Bluegrass music
Overview
 
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music
American Roots Music
American Roots Music is a 2001 multi-part documentary film that explores the historical roots of American Roots music through footage and performances by the creators of the movement: Folk, Country, Blues, Gospel, Bluegrass, and many others....

, and a sub-genre of country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

. It has mixed roots in Scottish
Music of Scotland
Scotland is internationally known for its traditional music, which has remained vibrant throughout the 20th century, when many traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to pop music...

, English
Folk music of England
Folk music of England refers to various types of traditionally based music, often contrasted with courtly, classical and later commercial music, for which evidence exists from the later medieval period. It has been preserved and transmitted orally, through print and later through recordings...

, Welsh
Music of Wales
Wales has a strong and distinctive link with music. The country is traditionally referred to as "the land of song". This is a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs, Eisteddfodau and arena singing, such as sporting...

and Irish
Folk music of Ireland
The folk music of Ireland is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Ireland.-History:...

traditional music. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of immigrants
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 residing in Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

, and was influenced by the music of African-Americans through incorporation of jazz elements.

In bluegrass, as in some forms of jazz, one or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment
Accompaniment
In music, accompaniment is the art of playing along with an instrumental or vocal soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner...

; this is especially typified in tunes called breakdowns.
Encyclopedia
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music
American Roots Music
American Roots Music is a 2001 multi-part documentary film that explores the historical roots of American Roots music through footage and performances by the creators of the movement: Folk, Country, Blues, Gospel, Bluegrass, and many others....

, and a sub-genre of country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

. It has mixed roots in Scottish
Music of Scotland
Scotland is internationally known for its traditional music, which has remained vibrant throughout the 20th century, when many traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to pop music...

, English
Folk music of England
Folk music of England refers to various types of traditionally based music, often contrasted with courtly, classical and later commercial music, for which evidence exists from the later medieval period. It has been preserved and transmitted orally, through print and later through recordings...

, Welsh
Music of Wales
Wales has a strong and distinctive link with music. The country is traditionally referred to as "the land of song". This is a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs, Eisteddfodau and arena singing, such as sporting...

and Irish
Folk music of Ireland
The folk music of Ireland is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Ireland.-History:...

traditional music. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of immigrants
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 residing in Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

, and was influenced by the music of African-Americans through incorporation of jazz elements.

In bluegrass, as in some forms of jazz, one or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment
Accompaniment
In music, accompaniment is the art of playing along with an instrumental or vocal soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner...

; this is especially typified in tunes called breakdowns. This is in contrast to old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Breakdowns are often characterized by rapid tempo
Tempo
In musical terminology, tempo is the speed or pace of a given piece. Tempo is a crucial element of any musical composition, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece.-Measuring tempo:...

s and unusual instrumental dexterity and sometimes by complex chord changes.

Bluegrass music has attracted a diverse and loyal following worldwide. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe
William Smith Monroe was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader...

 characterized the genre as: "Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 bagpipes
Bagpipes
Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones, using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. Though the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe and Irish uilleann pipes have the greatest international visibility, bagpipes of many different types come from...

 and ole-time fiddlin'. It's Methodist
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

 and Holiness
Holiness movement
The holiness movement refers to a set of beliefs and practices emerging from the Methodist Christian church in the mid 19th century. The movement is distinguished by its emphasis on John Wesley's doctrine of "Christian perfection" - the belief that it is possible to live free of voluntary sin - and...

 and Baptist. It's blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 and jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, and it has a high lonesome sound."

Instrumentation

Unlike mainstream country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, bluegrass is traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments. The fiddle
Fiddle
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

, five-string banjo, guitar
Acoustic guitar
An acoustic guitar is a guitar that uses only an acoustic sound board. The air in this cavity resonates with the vibrational modes of the string and at low frequencies, which depend on the size of the box, the chamber acts like a Helmholtz resonator, increasing or decreasing the volume of the sound...

, mandolin
Mandolin
A mandolin is a musical instrument in the lute family . It descends from the mandore, a soprano member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single...

, and upright bass (string bass) are often joined by the resonator guitar
Resonator guitar
A resonator guitar or resophonic guitar is an acoustic guitar whose sound is produced by one or more spun metal cones instead of the wooden sound board . Resonator guitars were originally designed to be louder than conventional acoustic guitars which were overwhelmed by horns and percussion...

