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Bluegrass is Alive and Well

Posted By: David in Atlanta

Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/20/13 12:29 pm

Every year, my son Edward and I go to Nashville for what is the equivalent of a bluegrass national convention. People from all over the US and Canada show up.

Edward and friends see each other maybe once a year. For most, this is the only time they get to play together.

Check it out. They have never played these songs together. Edward is on bass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzAMvWm7UKU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCOXnYruaEg

Pretty good for a bunch of kids! The oldest is maybe 20.


Posted By: Lannis

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/20/13 1:18 pm

That's pretty good for a bunch of "anyones", much less "kids"!

Glad to see that there's new talent coming along to replace the old guard. Now we need to do the same for BritBikes!

Lannis
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/20/13 1:51 pm

There's a serious movement of younger bluegrass players that have emerged over the last 5-8 years or so, on the national scene. Pretty cool to see these youngsters go at it! :bigt A convention like that is a great way to get everyone together for some like-minded interaction. Tho I've never been, I hear the Philly Folk Festival is famous for its night-time camp ground jams. Don't know if it still happens but back in the day, even the most well known players could be found pickin' around a campfire. My friends who always went say the festival highlights were as often found off stage as on.

On another "note" ( grin )- I've been listening to some acoustic tunes lately, some bluegrass, and an assorted mix of country-ish stuff- The Steve Earle Channel on Pandora.

Music: A panacea to sooth the savage beast, in any & all its forms.
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/20/13 6:20 pm

Originally Posted by ricochetrider

Music: A panacea to sooth the savage beast, in any & all its forms.


It would be a dull world indeed without music and the arts!
Posted By: TR6Ray

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/20/13 8:40 pm

David,

There's nothing quite like a stand-up bass fiddle. Have him stay with it. Like the others have said, it's good to see young people with an interest in music, and indeed, in their roots! They all looked like they were having a good time at their jam session.

Ray
Posted By: Mike Baker

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/21/13 2:03 am

Certain summer Saturday nights in Ashville will see all kinds of people playing mountain music in front of the courthouse. Lots of good acts to be sure. But some of the most fun stuff happens behind the stage where the unrehearsed get togethers happen.
Good on your son, David. Now get him on a motorcycle and up to BR!
Posted By: billysguitars

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/21/13 2:35 am

Hey David,

good for your boy ! They sound good buddy ! I've been to SPBGMA before and it's a musical overload ! Used to go up to Owensboro maybe 15-20 years back and got to watch Chris Feeley and Michael Cleveland when they were about 9-10 years old. Scary stuff ! Used to pick with Michael when he was a kid and you know he's progressed a bit more than me over the years <g>.

Tell your boy - or anyone else who's interested - to PM me if they're interested in any copies of old tapes of Bluegrass stuff from 40 years ago or so. I used to tape some folks back in the woods and on the festival sites and am just getting around to transferring those tapes over to CD format. Be happy to share.

On a BB note musically speaking, Dylan broke either his leg or arm on a Triumph back in the day and the recuperation period probably helped him with his career! See there are other reasons to ride British !

Billy
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/21/13 6:22 am

I'd be interested in some old bluegrass billyguitars... How does that happen?
Posted By: Mr Mike

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/13 5:35 am

Been to Owensboro before. Spent a night playing with Leroy Troy. He's a modern day Uncle Dave Macon. Puts on a nice show. He needed a guitar picker that knew some of the old stuff and dragged me around all night to the jams sessions. I do see some young folks at festivals but many of the players are now over seventy. One needs to learn this stuff when they are young. When you are old the learning curve is too steep.

How you doing David of BMW fame?

Mr Mike
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/13 4:08 pm

Hi Mr. Mike

Leroy Troy is awesome and DAMN funny!

I have been well, and spending a lot of my heart and soul helping out some friends of mine. Go up to the "Picture Request - Please Read" post above when you have a few hours for the whole story.

