Bluegrass Music

This is a big topic to discuss in just a few paragraphs.

Bluegrass music fits somewhere into the larger realm of folk and country. Naturally musicians from one genre make jokes about musicians who play music in the others. One thing that I have really grown to appreciate about bluegrass is .... no drums! What a relief. Apparently some modern bluegrass groups do include a drummer. A big mistake, eventually they will reinvent rock and roll.

Someone gave me a disk "Y'all come, the essential Jim and Jesse McReynolds". I have come to discover this is like one of the awful "Beethovens greatest hits" collections and gathers many of their songs from different periods throughout their career. I like it nonetheless. Jim and Jesse are brothers by the way (Jim passed away in 2002), and their band was called the "Virginia Boys". Jesse plays the mandolin and pioneered crosspicking and split-string playing styles. Jim played guitar and sang high tenor. There have been different banjo players along the way who played for the Virginia Boys. I have noticed that some of the banjo playing on the Y'all come disk is fast and precise and machine like. Impressive, but almost non-musical like a machine. I have yet to discover just who this player is. Gary Reece, Hoke Jenkins, and Bobby Thompson all played banjo with the Virginia Boys.


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Tom's home page / tom@mmto.org