PDA

View Full Version : Band attire??



Willie Poole
Feb-08-2011, 11:17am
I watched the Grasscals a few nights ago on a show as guests of The Pressleys on RFD-TV....All of the Pressleys were dressed in nice looking suits and The Grasscals came on stage looking like they were wearing clothes that they had traveled in for months and never changed....In the past I have never really cared, and still don`t, what a band looked like but it was such a contrast between them and the others that it really caught my eye....I know some bands in the past wore suits and I`m sure they cost a pretty penny.....My band members do dress alike, usually black jeans and matching shirts, red, orange or white....BUT, I have seen some bands that just don`t look nice with tennis shoes with holes in them and jeans with the knees split open.....However I don`t grade the bands on what they look like, I grade them on their music, how they sound but I am wondering if some of them would sell more CD`s if they were dressed nicely and would get booked on more festivals if they at least dressed alike? Any opinions on this?:whistling:

Willie

Markus
Feb-08-2011, 11:23am
Perhaps it's seen as inauthentic to dress up for TV, in their opinion.

I would think for TV and daytime/festival type appearances you'd want to look halfway presentable. Club gigs, night shows ... I guess I don't really care as much.

I see TV as `reaching out' to a new audience - and thus it's odd to force your appearance on them right from the start.

300win
Feb-08-2011, 11:24am
It varies I guess, but at Doyle Lawson's festival in Denton, North Carolina, I've seen both, high dressers and blue jeans. I guess Doyle don't care, and he is a strict high dress band man. Those coats he wears looks like something out of the 1950s country music scene.

Rodney Riley
Feb-08-2011, 11:45am
I look at some of the designer jeans worn today and wished I'd saved all the jeans that had burn holes in them from welding and tears from getting too close to jagged steel that I have thrown away.

Actually if they are clean and not wrinkled I like the look. Clean and wrinkle free is the key. :)

Mark Hudson
Feb-08-2011, 11:53am
I always pity the "tie and jacket" bands at the festivals nowadays... I understand the tradition, but when it's over 90 degrees and humid, and the entire audience is wearing shorts and tees...

JeffD
Feb-08-2011, 11:58am
It would be great if I could separate what the band looks like on stage and what they sound like, but really, its the whole performance, of which the clothing is a part.

I really like a bluegrass band in matching suit and tie. Great jazz and blues bands that wore formal suit and tie looked great too.

I like a western swing band in matching two tone western shirts.

I love the over the top blazers and outfits of the days of classic country music.

I guess I like traditions that require dressing up a bit. But that may be a old fashioned notion on my part. I don't know if it helps or hurts a band to all be dressed alike.

I personally won't wear working clothes (overalls) to play music, or anything thats not working. I understand folks who want to, and I don't mind, but its not me to do that.

mandopete
Feb-08-2011, 12:03pm
Pretty hard to beat this look huh?

D. Roberts
Feb-08-2011, 12:13pm
Hey Willie,
Next time we play on Presley's I'll try to remember to change from the the clothes I slept in the night before:-))
Hope you enjoyed the music better than how we looked.

Danny

AlanN
Feb-08-2011, 12:18pm
'It's not how you feel, but how you look. And you look mahvelous!'

Scotti Adams
Feb-08-2011, 12:37pm
Now..you boys all play nice now....ya hear?

Bill Baldock
Feb-08-2011, 1:13pm
I thought the Presleys do sleep in those suits.

AlanN
Feb-08-2011, 1:45pm
Back in Tony Rice's singin/playin days, he did the Johnny Carson look - starched white shirt, red tie, light blue sport coat, a very cool look.

Duffey did the loud trousers and a knit shirt.

Monroe did the dark suit, thin tie.

Del and boys dress sharp.

Each has their own thing.

JeffD
Feb-08-2011, 2:49pm
If I could play like him, I would dress like him.

f5loar
Feb-08-2011, 3:16pm
The Grasscals probably did take a shower before that show so that's more then most bands will do. And I'm sure their clothes although unmatched were clean. I have faith in that at least Kristen smelled fine. But right it does make you wonder that a band of that high profile does not want to look more professional. But to live up to Doyle's standards (his Manuel/Nudie style jackets cost $10,000 plus) might be far fetched.

journeybear
Feb-08-2011, 3:24pm
And Jeff, don't forget the hair. Marty has the best hair in bluegrass.

mandowilli
Feb-08-2011, 3:27pm
These guys know how to dress like pros.

JeffD
Feb-08-2011, 3:33pm
But to live up to Doyle's standards (his Manuel/Nudie style jackets cost $10,000 plus) might be far fetched.

I am tempted, but will refrain from referencing this post in the many "Why Do They Cost So Much I Mean Really (mandolins or picks) threads.

tiltman
Feb-08-2011, 3:56pm
I'm pretty traditional in my most of my opinions about music...my band tends to give me a pretty hard time about it.
But Band Attire is where I tend to differ with the traditionalists. Suits just really aren't all that practical anymore - esp. for an outdoor show - although I sure do like the way a band looks in them. And I think that bands that dress alike in 'casual' attire...usually look like the waiters at Applebees.
Just my opinion.

Kirk Miller
Portland, OR

JeffD
Feb-08-2011, 4:03pm
And I think that bands that dress alike in 'casual' attire...usually look like the waiters at Applebees.


I know what you mean.

OTO, when everyone is dressed their own way, and casual, it kind of loses something. I dunno. Like they just met backstage or in a jam.

I remember seeing an all girl bluegrass band, I forget where, and they all wore different outfits, but the same bright yellow color. A flouncy country dress, a business suit, a sick city pants suit, and a formal evening gown. All bright sunflower yellow. It really worked well. Made you look. Made you listen. Sure they were good, but the attire just added something more to the performance.

Nolan
Feb-08-2011, 6:46pm
And I think that bands that dress alike in 'casual' attire...usually look like the waiters at Applebees.
Just my opinion.