I have just started to pick up the guitar again - gonna try and get that Travis style down since I can fingerpick.

See you at the Three State - I will actually be there for the ride part this year.

Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/13 4:15 pm

Originally Posted by mblab

Good on your son, David. Now get him on a motorcycle and up to BR!


Hi Mike -

A tremendous amount of good pickers are from Western North Carolina. Earl Scruggs, among others, hails from that area.

My son worries about my motorcycling and would prefer I hang it up!
Posted By: snowbeard

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/13 6:06 pm

very nice! that's a snazzy venue they've found there too! wink

I've really missed the bluegrass scene living abroad lately, grew up in WV, and lived in Colorado for ten years. We're going to Telluride Bluegrass Festival again this summer for its 40th Year Anniversary, which just so happens to coincide with my wife's 40th Anniversary year ;-)
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/13 6:29 pm

Telluride!

Man, that is on my bucket list - maybe one day I will scoot on out there on my bike.

That is one helluva show!

I am jealous!!

PS - the snazzy venue is the hallway leading to the indoor pool.

Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/13 8:26 pm

Man this thread is sparking some memories for me. There was a time in my life when I felt that there was no purer sound than that of gut or wire & wood. That was admittedly a LONG time ago.

I used to follow bluegrass back before Merle Watson died, and saw Doc & Merle many times at various BG festivals. Boy those were the days.

One stand-out moment in my following of bluegrass was seeing David Bromberg in an acoustic set at Pier 6 in Baltimore. He had another outstanding guitar player (I THINK it was the NC picker who replaced Merle as Doc Watson's sidekick- Brian? comes to mind- not Brian Sutton? was it?), and his champeen fiddle player (the names escape me now). The Stanley Brothers opened, and DB was seriously fired up, more excited than I'd ever seen him(!) and I probably saw at least 15 Bromberg shows by then... That show would have been mid 80s?

Another great moment with David Bromberg was the very first time I ever saw him & his band (before DB's "Big Band"). Norman Blake & his wife opened. Wow.

(yeah I know he's not a true bluegrass guy but if you don't give David Bromberg due credit for some awesome acoustic/BG moments then you've missed it)

Back in the mid 70s, every festival I saw had all the key players of the moment- Earl Scruggs, The Watsons, Vassar Clements, The Stanleys... Heady Times to be sure.

One off-beat "blue grass" fest I went to featuring all the above top-end players, Sea Level (Chuck Leavell's brand new jazz-fusion piano driven Allman Bros spin-off) closed on Friday; Ozark Mountain Daredevils closed Saturday! (think: Standing On The Rock) Each was out of context, each had a great set.

on another note:
I still feel that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Circle" Album remains one of the all-time great Bluegrass moments.

Jeez. Stop me now.
Posted By: snowbeard

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/13 10:47 pm

You should do it, with a banjo on yer knee!! wink I always wanted to go by motorcyle but we take so much stuff for camp, oh and the wife... wink it is a blast, we only missed a couple of years while we lived in CO, Town Park camping right next to the venue stage, late night picks in the camp, Yonder Mountain String Band and Leftover Salmon got their start there. Edward would fit right in, Heck, he should send in a demo to compete in the Band Contest or as a Troubadour! http://www.bluegrass.com/telluride/contests.html

There're lots of established camps that set up kitchens and food in town and in the venue, I'm sure you could make friends and lighten the load even!! :-)

can you tell I'm really looking forward to being home for some real live music?!?! laugh
Posted By: JiminNC

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/13 11:27 pm

Well...that sure was a nice way to spend some time on a cold rainy Friday evening.

Good stuff!! Thanks for sharing.

Jim
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/04/13 6:09 pm

Here is one from the Meyer Family Bluegrass Band, musician friends of my son.

This is from this year's IBMA - the worldwide bluegrass convention. It was in Raleigh NC this year.