 (also referred to as a Dobro
Dobro
Dobro is a registered trademark, now owned by Gibson Guitar Corporation and used for a particular design of resonator guitar.The name has a long and involved history, interwoven with that of the resonator guitar...

) and (occasionally) harmonica
Harmonica
The harmonica, also called harp, French harp, blues harp, and mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used primarily in blues and American folk music, jazz, country, and rock and roll. It is played by blowing air into it or drawing air out by placing lips over individual holes or multiple holes...

. This instrumentation originated in rural dance bands and is the basis on which the earliest bluegrass bands were formed.

The guitar is now most commonly played with a style referred to as flatpicking
Flatpicking
Flatpicking is a technique for playing a guitar using a guitar pick held between two or three fingers to strike the strings...

, unlike the style of seminal bluegrass guitarist Lester Flatt
Lester Flatt
Lester Raymond Flatt was a bluegrass musician and guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his membership in the Bluegrass duo The Foggy Mountain Boys, also known as "Flatt and Scruggs," with banjo picker Earl Scruggs. Flatt's career spanned multiple decades; besides his work with Scruggs, he...

, who used a thumb and finger pick. Banjo players often use the three-finger picking style
Scruggs style
Scruggs style is the most common style of playing the banjo in bluegrass music. It is a fingerpicking method, also known as three-finger style. It is named after Earl Scruggs, whose innovative approach and technical mastery of the instrument has influenced generations of bluegrass banjoists ever...

 made popular by Earl Scruggs
Earl Scruggs
Earl Eugene Scruggs is an American musician noted for perfecting and popularizing a 3-finger banjo-picking style that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music...

. Fiddlers will frequently play in thirds
Mediant
In music, the mediant is the third scale degree of the diatonic scale, being the note halfway between the tonic and the dominant. Similarly, the submediant is halfway between the tonic and subdominant...

 and fifths
Dominant (music)
In music, the dominant is the fifth scale degree of the diatonic scale, called "dominant" because it is next in importance to the tonic,and a dominant chord is any chord built upon that pitch, using the notes of the same diatonic scale...

, producing a sound that is characteristic to the bluegrass style. The bassist will almost always play pizzicato
Pizzicato
Pizzicato is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument. The exact technique varies somewhat depending on the type of stringed instrument....

, occasionally adopting the "slap-style" to accentuate the beat. A bluegrass bass line is generally a rhythmic alternation between the tonic
Tonic (music)
In music, the tonic is the first scale degree of the diatonic scale and the tonal center or final resolution tone. The triad formed on the tonic note, the tonic chord, is thus the most significant chord...

 and dominant
Dominant (music)
In music, the dominant is the fifth scale degree of the diatonic scale, called "dominant" because it is next in importance to the tonic,and a dominant chord is any chord built upon that pitch, using the notes of the same diatonic scale...

 of each chord
Chord (music)
A chord in music is any harmonic set of two–three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. These need not actually be played together: arpeggios and broken chords may for many practical and theoretical purposes be understood as chords...

, with occasional walking bass excursions.

Instrumentation has been an ongoing topic of debate. Traditional bluegrass performers believe the "correct" instrumentation is that used by Bill Monroe's band, the Blue Grass Boys (mandolin, played by Monroe, fiddle, guitar, banjo and bass). Departures from the traditional instrumentation have included accordion
Accordion
The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist....

, harmonica, piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

, autoharp
Autoharp
The autoharp is a musical string instrument having a series of chord bars attached to dampers, which, when depressed, mute all of the strings other than those that form the desired chord. Despite its name, the autoharp is not a harp at all, but a chorded zither. -History:There is debate over the...

, drum
Drum
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

s, electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

, and electric versions of other common bluegrass instruments, resulting in what has been referred to as "newgrass."

Vocals

Aside from specific instrumentation, a distinguishing characteristic of bluegrass is vocal harmony featuring two, three, or four parts, often with a dissonant
Consonance and dissonance
In music, a consonance is a harmony, chord, or interval considered stable, as opposed to a dissonance , which is considered to be unstable...

 or modal
Musical mode
In the theory of Western music since the ninth century, mode generally refers to a type of scale. This usage, still the most common in recent years, reflects a tradition dating to the middle ages, itself inspired by the theory of ancient Greek music.The word encompasses several additional...

 sound in the highest voice (see modal frame
Modal frame
In music a melodic mode or modal frame is one of, "a number of types permeating and unifying African, European, and American song" and melody. "Mode" and "frame" are used in this context interchangeably. Melodic modes allow melodies which are not chord-based or determined by the harmony but...