Kirk Miller
Portland, OR

That is classic Kirk... the true mark of an amateur band! Unfortunately most bands (At least the ones I've been in) have different ideas of what they want to look like and the compromise is Applebee waiter. Safe but boring. I like the fact that the Grascals obviously have a theme (Cool western I guess you could call it?) but don't look like they're are trying hard to "Match".

Scott Holt
Feb-08-2011, 7:35pm
Well, based upon my assessment, the Grascals seem to be doing just fine. Personally, I could care less what they wear. I understand the urge to wear suits given tradition, however they can be quite impractical. I find it interesting that no one responded to Danny Roberts post (#8).

Scott

MikeEdgerton
Feb-08-2011, 8:17pm
Hey Willie,
Next time we play on Presley's I'll try to remember to change from the the clothes I slept in the night before:-))
Hope you enjoyed the music better than how we looked.


Danny, it's good to see you weighing in here on this pressing subject.

By the way Willie, your feet are looking pretty clean on this one.

Popeye39
Feb-08-2011, 8:42pm
These guys know how to dress like pros. I can't begin to tell what that picture has done to me. The jury is still out on "guys", for me.

JEStanek
Feb-08-2011, 9:24pm
...By the way Willie, your feet are looking pretty clean on this one.

huh?

Jamie

MikeEdgerton
Feb-08-2011, 9:25pm
huh?

They must be clean, at least one has been in his mouth.

Ole Joe Clark
Feb-08-2011, 9:26pm
I agree that some bands look like they just came in from the barn and right to the stage. Nothing wrong with blue jeans and shirt tails out on the bus, but there's nothing wrong with a decent pair of dress pants and a nice shirt tucked in on stage either. The other extreme, that I don't like, is the dressed to the hilt with ties and coats playing a summer festival. If you are a professional in any business, you should act like and dress like one. I never called on a customer dressed in jeans and a sloppy shirt and don't wear a coat and tie to play on stage either. There has to be a middle ground. :)

J.Albert
Feb-08-2011, 11:13pm
"Hey Willie,
Next time we play on Presley's I'll try to remember to change from the the clothes I slept in the night before:-))
Hope you enjoyed the music better than how we looked."

Good riposte, Danny.

I enjoyed it as much as Adam Steffey's "I guess I'll quit singing now" post from a few months' back!

- John

sachmo63
Feb-08-2011, 11:15pm
Hey Willie,
Next time we play on Presley's I'll try to remember to change from the the clothes I slept in the night before:-))
Hope you enjoyed the music better than how we looked.

Danny

Dude, that is the greatest........

Love your playing.

Fretbear
Feb-09-2011, 1:06am
Played a show the other day with a few guys.
We had not discussed clothes, but we all arrived dressed in black from head to foot, and looked good.

Bertram Henze
Feb-09-2011, 3:56am
I like it more if the band members look like human beings, i.e. with at least a slight variation in clothing between them and between appearances. I get scared of uniforms, just as I find it creepy if the band members' faces look all alike or resemble a zombie nightmare stepped right out of a Grant Wood painting.
The clothes should represent a certain common lifestyle that goes with the music genre, but should not look like they have to be surgically removed from the band members after retirement.

Shelagh Moore
Feb-09-2011, 8:13am
You could, of course, all dress in your birthday suits (http://www.inyerface.biz/latestNews/jan05/tsunami.htm).

Bertram Henze
Feb-09-2011, 8:22am
birthday suits

Granted, it might present an advantage for the drummer :grin:
but you'd get the same with kilts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tIT8VuZ92c).

Shelagh Moore
Feb-09-2011, 9:00am
Granted, it might present an advantage for the drummer :grin:
but you'd get the same with kilts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tIT8VuZ92c).

Yes indeed! I'm always rather careful when wearing mine for a gig. I prefer to stand up to play when in full Scottish regalia...

JEStanek
Feb-09-2011, 9:19am
Richard, that's a good idea. (I wear Sinclair Ancient Hunting).

Jamie

Elliot Luber
Feb-09-2011, 9:36am
You could, of course, all dress in your birthday suits (http://www.inyerface.biz/latestNews/jan05/tsunami.htm).

I was going to say you really put distance between yourself and your audience when you overdress, but I guess the same is true for under-dressing or undressing (....the further the better).

JMUSIC
Feb-09-2011, 9:46am
My one bandmate had the best line "which black t-shirt should I wear tonight?"
Black t-shirt, jeans and boots for me, except in the summer here in South Carolina, might wear shorts....I play mostly blues harp in the band, so I get to wear a fedora or newsboy cap (gotta look the part)

JeffD
Feb-09-2011, 9:48am
I get scared of uniforms, just as I find it creepy.

That is a good point. I know exactly what you mean.

Bertram Henze
Feb-09-2011, 9:54am
I was going to say you really put distance between yourself and your audience when you overdress, but I guess the same is true for under-dressing or undressing (....the further the better).

One thing is for sure there: stage fright no longer matters - there's probably audience panic instead.

But that symmetry reminds me of an observation of Ian Anderson's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_lQ0H4zZEA), himself known for quirky outfits.

sloanypal
Feb-09-2011, 10:02am
Last time I played out I wore a shirt advertising one of my favorite local breweries. Turns out all the wait staff wear that shirt too. Luckily nobody tried to order a drink from me.

Pete Martin
Feb-09-2011, 10:09am
Reminds me of a lot of years ago, I played in a fiddle contest and got third place. Later, a judge came up to me and said that I had played well enough to win, but they scored me lower because I was wearing a flannel shirt.:grin::));)

journeybear
Feb-09-2011, 10:17am
Maybe you would have won if you had been competing in the grunge category. ;)

Willie Poole
Feb-09-2011, 12:45pm
Yeah, my feet are clean Mike, as to Danny`s reply, I`m sorry I picked your band to make a point, because there are quite a few that fall into this catagory, it`s just that when I saw that show it reminded me of a LOT of bands that don`t dress what I will call "very attractive"....I don`t like the suits with ties and the fancy sequins glitter and that wasn`t what I was alluding to....I just think when a band is performing on National TV and are trying hard to keep bluegrass music going strong that they would dress a little more like a band that has been playing together and wants to make a good impression and not look like they just plowed the east forty acres or came off of a cattle drive.....I understand that you travel a lot and may be limited to how much luggage you can carry with you but so do most professioanl bands....