My son and I did not make it this one- we now wish we did!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMmwIjEKnJA

Posted By: Ob1quixote

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/04/13 6:43 pm

wish my fingers worked like that
Posted By: TR6Ray

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/04/13 11:17 pm

Very nice, David, and they looked like they were having so much fun too!

Ray
Posted By: DavidP

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/05/13 1:00 am

Originally Posted by David in Atlanta

This is from this year's IBMA - the worldwide bluegrass convention. It was in Raleigh NC this year.

Yep, it went to Raleigh. Since we got our new convention center the price of hotel rooms was too much for IBMA.
The company I work with still provided the sound.
I didn't get that call. They sent the kids, the ones who are still confused when the talent tells them to turn down the bass. The ones too stupid to know that you DON'T close-mic a banjo.
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/05/13 6:39 am

When IBMA first moved to Nashville, it was great. It got progressively worse over the years.

The last couple of years were not very good, partly because of the economy and partly the expense.

Raleigh pulled out all the stops. Lots of folks say it was the best one ever.

I thought the sound was pretty good on this clip. Maybe a bit more mando would have been nice.
Posted By: Semper Gumby

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/07/13 12:41 am

Chris Thile, Chris Thile.

Sarah Jarosz.

Infamous Stringdusters, Infamous Stringdusters, Infamous Stringdusters.

Alison Krause.


Mike Marshall.

The Goat Rodeo Sessions.

Gillian Welch, Gillian Welch, Gillian Welch.

Let me count the ways while I have the breath. (yesh yesh)
Posted By: Semper Gumby

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/07/13 1:30 am

Aiofe O'Donovan, Aiofe O'Donovan.

Chris Thile and Michael Daves.

Sarah Jarosz and Chris Thile.

and one last one...

Sierra Hull and Sarah Jarosz.

Bluegrass is doing just fine.
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/07/13 9:06 pm

Aoife O'Donovan slays me. She is awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4LaBFbf8Wc

Saw her with Crooked Still at Merlefest back in 2008. Caught every show they did.
Posted By: Semper Gumby

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/07/13 9:21 pm

again...Alison Krause. :')

Because you asked for it..

Aoife O'Donovan.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/07/13 10:27 pm

Alison Krauss is an angel.....and we are blessed she walks among us.

An Angel I tell ya

Opie Gone Bad
Posted By: Semper Gumby

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/07/13 11:17 pm

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Alison Krauss is an angel.....and we are blessed she walks with us.


Simply the most amazing solo voice I have ever heard. To hear her in person would be a great excuse to go on a bimble...
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 10/08/13 12:06 am

Originally Posted by Semper Gumby
Simply the most amazing solo voice I have ever heard. To hear her in person would be a great excuse to go on a bimble...


Yes sir....I agree 100%.

She's sick (dysphonia) and has no show dates for now. Maybe after the first of the year we might plan an Alison Krauss Bimble....she does a lot of shows close to both of us.

Glad you're at peace with the disappointment.....that's a good thing.

Take care....Gordon aka Opie Gone Bad
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/05/14 12:14 pm

Hard to believe a year has passed since this topic came up!

Here are a few of my son Edward (on bass) and his buds at the 2014 SPBGMA Conference in Nashville TN:





They get better every year.


Posted By: George Elston

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/05/14 12:32 pm

Although I'm no huge bluegrass fan I will say that as a group they have to be the most democratic and accepting musicians ever. I worked with a guy who loved bluegrass and was desparate to learn banjo. I brought my guitar to work several times to give him some rhythm background ( just strumming chords based on the sheet music he had) to try and help him out. Poor guy just could not seem to get it. But he continued to go to local picking sessions and was accepted just like he knew what was going on. They even let him try a solo once in a while.
He retired about 3 years ago and bought a camper. Told me he and his wife were going to follow the BG festival circuit wherever it took them. Have not seen or heard about him since but I'm sure he is in heaven ( not literally of course) and I sincerely hope that at some point he had a eureka moment and "got it".
Posted By: Mr Mike

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/05/14 10:44 pm

David,
You are fortunate to have family in it. None of my kids took it up young. I like a little of it all. One of my favorites Phil Everly just passed away. He and his brother led the way for lots of groups of great harmony singers.