), a style described as the "high, lonesome sound." Commonly, the ordering and layering of vocal harmony is called the 'stack'. A standard stack has a baritone voice at the bottom, the lead in the middle (singing the main melody) and a tenor at the top; although stacks can be altered, especially where a female voice is included. Alison Krauss and Union Station provide a good example of a different harmony stack with a baritone and tenor with a high lead, an octave above the standard melody line, sung by the female vocalist. However, by employing variants to the standard trio vocal arrangement, they were simply following a pattern existing since the early days of the genre. The Stanley Brothers utilized a high baritone part on several of their trios recorded for Columbia records during their time with that label (1950-1953). Mandolin player Pee Wee Lambert sang the high baritone above Ralph Stanley's tenor, both parts above Carter's lead vocal. This trio vocal arrangement was variously used by other groups as well. In the 1960's Flatt and Scruggs often added a fifth part to the traditional quartet parts on gospel songs, the extra part being a high baritone (doubling the baritone part sung in the normal range of that voice; Howard Watts [aka 'Cedric Rainwater] providing the part). The use of a high lead with the tenor and baritone below it was most famously employed by the Osborne Brothers who first employed it during their time with MGM records in the latter half of the 1950's. This vocal arrangement would be the defining aspect of the Osbornes' sound with Bobby's high, clear voice at the top of the vocal stack.

Themes

Bluegrass tunes can largely be described as narrative
Narrative
A narrative is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to recount", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled"...

s on the everyday lives of the people from whence the music came. Aside from laments about loves lost, interpersonal tensions and unwanted changes to the region (e.g., the visible effects of mountaintop coal mining
Mountaintop removal
Mountaintop removal mining is a form of surface mining that requires the removal of the summit or summit ridge of a mountain in order to permit easier access to the coal seams...

), bluegrass vocals frequently reference the hard-scrabble existence of living in Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

 and other rural areas with modest financial resources. Some protest music has been composed in the bluegrass style, especially concerning the vicissitudes of the Appalachian coal mining industry. Railroading has also been a popular theme, with ballads such as "Wreck of the Old 97
Wreck of the Old 97
Old 97 was a Southern Railway train officially known as the Fast Mail. It ran from Washington DC to Atlanta, Georgia. On September 27, 1903 while en route from Monroe, Virginia, to Spencer, North Carolina, the train derailed at Stillhouse Trestle near Danville, Virginia...

" and "Nine Pound Hammer" (from the legend of John Henry
John Henry (folklore)
John Henry is an American folk hero and tall tale. Henry worked as a "steel-driver"—a man tasked with hammering and chiseling rock in the construction of tunnels for railroad tracks. In the legend, John Henry's prowess as a steel-driver was measured in a race against a steam powered hammer,...

) being exemplary. There are also songs about the weather, mostly about rain, for example,"No Place to Hide" and "Early Morning Rain".

Creation

Bluegrass, as a distinct musical form, developed from elements of old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

 and traditional music
Appalachian music
Appalachian music is the traditional music of the region of Appalachia in the Eastern United States. It is derived from various European and African influences, including English ballads, Irish and Scottish traditional music , religious hymns, and African-American blues...

 of the Appalachian region
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The Appalachian region was where many English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

, Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 and German immigrants settled, bringing with them the musical traditions of their homelands. Hence the sounds of jig
Jig
The Jig is a form of lively folk dance, as well as the accompanying dance tune, originating in England in the 16th century and today most associated with Irish dance music and Scottish country dance music...

s and reel
Reel (dance)
The reel is a folk dance type as well as the accompanying dance tune type. In Scottish country dancing, the reel is one of the four traditional dances, the others being the jig, the strathspey and the waltz, and is also the name of a dance figure ....

s, especially as played on the fiddle, were innate to the developing style. Black musicians infused characteristics of the blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 to the mix, and in a development that was key to shaping the bluegrass sound, introduced the iconic banjo
Banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

 to the region.