That being said I believe you Danny are one of the top 10 mandolin players that I have seen in the past 20 years and I enjoy your music very much....

You wear what you want and I`ll comment on what I like and don`t like, thats the American way....I noticed that quite a few people agreed with me on her.....

D. Roberts
Feb-09-2011, 2:55pm
Willie,
What you said really didn't bother me a bit.
Everyone has their like and dislikes and have the right to say what they are.
I have played in bands that I wore suits, in others I wore shirts and ties just depended on what everyone decided they wanted to do for that band.
When we started the Grascals we decided to dress just like what you saw on RFD last week and with the exception of an award show or two that is the only way we have ever dressed.
I can tell you that the shirt and jeans I had on probably cost more than most suits you see (of course with the exception of Doyle) and I always put thought into what I wear on stage, I don't just throw on whatever I can grab, my music and my look matter a lot to me.
I always enjoy reading your posts on this website and have for many years, I wasn't upset I just thought I would have some fun:-)

Danny

mandopete
Feb-09-2011, 8:58pm
Can't look like a waiter at Applebee's without enough flair!

Willie Poole
Feb-09-2011, 9:29pm
Thanks Danny, Again I wasn`t picking on your band alone, it`s just that when I seen the contrast from the Presleys to you guys it just sort of surprised me.....You guys are great and I enjoy just about all of your songs and they are done with great professionalism...I hope one day this summer I can catch one of your shows at a festival and I`ll come up an introduce myself, promise you won`t smack me?.....I`d like to play atune on that Fern also.....

Willie

D. Roberts
Feb-10-2011, 10:44am
Willie
I would love to meet you, I promise there will be no violence:-)
You will be welcome to play my mandolin, you said Fern I guess you may be thinking about the 29 I had but that's gone. I have been playing my 22 Loar for the past couple of years and your welcome to play it also.

Danny

f5loar
Feb-10-2011, 12:21pm
I've seen the Grasscals enough times to know those aren't cheap shirts and jeans they wear. Some of the shirts are those fancy western cuts. And while I'm not up on what's hip with name brand jeans they can run up in the hundreds. As much as the Presleys change their colors and rhinestones each week I don't doubt they have a full time seamtress on payroll. I think it's a band thing like Danny said. Some bands want the "we all look like a band cause we dress the same" to the bands where you know who the leader is without question like Doyle and Monroe or F&S. Hard to beat the way Red Knuckles band dressed.

Rroyd
Feb-10-2011, 1:42pm
Some years back some friends of mine had been hired to play at an event at a nudist colony, and they decided it would be fun to ditch their usual outfits and join in the spirit of the event and play in the nude.
Their band was coed, but they all felt they could deal with that, and were swept away in their enthusiasm to "fully participate." That enthusiasm began to dwindle rapidly as soon as they got on stage, and they admitted afterwards that it had been the longest afternoon they had ever spent.

Regarding the suits and ties sported by Bill and his Bluegrass Boys, they were playing a festival in Texas one summer, and the temperature was over 100 degrees, and the humidity was about 98 percent. His fiddle player at the time, who had actually grown up in that part of the country, was suffering greatly, and offered Bill $20 if he would let him play with his jacket off. Bill growled back that "If I can stand it, you can, too."

journeybear
Feb-10-2011, 2:43pm
Some time ago, in a thread devoted to weird or just godawful gigs, someone mentioned a nudist colony gig. Lawdy! I wouldn't if I had to shuck. It's tough enough on the audience that I have to show my face! :disbelief:

Way way back some 30 years ago, I was playing in a string band (guitar, fiddle, mandolin) that played swing, Western swing, novelty tunes from Tin Pan Alley, some Hank, and since the Urban Cowboy look was very much in, that's what we wore - shirts with snaps, jeans, and boots. Surprising how many of those snap shirts could be found at Goodwill and Salvation Army. But what those snaps did to the back of my mandolin, before I noticed, was a crying shame! :crying: It looked like worm tracks. Horrible.

That's the only time I did anything like a band uniform. It's been mostly Hawaiian shirts or, in the jug band, white shirt and black vest, for an old-timey look.

allenhopkins
Feb-10-2011, 4:32pm
My old bluegrass band, Flower City Ramblers (1970-76) had "outfits"; first blue shirts, black pants, brown leather vests, then Western shirts with embroidered red roses, two black shirts and two white ones. Later, in the Celtic band Thistledown, the ladies had long skirts of the same pattern but different colors, and the men had sort of "blousey" shirts that the fiddler's mother, a professional seamstress, made for us.

Doing historical programs, I often use "costume," which is evocative, if not strictly historically accurate, of the period when the music I'm doing was written. I see fewer and fewer bands that actually dress in matching outfits, but still do see more bluegrass bands than other types of ensemble, that "dress up" -- coat and tie, hats, etc.

I think that an attempt should be made to look "professional," without necessarily looking "formal." I have heard bands criticized by audience members, for showing up in jeans and T-shirts, even though the music was excellent.

One area where I have a bit of a hang-up, is that I hate to perform in sneakers! Even if I'm doing just a seniors' program or a coffeehouse, I somehow feel that "real shoes" are required. Don't know why that is...

journeybear
Feb-10-2011, 11:34pm
You would hate it here, then. People play in shorts and sandals, even flip-flops! :disbelief: Including me. :redface: Hey - I like that line about "going where the climate suits my clothes" so much I moved here. :) Funny - even when it gets cold here (yeah, I know 50° ain't all that cold) people may wear jeans and layers, but will still wear sandals. Go figure.

