O Bluegrass! Where art Thou?

I love bluegrass music.  Something about those twangy metal strings.  Even though I grew up in KY, I didn’t listen to it much and didn’t have any friends or family who listened to it.  I acquired the taste in the last 10 years or so.

If you have some interest in the music and like it enough to want to learn more and maybe even start a collection, here are some recommendations in order.  You can download some or buy a used copy off Amazon.

Appalachian Stomp
Good variety from early pioneers like Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs then through Del McCoury and JD Crowe up to Alison Krauss.  Also has highly recognizable stuff like “Dueling Banjos” from that awful film and Beverly Hillbillies TV theme.

Hand-Picked: 25 years of Rounders (major bluegrass label)
2 CD set for cheap with great stuff on it. “Old Home Place” and “High on a Mountain” are two of my favs. “Barrel of Fun” makes my instrumental list.

Home on the Highways: Band Picked Favorites by Alison Krauss and Union Station (available at Cracker Barrel.  The Ricky Scaggs “High Notes” is really good, too) Her voice, her fiddling, plus Dan Tyminski are simply awesome.  Also a good intro to Alison, some tracks are more of a pop/country sound than pure bluegrass.

For the Advanced:  If you are already a fan and like the high, twangy voice and great picking, download “Deeper Shade of Blue” by Del McCoury today!

Now on to some of My Favorites:

  • “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn” by Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • “The Old Home Place” by JD Crowe and the New South
  • “Rain Rain Please Go Away” by Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • “Bright Sunny South” by Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • “High on a Mountain” by Del McCoury
  • “True Love Never Dies” by Del McCoury
  • “A Deeper Shade of Blue” by Del McCoury
  • “Big Rock in the Road” by Del McCoury

Great Gospel Bluegrass songs:

  • “I Know His Voice” by Del McCoury
  • “Every Humble Knee Must Bow” by the Nashville Bluegrass Band
  • “Recoverin’ Pharisee” by Del McCoury
  • “On the Sea of Life” by Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

Instrumentals-Awesome pickin’!

  • “Unionhouse Branch” by Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • “Choctaw Hayride” by Alison Krauss and Union Station
  • “Barrel of Fun” by Country Cooking
  • “Crazy Creek” by Bill Keith
  • “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” by Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain Boys
  • “Nine Pound Hammer” by the Kentucky Colonels
  • “Quicksburg Rendezvous” by Del McCoury
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9 thoughts on “O Bluegrass! Where art Thou?

  1. I knew ya had good taste in music, 🙂

    Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver , are posted to play this weekend closed to where we live.
    I love to hear the mandolin being played! 🙂

  2. AR side but barely. Our mailbox was 5 feet south of the Missouri border. About 40 miles north of Mt View AR. Which has these amazing outdoor bluegrass concerts every Friday night on the town square. Free! Just being a lawn chair.

  3. Amanda, I grew up in Mountain View in the 40s and fifties, my mom had a good friend named Ida Sanders, I believe she had a son can’t recall his name. thought they might be your kinfolk

    I love going back and seeing what is left of the people I know and sitting in the lawn chair, on Friday night. we attended church @ the CoC by the old school, believe it is church ave Coc.

  4. brian

    interesting, Laymond, if you knew any Garners, they are my wife’s kinfolk. it’s small, small world

  5. Brian,

    I haven’t become the bluegrass fan you are these days. But I do love a much wider variety of music than I did when I was a kid. Is this something we all go through, like learning to eat different kinds of food as we grow older?

    Growing up in Oklahoma in the Seventies, C&W sounded like death to me. And it was everywhere. It stood for everything I wanted to avoid. Rock-n-Roll was the only way out. These days, I find myself drawn to C&W, Bluegrass, Gospel, and R&B. I sometimes find myself listening to or singing a great song wondering, “Why didn’t I like this thirty years ago?”

    Anyway, once the change had begun years ago, I ordered an album called “Hayseed Dixie,” a collection of bluegrass covers of songs by AC/DC. The musicianship is fabulous, a group of Nashville studio people? On the back cover is a photo of the players with the black stripe across their eyes ala the “Dirty Deeds” album cover. The clever imitation hides their identity. It’s not something you want to listen to often (or around your kids). But it’s great just for kicks.

  6. Good think God gave us all different opinions, because Bluegrass music is painful for me to listen to. 🙂

    In fact, when my two youngest boys get to arguing or misbehaving when we’re on a road trip, I simply turn the radio to the “bluegrass” station and turn it up. Amazingly with in a few seconds they are apologizing and begging me to change the station … 🙂

  7. Brian, I think there’s a technical problem with your post of July 4th. Seems it’s impossible to comment on that one. Or did you deliberately set it up that way? 🙂

    I always look forward to the posts here. All the best.

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