The music now known as bluegrass was frequently used to accompany a rural dancing style known as buckdancing, flatfooting or clogging
Clogging
Clogging is a type of folk dance with roots in traditional European dancing, early African-American dance, and traditional Cherokee dance in which the dancer's footwear is used musically by striking the heel, the toe, or both in unison against a floor or each other to create audible percussive...

. As the bluegrass sound spread to urban areas, listening to it for its own sake increased, especially after the advent of audio recording. In 1948, bluegrass emerged as a genre within the post-war country-music industry, a period of time characterized as the golden era or wellspring of "traditional bluegrass." From its earliest days, bluegrass has been recorded and performed by professional musicians. Although amateur bluegrass musicians and trends such as "parking-lot picking" are too important to be ignored, it is professional musicians who have set the direction of the style.

Bluegrass is not and never was folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 under a strict definition, although there are clear derivatives—the topical and narrative themes of many bluegrass songs are highly reminiscent of folk music. In fact, many songs that are widely considered to be bluegrass are in reality older works legitimately classified as folk or old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

 that are performed in the bluegrass style. Hence the interplay between bluegrass and folk forms has been academically studied. Folklorist Dr. Neil Rosenberg, for example, shows that most devoted bluegrass fans and musicians are familiar with traditional folk songs and old-time music, and that these songs are often played at shows, festivals and jams.

Exactly when the word bluegrass itself was adopted to label this form is not certain, but is believed to be in the early 1950s, and was derived from the name of the seminal Blue Grass Boys band, formed in 1939 with Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe
William Smith Monroe was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader...

 as its leader. Due to this lineage, Bill Monroe is frequently referred to as the "father of bluegrass", although his style drew upon the country, gospel, and blues music with which he had grown up.

Monroe's 1946 to 1948 band, which featured banjo prodigy Earl Scruggs, singer-guitarist Lester Flatt
Lester Flatt
Lester Raymond Flatt was a bluegrass musician and guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his membership in the Bluegrass duo The Foggy Mountain Boys, also known as "Flatt and Scruggs," with banjo picker Earl Scruggs. Flatt's career spanned multiple decades; besides his work with Scruggs, he...

, fiddler Chubby Wise
Chubby Wise
Robert Russell "Chubby" Wise was an American bluegrass fiddler.Wise began playing fiddle at age 15, working locally in the Jacksonville area. He joined the Jubilee Hillbillies in 1938, then began playing with Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1942, including dates at the Grand Ole Opry...

 and bassist Howard Watts (also known as "Cedric Rainwater")—sometimes called "the original bluegrass band"—created the definitive sound and instrumental configuration that remains a model to this day. By some arguments, while the Blue Grass Boys were the only band playing this music, it was just their unique sound; it could not be considered a musical style until other bands began performing in similar fashion. In 1948, the Stanley Brothers
The Stanley Brothers
The Stanley Brothers were an American bluegrass duo made up of brothers Carter and Ralph Stanley.-Biography:Carter and Ralph Stanley hailed originally from Dickenson County, Virginia. The family soon moved to McClure, Virginia where their parents worked a small farm in the Clinch Mountains...

 recorded the traditional song "Molly and Tenbrooks
Molly and Tenbrooks
"Molly and Tenbrooks," also known as "The Racehorse Song," is a traditional song of the late 19th century. One of the first recordings of the song was the Carver Brothers' 1929 version called "Tom Brooks." The song was recorded by Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys on October 28, 1947 but not...

" in the Blue Grass Boys' style, arguably the point in time that bluegrass emerged as a distinct musical form. As Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley , also known as Dr. Ralph Stanley, is an American bluegrass artist, known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing.-Biography:...

 himself said about the origins of the genre and its name:

First generation

First generation bluegrass musicians dominated the genre from its beginnings in the mid-1940s through the mid-1960s. This group generally consists of those who were playing during the "Golden Age" in the 1950s, including Wade Mainer
Wade Mainer
Wade Mainer was an American singer and banjoist. With his band, the Sons of the Mountaineers, he is credited with bridging the gap between old-time mountain music and Bluegrass and is sometimes called the "Grandfather of Bluegrass." In addition, he innovated a two-finger banjo fingerpicking style,...

 and his Mountaineers, Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe
William Smith Monroe was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader...

 and his Blue Grass Boys, the Stanley Brothers, Lester Flatt
Lester Flatt
Lester Raymond Flatt was a bluegrass musician and guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his membership in the Bluegrass duo The Foggy Mountain Boys, also known as "Flatt and Scruggs," with banjo picker Earl Scruggs. Flatt's career spanned multiple decades; besides his work with Scruggs, he...