But for the Italian restaurant gig, I wear Hawaiian shirt, black slacks, black shoes. It's a nice restaurant, after all, and even if the diners feel it's OK to dress like schlumps, I won't.

Willie Poole
Feb-11-2011, 12:43am
Allen, I used to always wear cowboy boots, expensive ones too, I might add and then as I got older my feet hurt so much that I did do some gigs in Nike tennis shoes but since I have found a nice pair of shoes that are comortable and look good with black pants so that what I wear now...Dudley Connell wears tennies all the time I believe, at least every time I see him he has them on....

It don`t matter to me what bands wear, really, I just sit back and listen to the music....And you can bet I am going to take Danny up on meeting him at some event this summer and playing his Loar.....

Willie

Bertram Henze
Feb-11-2011, 3:25am
One area where I have a bit of a hang-up, is that I hate to perform in sneakers! Even if I'm doing just a seniors' program or a coffeehouse, I somehow feel that "real shoes" are required. Don't know why that is...

It is not that unusual - the rule of thumb of gentleman's attire is that the most money should be spent on shoes, followed by pants and so on; the nearer the ground the finer it should be. If you have to wear an unusual mix, overalls with black business shoes is more acceptable than a frock coat with wellingtons.
Therefore, I guess your instinct fully classifies you as a gentleman :cool:

John Soper
Feb-12-2011, 9:06am
When I played in a Bluegrass Band in the '80s our uniform look was blue jeans and a "tasteful" Hawaiian shirt. After a few gigs, my wife pointed out that, in her opinion, there are no "tasteful" Hawaiian shirts...

300win
Feb-12-2011, 11:14am
Most of the time my band wears shoes.

300win
Feb-12-2011, 11:16am
When I played in a Bluegrass Band in the '80s our uniform look was blue jeans and a "tasteful" Hawaiian shirt. After a few gigs, my wife pointed out that, in her opinion, there are no "tasteful" Hawaiian shirts...

Yea, but Hawaiian shirts are cool, I mean they are actually cool to wear, lightweight, lets the sweat dissipate faster.

Andy Alexander
Feb-12-2011, 12:16pm
A band needs to make a thoughtful decision on stage attire as it contributes to the overall image that they need to establish. Whether a band chooses to wear casual cloths, jackets and ties, western, or uniforms, the members need to look good on stage. Sloppy is not an option. Once stage attire has been chosen, it needs to remain consistant so that the band retains their identity.

journeybear
Feb-12-2011, 12:33pm
Yea, but Hawaiian shirts are cool, I mean they are actually cool to wear, lightweight, lets the sweat dissipate faster.

Just be careful to look at the label. If it says 100% rayon, move on. Good for bold colors, but not people. Suitable for cold weather wear only, as it does not breathe.

There are a good number of tasteful Hawaiian shirts, although it is very true that the tendency is toward bold, even garish colors. I have problems with the ones that use unnatural colors for natural vegetation - palm trees with purple fronds, that sort of thing.

I would like to mention that Florida Turnpike toll collectors have wonderful shirts of this style, with the names of exits on them and such. What a pleasure to wear something like that for work! When I found they were available at the service plazas, I had to get one, if for no other reason than one exit is named "Yeehaw Junction." Have to have a shirt that says that! :)) (NFI, BTW)

allenhopkins
Feb-12-2011, 3:29pm
...I guess your instinct fully classifies you as a gentleman.

I feel much better now. Played a Civil War songs program last night at the George Eastman House (International Museum of Photography) here in Rochester; it was opening night for Between the States, an exhibit of Civil War photographs. Dressed in "broadfall" trousers, vest, loose shirt, slouch hat, looking pretty close to a mid-19th-century musician. Nondescript black shoes (no sneakers), using my 1860's guitar, 1870's gut-strung banjo, 1880's Wheatstone concertina. One of the things that sometimes gets lost or ignored, is that visual presentation is part of a performance. Just the way that the spoken introduction is part of a song. Had I showed up in a Grateful Dead T-shirt and ripped jeans, I doubt my presentation of Civil War songs would have been as credible, though I would have done the same material in the same style.

CES
Feb-12-2011, 4:07pm
Andy, I agree that consistency is important in the look of a band to help establish their identity, but in some situations I think that sloppy can actually be OK, and even expected. Granted I grew up mostly in the 80's (yikes, and I mean the whole freakin' decade) and 90's (grunge, grunge, grunge) and thus may have a skewed perspective, but I also worked in a higher end men's shop in college and thus know how to "dress professionally," too. But, I have no problem with a BG or country band wearing jeans, boots, and either t-shirts or "Grascal style" shirts. I expect jeans and t-shirts in rock, and after seeing some serious belt buckle damage understand why many pickers go untucked. Heck, I untuck my dress shirts before I play any instruments in a music store to avoid buckle rash. Each genre, I guess, has their basic stereotypical look for better or (often) worse. And, there are social situations where it is more appropriate to dress up a little (particularly in formal situations) or, as Alan, has described, where period dress in a necessity.

The bottom line for me, personally, is that I really don't care what the band wears as long as they can play. In my profession I'm just as smart answering questions at home in my pajamas as I am at the office in "business dress," and if a band's most comfortable in jeans and t-shirts, then I have no problem with that. I'd rather they be comfortable and play their best than the contrary, nudist gigs being the possible exception (taken on a case by case basis, of course) :).

JEStanek
Feb-12-2011, 11:21pm
If they play well (Punch Brother for example) I can take casual dress just fine. If they play poorly, sequined suits or ties ain't gonna make the show any better. I'm more affected by how well the band plays together and how well they connect with the audience. I've seen Marty Stuart play in full kit during a Philaburbia August, I felt bad for him in all of that outfit on that hot stage.

