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Thread: Even the Big Boys get nervous

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    Default Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Alan Jackson and his bluegrass ensemble played on David Letterman last night. Here is the link to the show on CBS. Its 39 minutes in.


    http://www.cbs.com/shows/late_show/v...ow-10-29-2013/


    The pressure had to be tremendous on these guys. I noticed Adam Steffey seemed to be nervous... his left hand is noticeably shaking at one point in his break. What is completely amazing to me is how he gets through the break without missing one note!! I would have disintegrated two notes in. Thats a true professional. What a player and a treasure for the mandolin community! Somewhere out there in TV land the next mandolin prodigy was watching and listening and saying "Man I want learn how to do that!" (if Mom let them stay up that late).

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I saw it, too. The bluegrass machine was chugging along behind AJ. What was up with AJ capo on 2? The tune was in B chord, yet he was fingering a G shape. Unless his guitar was tuned up 2 pitches (doubtful), he was playing the wrong chords.

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    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Thats the first time i've EVER seen Adam nervous,and i've known and seen him for many years!
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Maybe, just maybe, the show was recorded earlier and they lipped synced it during that show...What do you think?

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    I saw it, too. The bluegrass machine was chugging along behind AJ. What was up with AJ capo on 2? The tune was in B chord, yet he was fingering a G shape. Unless his guitar was tuned up 2 pitches (doubtful), he was playing the wrong chords.
    I thought it was the most likely that he tunes his guitar up. I know Alan Jackson isn't a popular dude around here, but he's a solid musician with decades of experience and I doubt that he'd mess up something that basic. I love those awkward singer guys in the back, it always looks like they don't know what they're supposed to do with their hands.

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I guess his guitar is pulled up 2 whole steps then. And 'those awkward singer guys in the back' are Ronnie Bowman and Don Rigsby, 2 fine vocalists.

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    I guess his guitar is pulled up 2 whole steps then. And 'those awkward singer guys in the back' are Ronnie Bowman and Don Rigsby, 2 fine vocalists.
    Oh, I didn't mean to impugn their skills – they sounded great – it's just not every day that you see the bluegrass version of the Raelettes.

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I just watched his video on the song AJ played on Letterman last night. AJ is capo'd on A and playing G position. Now I am a big Bluegrass fan and player of the Music. I love Traditional Bluegrass and some Bluegrass that is on the edge of being new grass. I listened to the song and listened to the Band. What I heared was AJ singing country style and the music playing Bluegrass with a country twang. Now it was nice but it is in no way Bluegrass music nor would I call AJ a Bluegrass artist. AJ is great at classic country and he has proven that. After listening to the song, IMHO this was AJ just singing classic style coutry with a Bluegrass feel. Please do not take this as starting to start a debate or bust on any one. I am just expressing how I feel about this. Listem to Sirus XM 61 Bluegrass Junction for at leat 30 minutes. Then listen to AJ's song and style and tell me if it fits in or not. To me and me only, it does not fit in. Also AJ does not appear to be having any fun playing his music. Bluegrass is fun and exciting and yes at times down right sad. But for the most part is fun happy music and not a sad coutry twang style.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDogs62 View Post
    I just watched his video on the song AJ played on Letterman last night. AJ is capo'd on A and playing G position.
    Yeah, that part's pretty obvious. I think the point that AlanN was making is that the resulting key was B...not A.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    I guess his guitar is pulled up 2 whole steps then. And 'those awkward singer guys in the back' are Ronnie Bowman and Don Rigsby, 2 fine vocalists.
    If the tune is in B, and he's playing a G shape with the capo on the 2nd fret, then on a standard tuned guitar that would be A, right? So he only has to tune up one step, not two.

    I've never cared for Alan Jackson or any of his generation of Kountry musicians. If he would have started out playing songs like "Blacktop" I might have listened more....

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Well, we got to Post #8 before someone said, "that's not bluegrass."

    Sometimes I wish that a fraction of the effort used to police the borders of "bluegrass territory," was devoted to encouraging "immigrants" who would bring diversity, fresh perspectives, and a new-found appreciation of the classic style.