 & Earl Scruggs
Earl Scruggs
Earl Eugene Scruggs is an American musician noted for perfecting and popularizing a 3-finger banjo-picking style that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music...

 with the Foggy Mountain Boys
Foggy Mountain Boys
The Foggy Mountain Boys were an influential bluegrass band founded by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs in 1948, shortly after leaving Bill Monroe’s band. They recorded and performed together up until 1969.-Biography:...

, Hylo Brown
Hylo Brown
Hylo Brown was a bluegrass and country music singer, guitarist and bass player.-Biography:Frank "Hylo" Brown was born in River, Kentucky and began his career as a performer on radio station WCMI in Ashland, Kentucky in 1939. Soon, he moved to WLOG in Logan, West Virginia and their "Saturday...

 and The Timberliners, Ervin T. Rouse
Ervin T. Rouse
Ervin Thomas Rouse is a fiddler and songwriter largely known for his widely recorded "Orange Blossom Special" bluegrass standard....

, who wrote the standard "Orange Blossom Special
Orange Blossom Special (song)
The fiddle tune "Orange Blossom Special", about the passenger train of the same name, was written by Ervin T. Rouse in 1938. The original recording was created by Ervin and Gordon Rouse in 1939. It is considered the best known fiddle tune of the twentieth century and is often called simply The...

", Reno and Smiley
Reno and Smiley
Reno and Smiley were a musical duo composed of Don Reno and Red Smiley. They were one of the most acclaimed duos in country music of the 1950s and early '60s.-How They Met:...

, the Sauceman Brothers, Lonesome Pine Fiddlers
Lonesome Pine Fiddlers
The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers were an early bluegrass band which included such notable "first generation" bluegrass musicians as Ezra Cline, Bobby Osborne, Paul Williams, Melvin Goins, Charlie Cline, Curly Ray Cline, Larry Richardson and for a short time Jimmy Martin...

, Jim & Jesse
Jim & Jesse
Jim & Jesse were an American bluegrass music duo composed of brothers Jim McReynolds and Jesse McReynolds...

, Jimmy Martin
Jimmy Martin
Jimmy Martin was an American bluegrass musician, known as the "King of Bluegrass".-Early years:Born James H. Martin in Sneedville, Tennessee. Jimmy Martin was born into the hard farming life of rural East Tennessee. He grew up near Sneedville, singing in church and with friends from surrounding...

 and the Osborne Brothers
Osborne Brothers
The Osborne Brothers, Sonny Osborne and Bobby Osborne , were an influential and popular bluegrass act during the 1960s and 1970s...

, Red Allen (who also recorded with the Osborne Brothers for MGM in the mid-fifties), Mac Wiseman
Mac Wiseman
Malcolm B. Wiseman , better known as Mac Wiseman, is an American bluegrass singer, nicknamed The Voice with a Heart. The bearded singer is one of the cult figures of bluegrass....

, Mac Martin
Mac Martin
-Biography:William "Mac Martin" Colleran used to listen to "hillbilly music" on WWVA and WSM Grand Ole Opry when he was young. Colleran had his first guitar at the age of fifteen. Shortly afterwards, he joined up with Ed Brozi, performing as a duo. After graduating from high school he enlisted in...

 and the Dixie Travelers, Carl Story
Carl Story
Carl Story was an influential bluegrass musician and leader of his band the "Rambling Mountaineers". He was dubbed "The Father of Bluegrass Gospel Music" by the governor of Oklahoma.-Biography:...

 and his Rambling Mountaineers, Buzz Busby, The Lilly Brothers and Jim Eanes
Jim Eanes
Jim Eanes was an American bluegrass and country music singer and guitarist.-Biography:Homer Robert Eanes Jr. was born in Mountain Valley, Virginia and grew up in Martinsville. He learned to play the guitar at an early age despite an injury to his left hand. He had his first musical training as a...

.

Second generation

A second generation of Bluegrass musicians began performing, composing and recording in the mid- to late-1960s, although many had played in first generation bands from a young age. Some Bluegrass musicians in this group are Doc Watson
Doc Watson
Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson is an American guitar player, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music. He has won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson's flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded...