Ever hear of the "Milk Carton Kids"? They did a couple of numbers on that Showtime concert "Another Day, Another Time" that features songs from the new movie "Inside Llewyn Davis". You haven't heard harmony till you hear them. If I knew how to put one of their tracks on here I would.

See you in May,

Mr Mike
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/08/16 9:44 am

This years SPBGMA was killer . Check it out:




My son Edward on lead guitar - This was our tenth year attending.

It is such a joy to hear this guys play. Seems like yesterday they were kids.
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/08/16 6:22 pm

There is so much young talent and lots of kids are really into bluegrass!
It's awesome and is fun for everybody.
Whee.
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/05/18 11:17 am

Back again from SPBGMA. It gets better every year!





Typing this reminds me of Ben. He would have loved to see these.
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/05/18 11:57 pm

I was just in Nashville a week ago ... When and where does that happen? Sorry
i missed it !!
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/06/18 11:13 am

Originally Posted by wadeschields
I was just in Nashville a week ago ... When and where does that happen? Sorry
i missed it !!


Hi Wade

SPBGMA falls around the last weekend/first weekend at the Music City Sheraton.

Lots of youtube videos. Some better than others.



Posted By: BritTwit

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/06/18 12:30 pm

Thanks Dave
I'm so grateful that the younguns still have that purity of sound that's been missing for so long. Takes me back to the Hugo festival some 40 years ago.
Obviously, "been playin since theys babies".
Posted By: rick e.

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/06/18 3:56 pm

Always nice to see the young playing standard Bluegrass. But what Bluegrass needs, IMO, is more folks to step out of the box like John Hartford. Think "Aeroplane" and "Mark Twain" albums.

Saw Hartford (solo) with a warm up act: Bella Fleck,(he just turned 18) Sam Bush,NGR....at a small venue with only 15 people attending! The bar was set so high that night and for some reason I never went to another bluegrass show since.
Posted By: GrandPaul

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/06/18 4:29 pm

Y'all need to get over to the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.

Our best friends lived just across the river from the fairgrounds and used to work the first day parking to get full weekend passes.

I never knew I liked all-acoustic Bluegrass till we went.
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/06/18 6:42 pm

Originally Posted by GrandPaul
Y'all need to get over to the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.

Our best friends lived just across the river from the fairgrounds and used to work the first day parking to get full weekend passes.

I never knew I liked all-acoustic Bluegrass till we went.


I agree with you about going to that.

Very famous event.

They have contests in all the acoustic instruments.

Very prestigious to win.

Alison Krauss won on fiddle back in the eighties.

Posted By: GrandPaul

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/06/18 6:49 pm

Originally Posted by David in Atlanta
Originally Posted by GrandPaul
...Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas...


I agree with you about going to that.

Very famous event.

They have contests in all the acoustic instruments.

Very prestigious to win.

Alison Krauss won on fiddle back in the eighties.



Yes, International competition in several categories, national competition in several others. Also the Dixie Chicks were on the scene when they were starting out. We saw Harry Chapin's brother there (Tom?).
Posted By: mac

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/06/18 9:09 pm

anyone ever come to Cumberland md for "delfest" ?
I think that's a bluegrass thing
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/06/18 10:37 pm

Originally Posted by David in Atlanta
Originally Posted by wadeschields
I was just in Nashville a week ago ... When and where does that happen? Sorry
i missed it !!


Hi Wade

SPBGMA falls around the last weekend/first weekend at the Music City Sheraton.

Lots of youtube videos. Some better than others.





So Once a month??


