According to Wikipedia, “bluegrass music has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music, was inspired by the music of immigrants residing in Appalachia and…influenced by the music of African-Americans.”
We like to think of bluegrass as the child of a handsome sailing man, a singer of sea shanties and bawdy drinking tunes, who comes home to the rolling hills of West Virginia to marry his one true love, a winsome natural born woman, a singer of folk tunes and lullabyes.
Either way, bluegrass is the roots of the tree, the heart of the country music soul and there’s plenty of good music still being made.
We’re particularly fond of James Reams and the Barnstormers, a band out of the Northeast who can write a jaunty bluegrass rhythms and bring a tear to your eye all at the same time.
Also from the Northeast, based in that enclave we know as Rhode Island, is Tallahassee. They found themselves an old church to lay down tracks for their album, Wolfe Moon, from which we offer you the beautiful travelogue, “California.”
Bluegrass may be American music but it’s influence stretches far beyond our borders. Calico Bonnets are from Karlsruhe, Germany and combine elements of folk, outlaw country and bluegrass into a delightful brew, as witnessed on their tune “Accidentally” (from I Can See Your Horse From Here).
Last but certainly not least is Charlie Chamberlain, a New Hampshire boy who sets our seafaring man and his lass on their ear by combining elements of classic bluegrass with drum machine and other mechanics of modern technology. Bluegrass not only lives’; it continues to grow and evolve.
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