, J. D. Crowe
J. D. Crowe
James Dee Crowe is an American banjo player and bluegrass band leader. He first became known during his four year stint with Jimmy Martin in the 1950s.-Biography:...

, Doyle Lawson
Doyle Lawson
Doyle Lawson is an American bluegrass and gospel musician. Doyle is best known as an accomplished mandolin player, vocalist, producer, and leader of the 5-man group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.-Biography:...

, Sam Bush
Sam Bush
Sam Bush is an American bluegrass mandolin player considered an originator of the Newgrass style.- History :...

, Bela Fleck
Béla Fleck
Béla Anton Leoš Fleck is an American banjo player. Widely acknowledged as one of the world's most innovative and technically proficient banjo players, he is best known for his work with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.-Early life and career details:Fleck was born in...

, John Hartford
John Hartford
John Cowan Hartford was an American folk, country and bluegrass composer and musician known for his mastery of the fiddle and banjo, as well as for his witty lyrics, unique vocal style, and extensive knowledge of Mississippi River lore...

, Jerry Douglas
Jerry Douglas
Jerry Douglas may refer to:*Jerry Douglas , actor, who was on The Young and the Restless for 25 years*Jerry Douglas, country/bluegrass musician*Jerry Douglas , director and writer of adult films such as, Score...

, Norman Blake
Norman Blake (American musician)
Norman Blake is an instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter. In a career spanning more than 50 years Blake has played in a number of folk and Country groups...

, Frank Wakefield
Frank Wakefield
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wakefield is an innovative American mandolin player in the bluegrass music style. Wakefield is known for his collaborations with a number of important and well-known bands, including Red Allen, Don Reno, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and the Greenbriar Boys.-Biography:Born...

, Bill Keith
Bill Keith (musician)
Bill Keith is a five-string banjoist who made a significant contribution to the stylistic development of the instrument. In the 1960s he introduced a variation on the popular "Scruggs style" of banjo playing which would soon become known as melodic style, or "Keith style." -Professional...

, Del McCoury
Del McCoury
Delano Floyd McCoury is an American bluegrass musician. As leader of the Del McCoury Band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with his two sons, Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury, who play mandolin and banjo respectively...

 and Tony Rice
Tony Rice
Tony Rice is an American acoustic guitarist and bluegrass musician. He is considered one of the most influential acoustic guitar players in bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, newgrass and acoustic jazz.Rice spans the range of acoustic music, from traditional bluegrass to jazz-influenced New...

. As they refined their craft, the New Grass Revival
New Grass Revival
New Grass Revival was an American progressive bluegrass band founded in 1971, and composed of Sam Bush, Courtney Johnson, Ebo Walker, Curtis Burch, Butch Robins, John Cowan, Béla Fleck and Pat Flynn. They were active between 1971 and 1989, releasing more than twenty albums as well as six singles....

, Seldom Scene, The Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...

, and The Dillards
The Dillards
The Dillards are an American bluegrass band from Salem, Missouri, consisting of Douglas Flint "Doug" Dillard The Dillards are an American bluegrass band from Salem, Missouri, consisting of Douglas Flint "Doug" Dillard The Dillards are an American bluegrass band from Salem, Missouri, consisting of...

 developed progressive bluegrass
Progressive bluegrass
Progressive bluegrass is one of two major subgenres of bluegrass music. It is also known as newgrass, a term attributed to New Grass Revival member Ebo Walker. Musicians and bands John Hartford, New Grass Revival, J.D. Crowe and the New South, The Dillards, Boone Creek, Country Gazette, and the...

. In one collaboration, first-generation bluegrass fiddler Vassar Clements
Vassar Clements
Vassar Clements was a Grammy Award- winning American jazz, swing, and bluegrass fiddler. Clements has been dubbed the Father of Hillbilly Jazz, an improvisational style that blends and borrows from swing, hot jazz, and bluegrass along with roots also in country and other musical...

, progressive mandolin player David Grisman
David Grisman
David Grisman is an American bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist and composer of acoustic music. In the early 1990s, he started the Acoustic Disc record label in an effort to preserve and spread acoustic or instrumental music.-Biography:Grisman grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey...

, Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long...

 frontman Jerry Garcia
Jerry Garcia
Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia was an American musician best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the band the Grateful Dead...