Jamie

Mandolin Mick
Feb-13-2011, 8:22am
Having played onstage for 35 years I've learned a few things. I think it's important to dress appropriately, and that means different clothes for different kinds of music and different locales.

Though I think it's nice that Bluegrass tradition is to look sharp, I get really uncomfortable watching guys sweating in 90 plus degree heat at a festival. That's distracting!!!

I've also been in bands where somebody was the oddball and wore something that contrasted with the rest of the band. That's annoying as well, and I've said something about it.

I think it's important for the band to agree upon a look and then go with it. It's part of the image that you project. :)

300win
Feb-14-2011, 2:30am
just be careful to look at the label. If it says 100% rayon, move on. Good for bold colors, but not people. Suitable for cold weather wear only, as it does not breathe.

There are a good number of tasteful hawaiian shirts, although it is very true that the tendency is toward bold, even garish colors. I have problems with the ones that use unnatural colors for natural vegetation - palm trees with purple fronds, that sort of thing.

I would like to mention that florida turnpike toll collectors have wonderful shirts of this style, with the names of exits on them and such. What a pleasure to wear something like that for work! When i found they were available at the service plazas, i had to get one, if for no other reason than one exit is named "yeehaw junction." have to have a shirt that says that! :)) (nfi, btw)

lol !

Ivan Kelsall
Feb-16-2011, 1:54am
When you look as smart as these guys,you'll be "SMART" - 'The US Navy Country Current Bluegrass Band', i feel proud simply watching them & i'm English (sort of),
Ivan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5kqtNZiTjA

journeybear
Feb-16-2011, 2:07am
Nice that they are permitted to wear short sleeves and have their top buttons unbuttoned. They do look pretty snazzy. I have seen them a couple of times at Winterhawk (now Grey Fox) and was impressed that the Navy is able and willing to support this project, which manages to maintain uniformly high standards despite built-in personnel changes.

Last week I saw a band on Conan called Red whose members dressed in varying combinations of black and red - I guess that relates to their name - reminiscent of The White Stripes' color scheme. I wished they had put as much thought into their music - one of the rare times I passed on including a performance in the archives. They will be on Leno tonight; see if they make the cut this time.

JeffD
Feb-16-2011, 3:56pm
It is not that unusual - the rule of thumb of gentleman's attire is that the most money should be spent on shoes, followed by pants and so on; the nearer the ground the finer it should be.

I have heard something like this before. Hmmmmm.


I am soooo fortunate I work from home. The few times I have purchased expensive shoes they have been uncomfortable enough that I couldn't wait to get home and back into my kickabouts.

300win
Feb-16-2011, 5:22pm
When you look as smart as these guys,you'll be "SMART" - 'The US Navy Country Current Bluegrass Band', i feel proud simply watching them & i'm English (sort of),
Ivan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5kqtNZiTjA

Well, .... it is the 'Navy'. They have a lot of time for that sort of thing I suppose, after all their main job is to get U.S. Marines where the fight is. I confess I am prejudiced though seeing as how my oldest son has been in the Marine Corps for 13 years.

journeybear
Feb-16-2011, 5:31pm
Now, now, let's not start an inter-service rivalry here (as if there weren't enough of that already ;) ). The Marine Corps has their fine marching band, the Navy has this fine bluegrass band, and they are both following orders, creating good will, generating publicity for the military, all that good stuff. These are special assignments, the results of what must be intense competition to find the best of the best within their ranks to form and field these bands and boost morale within the forces and the public. It's all good!

300win
Feb-16-2011, 5:43pm
Now, now, let's not start an inter-service rivalry here (as if there weren't enough of that already ;) ). The Marine Corps has their fine marching band, the Navy has this fine bluegrass band, and they are both following orders, creating good will, generating publicity for the military, all that good stuff. These are special assignments, the results of what must be intense competition to find the best of the best within their ranks to form and field these bands and boost morale within the forces and the public. It's all good!

Hey, no problem man. I'm not trying to stir up nothing. I agree with you 100%. But I am a dad, and very proud of my son. I think that Bill Emerson was the driving factor on getting the first U.S. Navy Bluegrass band going. I'm not sure what rank Bill held, but I know he was in the Navy, I guess the reserves even when he was part of the Country Gentlemen or shortly thereafter. Oh the U.S. Navy has a fine service band also. But the Marines do have it all together marching and making music at the same time. Can you imagine what a racket it would be if a Bluegrass band tried to play and march at the same time ?

journeybear
Feb-16-2011, 5:58pm
As long as none of them starts using bagpipes, I'm happy! :))

Cheryl Watson
Feb-16-2011, 6:06pm
Is this a trapeze act or a band? LOL

Cheryl Watson
Feb-16-2011, 6:08pm
These guys know how to dress like pros.

I mean this one (Sorry, I was so bedazzled that I forgot to click on the quote button).

Bertram Henze
Feb-17-2011, 3:30am
The few times I have purchased expensive shoes they have been uncomfortable enough that I couldn't wait to get home and back into my kickabouts.

I firmly believe that good looks don't require pain. Fine shoes can be as comfortable as you like if you take the time to choose and invest the money. If they only look good but feel ill-fitting, they are probably just "replicas" from China. :whistling:

Bertram Henze
Mar-02-2011, 7:07am
...find it creepy if the band members' faces look all alike or resemble a zombie nightmare stepped right out of a Grant Wood painting...

I felt I had to explain this and found again what I had in mind. Note the man with the blue shirt who is replicated at least 3 times throughout the scene:

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma98/haven/wood/images/threshers.jpg

AlanN
Mar-02-2011, 7:55am
Country Current always puts on a good show. Mando chores have been handled by Frank Solivan, Pat White (I think in the above video). I like the whole idea of that band.

