may not have the same appeal. The challenge is to create music that can continue to excite us in the same way it did the first time we heard it,while not becoming a parody of the past. One can only hope that all the dirt roads have not been paved.

Joe Parker