 (on banjo), and Peter Rowan on lead vocals played in the band called Old and in the Way
Old and in the Way
Old & in the Way was a bluegrass supergroup in the 1970s. The group performed traditional tunes such as "Pig in a Pen" as well as bluegrass-flavoured versions of The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" and Peter Rowan's "Panama Red"....

. Garcia, Chris Hillman
Chris Hillman
Christopher Hillman was one of the original members of The Byrds which in 1965 included Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, and Michael Clarke....

, the Stanley Brothers
The Stanley Brothers
The Stanley Brothers were an American bluegrass duo made up of brothers Carter and Ralph Stanley.-Biography:Carter and Ralph Stanley hailed originally from Dickenson County, Virginia. The family soon moved to McClure, Virginia where their parents worked a small farm in the Clinch Mountains...

 and others in the 1960s and 1970s helped introduce rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 listeners to progressive and traditional bluegrass. Bush, Grisman, and Clements developed strong jazz elements in most of their playing – Clements liked to refer to his music as "hillbilly jazz" – but each owes much to traditional bluegrass.

Third generation

Third generation Bluegrass developed in the mid-1980s. Bluegrass grew, matured and broadened from the music played in previous years. This generation redefined "mainstream bluegrass." High-quality sound equipment allowed each band member to be miked independently, exemplified by Tony Rice Unit and The Bluegrass Album Band. Tony Rice showcased elaborate lead guitar solos, and other bands followed. The electric bass became a general, but not universal, alternative to the traditional acoustic bass, though electrification of other instruments continued to meet resistance outside progressive circles. Nontraditional chord progressions also became more widely accepted. On the other hand, this generation saw a renaissance of more traditional songs, played in the newer style. The Johnson Mountain Boys
Johnson Mountain Boys
The Johnson Mountain Boys were a popular bluegrass band throughout the 1980s from the Washington, D.C. area. Their style favored a more traditional approach to bluegrass than some of their contemporaries. They released ten albums and toured widely, playing venues such as Madison Square Garden,...

 were one of the decade's most popular touring groups, and played strictly traditional bluegrass
Traditional bluegrass
Traditional bluegrass, as the name implies, emphasizes the traditional elements of bluegrass music, and stands in opposition to progressive bluegrass. Traditional bluegrass musicians play folk songs, tunes with simple traditional chord progressions, and on acoustic instruments of a type that were...

.

Recent developments

In recent decades Bluegrass music has reached a broader audience. Major mainstream country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 performers have recorded bluegrass albums, including Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music. Dolly Parton has appeared in movies like 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias and Straight Talk...

 and Patty Loveless
Patty Loveless
Patty Loveless , is an American country music singer.Since her emergence on the country music scene in late 1986 with her first album, Loveless has been one of the most popular female singers of the Neotraditional country movement, although she has also recorded albums in the Country pop and...

, who each released several bluegrass albums. Since the late 1990s, Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs
Rickie Lee "Ricky" Skaggs is a country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, and banjo.-Early career:...

, who began as a bluegrass musician and crossed over to mainstream country in the 1980s, returned to bluegrass with his band Kentucky Thunder
Kentucky Thunder
Kentucky Thunder, or Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, is the band that plays with Ricky Skaggs. Many members of the band have won numerous awards. Bandleader Ricky Skaggs plays mandolin and is the lead vocalist...

. The Coen Brothers
Coen Brothers
Joel David Coen and Ethan Jesse Coen known together professionally as the Coen brothers, are American filmmakers...

' released the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 comedy film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning. Set in 1937 rural Mississippi during the Great Depression, the film's story is a modern satire loosely...

in (2000), with an old-time and bluegrass soundtrack, and the Down from the Mountain
Down from the Mountain
The soundtrack album, Down from the Mountain: Live Concert Performances by the Artists & Musicians of O Brother, Where Art Thou? was released to complement the documentary concert film...

music tour and documentary resulting.

Meanwhile, festivals like the Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Telluride Bluegrass Festival is held annually in Telluride, Colorado by . Although traditionally the festival focuses on bluegrass music, it often features music from a variety of genres. In 1974, its first year, it attracted 1000 participants. Currently the festival's attendance is capped at 10,000...