Rroyd
Mar-02-2011, 10:50am
Regarding 300 Win's comment regarding a Bluegrass marching band, it can and has been done. I was involved in the creation and performance by "The World's Largest Marching Bluegrass Band' many years ago at a major west coast festival. The group featured 8 banjos, 8 guitars, 8 mandolins, 8 fiddles, and 4 basses. The basses were strapped to golf bag carts and were pushed by members of the local high school cheerleading squad as the bass players marched along side playing. The reportoire was limited to one tune, "Red Haired Boy", to allow the participants to concentrate on keeping in step, in line, in line on the corners, and not be worrying about what the next song on the set list would be. Unfortunately this was before the advent of the "portable" video camera, so the performance was only documented by still photos. Everyone on the parade route loved it, and we were presented with a trophy for outstanding marching band. Amazingly, 36 pickers were able to keep in step, in time, and in tune for the entire mile or longer parade route.

Willie Poole
Mar-02-2011, 12:28pm
Emerson went back into the Navy as a CPO (Chief Petty Officer)

journeybear
Mar-02-2011, 1:44pm
That story of the parade brought back some memories. My old jug band played in a couple of parades - one a small-town 4th Of July affair on a float, the other an even smaller one some of us did with some friends for their neighborhood's parade - talk about small town! The first one our float's generator went kerphlooey soon into the proceedings, so I switched to the banjolin, but the most fun was playing a friend's homemade kazoo the size and shape of an alto sax - various diameters of PVC pipe and three reeds, that sucker was loud! "When The Saints Go Marching In" was the big hit - must have done it three times. The second one was a truly marching band - the washtub bass player played jug - and we won the trophy! This meant a lot to our friend, whose neighbor had won a few years in a row, so now he had bragging rights. Pretty silly, but glad to help him with this quest. Parades like these are really good clean small-town fun, much different from the overblown ones that get televized on Thanksgiving and New Year's. Except the Mummers' Parade in Philly - that is pretty far out there - and our Fantasy Fest parade, similar but on a smaller scale.

Sorry for the OT rambling. Um, our band attire was pretty haphazard. There are some great uniforms in the Mummers' Parade. OK - back to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress ... :whistling:

Mike Bunting
Mar-02-2011, 4:04pm
I believe that all band members should be attired. Not sure about the audience.

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
Mark Twain

Bing Cullen
Mar-14-2011, 11:07pm
This is a debate that will probably never end. I was intrigued when I saw the Flatt and Scruggs shows on DVD and immediately noticed there was a heirarchy in the band that was illustrated by the outfits. Lester and Earl had matching hats shirts , ties and coats, Curley and Paul were coatless but had matching hats and ties..different to L and E, then Uncle Josh and Jake had matching usually short sleeved shirts, ties and narrower brimmed hats...although before Jake, Buck Graves had the funny comedians hat with the brimmed turned up. This was strictly a military operation obviously. Monroe seemed to vary a bit , but he always had a diferent coat or tie to signify he was leader..but all the boys wore hats. Now Doyle seems to just want everyone to look well dressed and he to stand out as leader wears something garish. If I was in a band I wouldn't want to wear a uniform but I think band members should wear distinctive clothes that refect their position in the group.eg The leader should be different...not necessarily tasteful..eg Jimmy Martin... but different. I think the Grascals would be a lot more successful if they dressed better...but no uniforms please. Work clothes are not very apprpriate except for comedy acts...imho. Hats are optional.

Ivan Kelsall
Mar-15-2011, 2:16am
I really do like to see a band dressed well.The ''Dailey & Vincent'' band always look smart as does Doyle's band,but ultimately,as long as they look clean & tidy & not like a bunch of tramps ( i've seen bands worse than that !),i really don't mind as long as the music's good. The 'Infamous Stringdusters' spring immediately to mind,very casual, but awesome music,
Ivan

barney 59
Mar-15-2011, 3:32am
Polyester! That's the Bomb! 70's used car salesman stuff & maybe some white loafers with big brass buckles! We be stylin' then! Hats are not optional, or so Bill said.

Mark Walker
Mar-15-2011, 8:06am
Interesting topic. I'm a member of the Board of WMBMA (http://www.wmbma.org)(West Michigan Bluegrass Music Association) and we manage to bring in some pretty respected acts to our two festivals, as well as popular Michigan groups. Our contracts specifically prohibit torn jeans, shorts, and tee-shirts and so on. 'Business casual' is usually what we see from most bands, and that's fine. (Our festivals typically are the 'earliest' - mid-May - and 'latest' - mid-September - in Michigan, so it's not usually really warm.) We've had bands appear in black pants, white shirts, string ties and matching fedora hats to untucked country-style shirts and dark blue jeans - and everything in between. (Including the occasional winter coat and gloves with the fingers cut off during our evening shows when it gets a wee tad chilly!)

As festival-goers know, after the show, most bands will get back into shorts, tee-shirts and sneakers and jam in the campground and parking lot. I personally have no issues with a band looking nice on stage, and later getting comfortable to hang out with fans and jammers after their show. :mandosmiley:

I do agree - suits, ties and the whole nine yards in hot-weather festivals would be pretty uncomfortable! :disbelief:

Coy Wylie
Mar-15-2011, 4:34pm
Not really BG but we caught a Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives show in Dallas last weekend (Marty did a solo mando piece). He wore black leather and the FabSup wore powder blue western suits they must have gotten from the Porter Waggoner archieves. They had so much fun with the audience and put on a great show. My wife said, "No one who dresses like that can take themselves too seriously." It was over-the-top but very cool.

Bing Cullen
Mar-15-2011, 10:29pm
I guess there are no rules for this. But if the ultimate aim of any band is to be commercially succesful, then what they wear plays a part. But who can predict what will be popular? The Beatles started out in uniforms and long hair. They had Beatle suits with no lapels and popularized zip up boots. Then when they got succesful abandoned all that for casual scruff and indian muslin. The Rolling Stones just wore opshop stuff from the start, then got more expensive stuff as they made money...but still scruffy. I guess you know when you're successful...most of the fans start copying your clothes and hairstyle...well up to a point. Nobody followed Elvis much past the pink shirt and thin tie. Nobody dressed like Marty Stuart. So there is a limit as to what people will copy. But a lot of fans dress like the Grascals these days, so in fairness maybe they are setting the style for the 10's... conservative casual. A friend of mine was a big fan of the New Lost City Ramblers. he always wore a white shirt and black waistcoat. Reno's Renfro concerts give a good insight into this. Recorded in the 80's, most groups had untucked western shirts and mullets.

journeybear
Mar-16-2011, 12:08am
Nobody followed Elvis much past the pink shirt and thin tie.

