View Full Version : Bluegrass Blues

Sep-27-2004, 8:51pm
I was watching a program called the Cumberland Highlanders tonight. #Bluegrass performed for the RFD channel. #A good show and good performers. #
#But many of these folks go too far in affecting that high NASAL whine!!! # Does Allison Krause do that nasal thing when she sings bluegrass? #NO! #It's not necessary!
#Anyway, I picked up my mando and came up with this little song. It is slow and in 3/4 time and I really do have pretty tune for it. #I just need work on the nasal thing, a couple more verses and a banjo break! #I hope no one is offended by this. #We all need a little humor, especially about ourselves #Here it is:

#The Bluegrass Blues - by Smiling Jack B.

Well I [G] #sit here tonight oh so [C] lonely. #
Be- [G] side your old vase with a [D] rose. # #
Oh [G] why dear, did you ever [C] leave me? #
Is it [G] because I [D] sing through my [G] nose?
# # # # # # # # #
You know [G] making my living playing [C] bluegrass. #
Well it’s [G] not the life I would have [D] chose.
But I can’t [G] make it as a blues [C] singer. #
Playin’ [G] banjo and [D} singin’ through my [G] nose.

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif Jack

John Flynn
Sep-28-2004, 6:10am
As has often been said, "Bluegrass is sung from the heart, through the nose." It is interesting, because I don't think of Monroe as having been "nasal." Maybe he was, but that is not what jumps in my mind when I hear him. He was high-energy, lonesome and at his worst, shrill, but I don't think of "nasal" like I do with some of the BG people today. Now Ralph Stanley strikes me as nasal, but he does it so well, I could listen to it all day. It's just him.

I was reading a piece on singing technique this past weekend, written by a singer and singing coach with a long list of credits, although I can' bring her name to mind. She wrote that the biggest mistake singers make is trying to sound like someone else. I wonder if this nasality is a side effect of people trying to sound like Bill or Ralph, but without thier vocal cords and experience.

Sep-28-2004, 7:55am
I think Del Mc needs to record that song on his next "project".

Sep-28-2004, 11:21am
When I think of Nasal sounding voices... Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, and Suzanne Cox come right to mind. But they have the purest sounding voices. Throw in Hazel Dickens and Ricky Skaggs too and as mentioned Del and Ronnie too..

I like all their voices.