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Thread: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

  1. #1
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    Question Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    We all know that Bluegrass has, from its inception, supported a progressive and nurturing attitude for new talent, and taking that as my start point, I want to ask people here to suggest or nominate their favourite new Bluegrass sounds.

    To keep this interesting i would like to limit this to original songs and original tunes released in the last five years or so.

    That means that we exclude any cover-versions of older songs and tune material no matter how worthy they may be (lets try and keep it to new additions to the Bluegrass repertoire).

    Also, as a peremptory caveat, i'd would also like to keep this relatively subjective, so if you, personally, consider a recording to be Bluegrass then feel free to suggest it.

    For those of you who are savvy enough to post videos and links here, please do.

    Lets try for a nice review of the best and brightest of the new sounds of Bluegrass

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    You asked for my opinion so here it is....

    I don`t hear very many new bluegrass songs that even sound like what bluegrass sounded like originally....

    I know there are a lot of folks on here that call some of the new trash "Bluegrass" but those are thier opinions and I have stated mine...

    That should get this thread rolling with people taking a shot at me also.....Listen to whatever you like....

    Willie

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    Registered User Chip Booth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    That didn't take long.

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by M.Marmot View Post
    We all know that Bluegrass has, from its inception, supported a progressive and nurturing attitude for new talent...
    Well, let me take exception to that premise; it's true of some bluegrass musicians and fans -- maybe those in Ireland, I don't know -- but not of many others. Groups like the New Grass Revival and the Bluegrass Alliance were criticized vociferously, for everything from instrumental styles, to choice of repertoire, to clothing and hair length. My buddy Willie here speaks for a large segment of the BG community when he refers to much of the newer music as "trash."

    Do a search on Chris Thile, Ricky Skaggs, or Alison Krauss and you'll find a passel of posts critiquing them from a trad-bluegrass viewpoint. Many of us can quote Bill Monroe's dismissal of the bluegrass avant garde, though even Bill later admitted that his "hippie fans" really studied and appreciated his music.

    Having said that, I'll nominate Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show (with contribution from Bob Dylan -- I didn't know that!) as a tune I like.
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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Another Man's Arms-Junior Sisk there you go Willie, some real grass less than 5 years old.


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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    hey, I'm hep to the jive, daddy-o. I listen to modern stuff. I even like some of it:


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    Registered User D.Greer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    The newest Larry Sparks is pretty good for a newer bluegrass album. My list is a pretty short one so that kind of reflects on how I feel about new so called bluegrass albums. So check out the album, it's called Almost Home. I like quite a bit of the new acoustic music coming out but find it's often mislabeled as being bluegrass. I don't think it is possible to make a bluegrass album now days thats gonna sound like my old Stanley brothers records. Just my meaningless opinion.

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    You asked for my opinion so here it is....

    I don`t hear very many new bluegrass songs that even sound like what bluegrass sounded like originally....

    Willie
    Well, if you do get to thinking on it some more i would be very glad to have you contribute some contemporary music that fits your own estimations of Bluegrass.

    I'll leave the debates for other people and other threads.

    I just would like to get a review of some new songs and tunes that do their best to add to the Bluegrass canon.

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    Another Man's Arms-Junior Sisk there you go Willie, some real grass less than 5 years old.
    Thank you - this certainly seems to fit the bill (no pun intended) and is just what i had in mind for this thread.

    I've been giving it a few listens now and both song and performance are good stuff.

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post
    hey, I'm hep to the jive, daddy-o. I listen to modern stuff. I even like some of it:


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    Heck-o, i was thinking of the Ray Charles' album when i named the thread but... well, that just made me smile.

    (i am also thinking that image would make for one super t-shirt)

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Having said that, I'll nominate Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show (with contribution from Bob Dylan -- I didn't know that!) as a tune I like.
    Yes, i had been playing the song with a group for months before i found out, on this forum i think, that it was worked up from Dylan material. That was a bit of a shock, though it made more sense when i listened back to it with Dylan in mind.

    It certainly is a versatile song, i've heard it through many acoustic music filters at this stage and it usually keeps on giving.

  13. #12
    Registered User D.Greer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Check out the Steep Canyon Rangers and Town Mountain.