Well, except for legions of impersonators, usually copping some variety of over-the-top Vegas garb.

Bertram Henze
Mar-16-2011, 2:27am
there is a limit as to what people will copy.

You sure ? :grin:

http://tatooine.fortunecity.com/swampthing/97/cantina-band.jpg

Bing Cullen
Mar-17-2011, 2:42am
i'm not sure if I'm sure but I'm talking in general terms about 'normal' people..with the exception of those going to fancy dress parties, Karaoke, country and western club nights, and of course professional impersonators.

I must say though apart from Monroe and the BG boys, Flatt and Scruggs and FM boys, and Jimmy Martin by himself, the Bluegrass world is bereft of any really outlandish groups. Notwithstanding Red Knuckles and that...but they were C&W

almeriastrings
Mar-27-2011, 11:48pm
I seem to recall seeing an ad some years ago for a "Naturist" (nudist) bluegrass festival... that would really make the dress code thing a moot point! All I can say is, at that point I'd want to swap the mandolin and guitar for a string bass....

Mike Bunting
Mar-28-2011, 12:03am
I must say though apart from Monroe and the BG boys, Flatt and Scruggs and FM boys, and Jimmy Martin by himself, the Bluegrass world is bereft of any really outlandish groups. Notwithstanding Red Knuckles and that...but they were C&W

Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs were outlandish?

mandolirius
Mar-28-2011, 12:48am
Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs were outlandish?

Well, they wore those string ties. That was pretty crazy. And early versions of the BGB wore jodphurs. What's up with that? It's positively outrageous.

On a related note, while combing the thrift stores in Peterborough, Ontario for band attire, my colleagues Rev. Ken and Washboard Hank and I found a pair of johphurs. An enormous pair of jodphurs, truly gigantic. They had an unusal label which, upon further investigation turned out to read: New Zealand Women's Land Army. Seriously. The Rev was over 200 pounds and Hank was a pretty big guy but I think all three of us could have fit into those johphurs.

Mike Bunting
Mar-28-2011, 2:14am
Well, they wore those string ties. That was pretty crazy. And early versions of the BGB wore jodphurs. What's up with that? It's positively outrageous.

On a related note, while combing the thrift stores in Peterborough, Ontario for band attire, my colleagues Rev. Ken and Washboard Hank and I found a pair of johphurs. An enormous pair of jodphurs, truly gigantic. They had an unusal label which, upon further investigation turned out to read: New Zealand Women's Land Army. Seriously. The Rev was over 200 pounds and Hank was a pretty
big guy but I think all three of us could have fit into those johphurs.
Now, Washboard Hank can be outlandish! The Fallopian tuba?!

journeybear
Mar-28-2011, 9:08am
Slight sidetrack - Do you guys mean Washboard Hank who used to play with Fred Eaglesmith? Might be a few years ago, that, or a different Washboard Hank altogether. Of course, some of youse guys may be aware of Fred more from having the late great Willie P. Bennett playing mandolin in his band (see how I worked in some MC there?) than for his own accomplishments as a songwriter. You'd be missing out.

Mike Bunting
Mar-28-2011, 1:01pm
One and the same. Hank was also a solo performer. I knew Willie from pre Fred days and actually preferred his solo work his stuff with Fred, whose stage attire was eye catching (see, back to the topic!). Are you a Fredhead? -)

mandopete
Mar-28-2011, 4:51pm
Can you say "Norwegian Curling Team" ?

mandolirius
Mar-28-2011, 9:07pm
Can you say "Norwegian Curling Team" ?

Takes too long. Just say "John Duffy".

mandolirius
Mar-28-2011, 9:13pm
Slight sidetrack - Do you guys mean Washboard Hank who used to play with Fred Eaglesmith? Might be a few years ago, that, or a different Washboard Hank altogether. Of course, some of youse guys may be aware of Fred more from having the late great Willie P. Bennett playing mandolin in his band (see how I worked in some MC there?) than for his own accomplishments as a songwriter. You'd be missing out.

Wahsboard Hank's first musical foray was with Rev. Ken and the Followers, later Rev. Ken and the Lost Followers. We were a trio (quartet if you count Wheatstraw, the busking dog) that mostly played on the street. Hank and Ken wrote a lot of great satirical songs that were as erudite and sophisticated as Tom Lehrer. They mostly poked fun at organized religion. I hope they are preserved somewhere.

Mike Bunting
Mar-28-2011, 10:43pm
Takes too long. Just say "John Duffy".
Now, that's funny!

Mike Bunting
Mar-28-2011, 10:47pm
Wahsboard Hank's first musical foray was with Rev. Ken and the Followers, later Rev. Ken and the Lost Followers. We were a trio (quartet if you count Wheatstraw, the busking dog) that mostly played on the street. Hank and Ken wrote a lot of great satirical songs that were as erudite and sophisticated as Tom Lehrer. They mostly poked fun at organized religion. I hope they are preserved somewhere.
Didn't know you played with those guys, Do you know Uncle Thirsty who played over the last few years with Hank, mostly on western forays. Ever run into Sneezy Waters in those days?

mandopete
Mar-29-2011, 8:51am
Takes too long. Just say "John Duffy".