    I love hard-core bluegrass, and have the 500+ LP's to prove it, but sometimes it seems whenever a country or rock artist decides to try playing a bit in the bluegrass style -- often working with some of the best current bluegrass musicians -- he/she gets frog-marched to the border by the Bluegrass Police.

    Purity and respect for the traditional masters of a genre are to be respected, but pulling the welcome mat from under the feet of anyone who wants to do a "bluegrass album" or book a "bluegrass tour" sometimes seems unwarranted. Funny thing, though, these guys probably ignore the critics and chuckle all the way to the bank.

    Which, of course, just irritates the purists more. Ah well...
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    Yeah, that part's pretty obvious. I think the point that AlanN was making is that the resulting key was B...not A.
    Hi FLATROCK:

    I agree with you, but if you watch the actual video of the song and not last night's performance on letterman, he has the guitar capo'd on A even though the song is in B. I also noticed again he was playing in G position.

    Now as a Bluegrass Player and Jammer 99.9999% of Bluegrass guitars are tuned in standard and that is what the capo is for to change the key when needed or required. Kind of odd, don't you think.

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Well, we got to Post #8 before someone said, "that's not bluegrass."

    Sometimes I wish that a fraction of the effort used to police the borders of "bluegrass territory," was devoted to encouraging "immigrants" who would bring diversity, fresh perspectives, and a new-found appreciation of the classic style.

    I love hard-core bluegrass, and have the 500+ LP's to prove it, but sometimes it seems whenever a country or rock artist decides to try playing a bit in the bluegrass style -- often working with some of the best current bluegrass musicians -- he/she gets frog-marched to the border by the Bluegrass Police.

    Purity and respect for the traditional masters of a genre are to be respected, but pulling the welcome mat from under the feet of anyone who wants to do a "bluegrass album" or book a "bluegrass tour" sometimes seems unwarranted. Funny thing, though, these guys probably ignore the critics and chuckle all the way to the bank.

    Which, of course, just irritates the purists more. Ah well...
    Since 500+ Bluegrass Albums are owned and listened to, it's should be apparent that a Country twang and a country feel backed with a Bluegrass style should be obvious that it is not following or conforming in the Bluegrass tradition. Now if you want to call this Newgrass and place it into that genre then I feel there is no reason for further discusssion. I play Bluegrass and also attend multiple jams as well as been instructed at my request and accord to learn to play this music that I love so. The so called Bluegrass Police are all over and I have encountered this in my early days of playing Bluegrass. I even encountered these isssues in Jams as well. Bluegrass is deep in tradition and style and since playing and learning about it even more I understand why it is important to keep this tradition. AJ in a traditional old school country singer that I love to hear. I also cannot stand listening to more than a few songs in a row from him before wanting to hear something else. When I say this I compare him to George Strate, John Connelly, George Jones, Conway Twitty and so on who always makes you want to hear more. Just because he surrounded himself with very good Bluegrass pickers doesn't mean anything when you can't sing Bluegrass style.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    If the tune is in B, and he's playing a G shape with the capo on the 2nd fret, then on a standard tuned guitar that would be A, right? So he only has to tune up one step, not two.
    One whole step, two half steps. Both the banjer and the second geetar are capoed on the fourth fret. Note that Alan's guitar wasn't mic'd and he strummed only when he felt like it. Adam didn't look nervous to me.
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    This is now the fourth thread in the last couple of weeks that has devolved to Alan Jackson's incarceration by the Bluegrass Police. I don't feel like rephrasing an argument again, so I still stand by what I said in the first one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Coletti
    The qualifications for being somehow legitimate in becoming a respectable bluegrass musician seem more loopholed and contorted than voting poll "literacy tests"... "paying one's dues" can be interpreted as "not having already been a bluegrass player since before we were born" or "not being raised in some part of a country under certain living conditions" in an almost xenophobic way, essentially shutting out anyone that people just don't want to hear. "Real and true" is then used as a snobbish measure of how much of a carbon copy are you of everything that has already happened, and the "everyone should be encouraged to play bluegrass, because if you play bluegrass, you can play anything" claim is really a cover for "anyone can play bluegrass except for the people that we deem unworthy" because they fail the "real and true" test or some other nonsense. I really want to believe that bluegrass is an encouraging and accepting genre of allowing people to follow tradition if they want to or do their own thing if they want to, but it comes off as so stubborn, closed-minded, fearful and neophobic that I sometimes get genuinely concerned for its future.
    Not only that, but there's another double-standard that frequently shows up:

    Bluegrass influencing anything else is "genre hopping," but anything else influencing bluegrass is "not bluegrass."