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    I like these guys quite a lot.

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    That one was on Skagg's Family Records too.......

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by SternART View Post
    That one was on Skagg's Family Records too.......
    Apparently Cadillac Sky switched to a different label after their first two albums with Skaggs Family (I've only heard the first of those two). Based on the decidedly mixed reviews at amazon, their new album stretches well beyond the boundaries of modern bluegrass and challenges the listener. Now I'm curious to hear it, just to find out where this group's muse has taken them. It seems that whenever artists push boundaries, the reactions are always mixed, with some recoiling in horror, others cheering a creative breakthrough, and a contingent that shrugs with indifference.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    There's lots of good bluegrass and acoustic music out there today.....






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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Jesse Brock Kickin' Grass is the pooches pendulums with serious mandolin contnet too as a bonus.



    I love the Growning Old Men Bleuegrass stuff, they tend to drift around the country genres though.
    I can only find a fairly thin version of Madison Brown to hint at what they do.


    There's always Little Miss Cutthroat


    However Bluegrass is similar to classical in that it has an excellent repertoire which means it doesn't continually need the latest hit to make it interesting. Just interpreting the old favourites can be a daunting enought task. The serious volume of classy songs and tunes mean it takes a lot to make something new thet'll stand the test of time.
    Eoin



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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz View Post
    I like these guys quite a lot.
    Definitely a band that uses bluegrass instrumentation to push beyond the boundaries of traditional bluegrass song forms - a very contemporary sound.

    I may be odd in this but i think, on these first listenings, that i prefer their live sound over the more polished sound of the album tracks.

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    There's lots of good bluegrass and acoustic music out there today.....





    That is some nice stuff, i particularly like the second song, and even more so the tune 'Knob Creek' ... I like that the mandolin holds to the classic bluesy-tremolo sound.

  21. #20

    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    "You asked for my opinion so here it is.."

    I'd have to agree with you, Willie.

    The preponderance of the new stuff being released/performed today is "a far cry from Lester and Earl"...

    Having said that, there are fine bands out there now with newer material. As posted above, The Steep Canyon Rangers are probably the hottest band on the circuit this year (gettin' hired by that Martin guy probably helps!). And I think The Gibson Brothers are the heirs to the Louvins and Jim and Jesse -- the best brother duet in music, right now...

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Albert View Post
    "You asked for my opinion so here it is.."

    I'd have to agree with you, Willie.

    The preponderance of the new stuff being released/performed today is "a far cry from Lester and Earl"...
    Unless you're deliberately doing a retro thing, why would you want to sound like a band from 60 years ago regardless of how good they were?

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolirius View Post
    Unless you're deliberately doing a retro thing, why would you want to sound like a band from 60 years ago regardless of how good they were?
    For my part, i can see how someone might think that even though a certain sound is old it still has a lot a life in it yet.

    (In fact i think that just a passing glance at the categories and topics covered by the cafe forum is testament to the passion people feel for older musics - and where there's passion there's life.)

    Some good music can come form working within set limits...

    Besides, this thread is not about serving the endless old style-new style debate (there are plenty of others that do that ad nauseum) and i would prefer it if it just served not to highlight peoples polemics but to showcase some contemporary songwriting and tune-writing.

    So far, there has been some good posts and i have learned a thing or two - long may it continue.

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Albert View Post
    And I think The Gibson Brothers are the heirs to the Louvins and Jim and Jesse -- the best brother duet in music, right now...
    I was shuffling around their site last night and i did enjoy their music - strangely, again, i prefer the live sound to the polish of the album recordings.

    (There was a moment of confusion when a google search initially unearthed this) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znE18eXqn58

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    Older songs can be played without a band sounding exactly like the original recordings....Ever try to duplicate John Duffy? or Tony Rice among others, but people still like to hear their songs as well as many of the Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and Monroe songs...They will never die and the new bands can`t hold a candle to them for my taste anyway...."If it ain`t broke, don`t fix it"
    Sorry to get off on a different track than this thread was intended to be...

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    Default Re: Modern Sounds in Bluegrass Music

    All I know is if I want to feel bad about what I'm doing in bluegrass, all I have to constantly compare myself to the original masters. Bingo! Full-time inferiority complex.

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