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too!

journeybear
Mar-29-2011, 11:06am
One and the same. Hank was also a solo performer. I knew Willie from pre Fred days and actually preferred his solo work his stuff with Fred, whose stage attire was eye catching (see, back to the topic!). Are you a Fredhead? -)

Yes I are. Stumbled upon him (almost literally) back when I was writing about the folk/acoustic music scene in New England in the mid-90s until early in this millennium. Fred impressed me with his wit, imagery, and turn of phrase. He could breathe new life into country clichés like no one else I knew (except me, but let's not go there now ... ) And with Willie by his side ... well, let's just say I was hooked. I saw him in some very unusual contexts, and he tended to stick out like a sore thumb amongst the typical angst-ridden confessional songwriters that populated these "folk" series.

Hank was something else. I couldn't tell at first if he was part of the act or just some goofy guy who lived near the venue and begged to sit in with Fred. That helmet contraption was a real hoot. It was, of course a very functional piece of band attire. (Ah, nothing beats working a tangent back to at least a brush with the topic.) At the time, Fred was pretty much wearing jeans and a T-shirt, but for his appearance on Letterman last year he was quite the dandy, decked out with calf length coat and top hat. Clearly he has gone through some changes in the intervening decade, especially if he has a full band. I'm sure some guys are going to pay more attention to the backup singers, though ...

GVD
Mar-29-2011, 12:04pm
...I must say though apart from Monroe and the BG boys, Flatt and Scruggs and FM boys, and Jimmy Martin by himself, the Bluegrass world is bereft of any really outlandish groups...

Oh I wouldn't be so sure about that!

GVD
Mar-29-2011, 12:12pm
... Are you a Fredhead? -)

Anybody that can write a song that starts with these lyrics pretty much goes to the front of my class.

"I saw Big Bear Henry, Two Turtle Jim
Rolling into town they was riding on the rims
Sold their tires to buy themselves
A couple cases of beeeeer
They got there a little too late
So they broke down the door and they shot up the place
Now everybooody’s gone craaaaazy around here"

Bing Cullen
Apr-13-2011, 1:29am
well I'll be b***g**d!. Those cleverly's are fabulous..now why wasn't that a hit? Too traditional I guess.

journeybear
Apr-13-2011, 7:55am
Saw The Grascals on The Talk (think "The View" with lower profile cast) yesterday, and I don't see what all the hullaballo was about. They wore nice clothes, if not matching. I guess they must have taken willie's comments to heart. ;) I admit to being unaware of them (and also to being rather inattentive to current bluegrass in general) so I tuned in out of curiosity. I wasn't impressed by the song they did, "I'm Strong," a slow song with a kind of self-empowerment lyric. No knock against them, and I'll bet this is not exemplary of their repertoire, and if you only get to do one song on a national network TV show and you have a message you want to express to millions and there is footage of Dolly Parton singing that can be shown on a screen while you sing along - go for it; I would too. I just found it cloying. But they did look nice. :)

Uncle Bob
Apr-13-2011, 9:53am
I saw the Grascals this past weekend at the Big Lick BG Festival. They were dressed alot better then 99% of the crowd. They put on their usual great show and the crowd loved them.

If I could play 1/100 as good as Danny Roberts, I'd go on stage buck naked I'd be so happy! I'm not worthy to carry the man's mandolin case. Wear whatever you want Danny.

Willie Poole
Apr-13-2011, 4:05pm
I`ll try to put this thread to rest by saying I just mentioned The Grasscals because they are the band that I seen that made me think about this subject, I know quite a few bands that don`t really "dress up" when they play...I`m sorry if I hurt anyones feelings...In my opinion I just think that a band that is trying to impress other people and trying to get them to like their show they should take more precaution in how they look...I think a lot of people shy way from bluegrass bands because of the way they look and act on the stage, to me looks is just one way of entertaining the crowd and of course the muisic is another...I like to listen to the Grasscals and have seen them dressed a lot better then they were that night and I`ve seen other bands that were dressed a lot worse...I have seen people at festivals just walk away from the stage area if a band came out with torn jeans and dirty looking tee shirts and long hair that appeared not to be combed for a week or so...I know what they look like doesn`t affect their music so I guess I can just lay back in my chaise lounge and listen to the music...

I apoligize for even starting this thread......SORRY....Willie

abuteague
Apr-13-2011, 4:49pm
Don't put it to rest yet! I have 2500 photos to share! :))http://62center.smugmug.com/Dance/INISH.
I was just waiting for the photos from last weekend. I had a costume change!:disbelief:

I'm not a professional, but I do have to stop by the costume shop before shows and get EVERYTHING measured before the show so they can put my ensemble together.;)

I think if you are performing, what you wear is a choice you made. It might not communicate what you intended, but it is communicating.:whistling:

I'm just glad someone smarter than me manages my "look."

Fretbear
Apr-15-2011, 12:18am
Wahsboard Hank's first musical foray was with Rev. Ken and the Followers, later Rev. Ken and the Lost Followers. We were a trio (quartet if you count Wheatstraw, the busking dog) that mostly played on the street. Hank and Ken wrote a lot of great satirical songs that were as erudite and sophisticated as Tom Lehrer. They mostly poked fun at organized religion. I hope they are preserved somewhere.
I once rolled with them as their driver and musical busking apprentice. Kenny wore Jodpurs frequently and was a great electric mandolinist. The morning I met Hank for the first time he was standing under a tree in a Jasper, Alberta park busking and playing his Dobro and singing "The Little Girl and The Dreadful Snake" after just having been released from an overnight stay in jail. We ate breakfast with the proceeds he generated, and I started thinking about alternative career choices to all the ones I had been offered up until then.

journeybear
Apr-15-2011, 8:18am
You must know the surest way to increase the life of a thread by at least another half is to try to stop it. I'm not saying we are a contrary, cantankerous bunch, but I wouldn't get much argument if I did. Actually, I probably would, which would prove my point. ;)

Thanks for the link, abuteague. I may get some ideas for stage clothes from there. ;) Here is another source for inspiration. Or amusement. http://www.rockandrollconfidential.com/hall/index.php