    This almost reminds me of newspeak in George Orwell's 1984, in which the Bluegrass Police determines what is "unbluegrass" while simultaneously reducing the language--and therefore the complexity and freedom of thought--of what is bluegrass.

    That book was supposed to be a warning, not a guide...

    --Tom

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    To quote Jack Black from School of Rock..........."Those who can....do, those who cant...teach"
    Maybe we should play our mandolins a little bit more.

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by Mediocrity View Post
    To quote Jack Black from School of Rock..........."Those who can....do, those who cant...teach"
    Sure, but he was quoting that great bluegrass banjo player, George Bernard Shaw.
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Sure, but he was quoting that great bluegrass banjo player, George Bernard Shaw.
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I am glad that AJ could employ some great bluegrass muscians for his project. Now all he needs is a guitar player.
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Even with the sound off you can tell thats not Bluegrass because his guitar is only capo'd at the second fret. The other tip off is that there's more than one mic.

    Furthermore, you can tell its not Newgrass because there are aren't enough people on stage. And not a single one of them is wearing a vest or carrying a tambourine.

    And I can see both sides of this argument because 1) I don't think it sounds like Blue Grass and 2) Who cares ?

    You could ask why we have to label it anything but then again , apparently, AJ felt he needed to...And he labeled it BlueGrass by calling the album that. So , yeah, theres a little "genre confusion" perpetrated and so yeah, again, who cares ?

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    I guess his guitar is pulled up 2 whole steps then. And 'those awkward singer guys in the back' are Ronnie Bowman and Don Rigsby, 2 fine vocalists.
    Not to mention that those two, together with Sammy Shelor who was playing banjo made up 3 parts of a LEGENDARY Bluegrass Band!

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    You can see the mando player was nervous and you can see his left hand shaking pretty good. However, ALL the notes were very clean. He did a great job.
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Come to think of it, I'm not sure this can safely be called Country music either. I'm not 100% certain those are Wranglers that guy is wearing. Too bad, cause the music sounds real good. Some of you must have better eyes than I do. Maybe you could slow it down and watch real careful and look for the correct stitching or relevant tags and such. Must not be BG either cause I know I hears a minor in there! Kidding aside, I enjoyed it. Get a grip people!

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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Well, we got to Post #8 before someone said, "that's not bluegrass."

    Sometimes I wish that a fraction of the effort used to police the borders of "bluegrass territory," was devoted to encouraging "immigrants" who would bring diversity, fresh perspectives, and a new-found appreciation of the classic style.

    I love hard-core bluegrass, and have the 500+ LP's to prove it, but sometimes it seems whenever a country or rock artist decides to try playing a bit in the bluegrass style -- often working with some of the best current bluegrass musicians -- he/she gets frog-marched to the border by the Bluegrass Police.

    Purity and respect for the traditional masters of a genre are to be respected, but pulling the welcome mat from under the feet of anyone who wants to do a "bluegrass album" or book a "bluegrass tour" sometimes seems unwarranted. Funny thing, though, these guys probably ignore the critics and chuckle all the way to the bank.

    Which, of course, just irritates the purists more. Ah well...
    I've recently decided not to worry overmuch about the "bluegrass police". Its a self rectifying problem. The bluegrass jams around me are made up primarily of folks older than I am (and I'm no spring chicken) so I figure before too long old guard (at least in my area) will go play with Bill and that's when bluegrass will begin to grow outside of the fence that the BG PoPo have wrapped around it.

    Here's a thought, if Alan had called the album Bluegrass "Influenced" would we be be having this discussion?
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    Default Re: Even the Big Boys get nervous

    I could care less what people call bluegrass, or whether they like AJ or not. My only bone was the guitar and capo deal. It well could be that his guitar tech handed him the guitar with the capo on 2 and said "here you go." AJ went with it, like he has a thousand times before. Couldn't really hear his flat top anyway.

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