Gettysburg has two festivals a year as well... I justy always seem to be busy at the wrong time... Big acts though
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/07/18 11:07 am

Ooops - just once a year in late January early February.

Posted By: DavidP

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/10/18 10:29 am

Originally Posted by wadeschields
I was just in Nashville a week ago ... When and where does that happen? Sorry
i missed it !!

What!? You were in Nashville and you didn't call me?! I relish the excuse to take off work and play tour guide.
This town exists to make money off the musicians from East Tennessee and Kentucky.
Bluegrass darn sure didn't happen here.
Went to an AES meeting out at Ricky Skaggs' studio last week. That place has a bit of history. A lot of great records came out of that room.
Posted By: DavidP

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/10/18 10:54 am

Real conversation from an inexperienced " sound dude."
" I keep putting that mic up on his banjo, and he keeps backing away."
Guess what Jr, you NEVER close-mic a banjo!
"Gosh, I have the subs set up cardioid, but they still say there's too much bass."
This ain't a DJ show, boy!
Hate to think what they'd do with a hammer dulcimer.

I recently watched a bluegrass show with my mom. They used two old RCA ribbon mics for the entire stage. That's the way!
Posted By: Lannis

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/10/18 3:46 pm

Originally Posted by DavidP
Real conversation from an inexperienced " sound dude."
" I keep putting that mic up on his banjo, and he keeps backing away."
Guess what Jr, you NEVER close-mic a banjo!
"Gosh, I have the subs set up cardioid, but they still say there's too much bass."
This ain't a DJ show, boy!
Hate to think what they'd do with a hammer dulcimer.

I recently watched a bluegrass show with my mom. They used two old RCA ribbon mics for the entire stage. That's the way!


Back from '87 to about '95 or so, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Jim and Jesse, the Lewis Family, all the big names used to come to central/southwest Virginia every year.

They'd play the Appomattox High School auditorium, Floyd County High School, the Vista Theater in Altavista, the Iroquois Club in Roanoke, all sorts of nice local venues. The Iroquois Club only held about 40 people and I could sit right under Ralph's StanleyTone banjo and watch in amazement.

The only downside to any of the shows were the local sound people. None of these bands took their own sound equipment or crew to these little venues, so someone in the sponsoring organization (lots of these shows were fundraisers) would find a local "sound guy" and equipment.

Maybe it's just around here, maybe it's not sound guys everywhere, but the sound guy ALWAYS detracted from the show. Not only did they not know anything, they didn't KNOW that they didn't know anything about what they were doing, and were constantly fiddling, changing, generating feedback, cutting off mikes, re-mixing, turning mikes up and down at the wrong times. Ralph Stanley told more than one of them to step away from the sound board. "Son, we been doing this a long time, we know when to step up to the mike and back. Just leave it alone."

One or two old-fashioned mikes, LEAVE THEM ALONE, and let a world-class band do their thing!!

Lannis
Posted By: David in Atlanta

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/10/18 5:35 pm


Originally Posted by Lannis


One or two old-fashioned mikes, LEAVE THEM ALONE, and let a world-class band do their thing!!

Lannis


Say no more -


Posted By: rick e.

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/10/18 7:38 pm

One mic is better than two, especially if you have a RCA 44 like the above pic!!! (cancellation risk )

IMO, the "room" will make or break the sound.

As simple as it sounds; A RCA ribbon>transformer>Tube pre>tube amp>speakers, its not easy, but can still done, and is...

Posted By: rocketgoldie

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/10/18 7:50 pm

Doc Watson******** TheBEST
Posted By: Ob1quixote

Re: Bluegrass is Alive and Well - 02/22/18 11:30 am

Gonna have live bluegrass at the Armenia Dual Sport this year, Saturday night!
Doable on vintage street legal bikes of smaller bore and decidedly off-road bent, knobbies needed.

Heck, the AHRMA Cross Country folks used the toughest section as their race course for years!
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