, Rocky-Grass in Lyons, Colorado and the Nederland, Colorado based Yonder Mountain String Band
Yonder Mountain String Band
The Yonder Mountain String Band is an American progressive bluegrass group from Nederland, Colorado. Composed of Dave Johnston, Jeff Austin, Ben Kaufmann, and Adam Aijala, the band has released five studio albums and several live recordings to date.- History :The band's history stretches back to...

 in the United States, and Druhá Tráva
Druhá Tráva
Druhá Tráva is a bluegrass band from the Czech Republic, formed in 1991 by Robert Křesťan. As of August 2005, they have released eighteen studio albums either as a group or as side projects....

 in the Czech Republic attract large audiences while expanding the range of progressive bluegrass
Progressive bluegrass
Progressive bluegrass is one of two major subgenres of bluegrass music. It is also known as newgrass, a term attributed to New Grass Revival member Ebo Walker. Musicians and bands John Hartford, New Grass Revival, J.D. Crowe and the New South, The Dillards, Boone Creek, Country Gazette, and the...

 in the college-jam band atmospheres, often called "jamgrass." Bluegrass fused with jazz in the music of Bela Fleck and The Flecktones
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones is a primarily instrumental group from the United States, that draws equally on bluegrass, fusion and jazz, sometimes dubbed "blu-bop". The band formed in 1988, initially to perform once on the PBS series Lonesome Pine Specials. The Flecktones have toured extensively...

, Tony Rice
Tony Rice
Tony Rice is an American acoustic guitarist and bluegrass musician. He is considered one of the most influential acoustic guitar players in bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, newgrass and acoustic jazz.Rice spans the range of acoustic music, from traditional bluegrass to jazz-influenced New...

, Sam Bush
Sam Bush
Sam Bush is an American bluegrass mandolin player considered an originator of the Newgrass style.- History :...

, Doc Watson
Doc Watson
Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson is an American guitar player, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music. He has won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson's flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded...

, and others.

Traditional bluegrass

Traditional bluegrass
Traditional bluegrass
Traditional bluegrass, as the name implies, emphasizes the traditional elements of bluegrass music, and stands in opposition to progressive bluegrass. Traditional bluegrass musicians play folk songs, tunes with simple traditional chord progressions, and on acoustic instruments of a type that were...

 emphasizes the traditional elements; musicians play folk songs, tunes with simple traditional chord progressions, and use only acoustic instruments. Generally, compositions are performed on instruments that were played by Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe
William Smith Monroe was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader...

 and the Blue Grass Boys in the late 1940s. In the early years, instruments no longer accepted in mainstream bluegrass, such as the accordion
Accordion
The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist....

, were used. Traditional bands may use their instruments in slightly different ways; for example playing the banjo by the claw-hammer style, or using multiple guitars or fiddles in a band. In this subgenre, the guitar rarely leads but acts as a rhythm instrument, one notable exception being gospel-based songs
Gospel music
Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

. Melodies and lyrics tend to be simple, often in the key of G, and a I-IV-V chord pattern is common. Although traditional bluegrass performers eschew electrically amplified instruments, as used in other forms of popular music, it is common practice to "mike
Microphone
A microphone is an acoustic-to-electric transducer or sensor that converts sound into an electrical signal. In 1877, Emile Berliner invented the first microphone used as a telephone voice transmitter...

" acoustic instruments during stage performances before larger audiences.

Traditional bluegrass bands Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley , also known as Dr. Ralph Stanley, is an American bluegrass artist, known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing.-Biography:...

 and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Del McCoury
Del McCoury
Delano Floyd McCoury is an American bluegrass musician. As leader of the Del McCoury Band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals along with his two sons, Ronnie McCoury and Rob McCoury, who play mandolin and banjo respectively...

, Larry Sparks
Larry Sparks
Larry Sparks is a Bluegrass singer and guitarist. He was the winner of the 2004 and 2005 International Bluegrass Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year Award. 2005, won IBMA for Album of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year for his album "40," celebrating his 40th year in bluegrass...

 and the Lonesome Ramblers, Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs
Rickie Lee "Ricky" Skaggs is a country and bluegrass singer, musician, producer, and composer. He primarily plays mandolin; however, he also plays fiddle, guitar, and banjo.-Early career:...

 and Kentucky Thunder
Kentucky Thunder
Kentucky Thunder, or Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, is the band that plays with Ricky Skaggs. Many members of the band have won numerous awards. Bandleader Ricky Skaggs plays mandolin and is the lead vocalist...

, Doyle Lawson
Doyle Lawson
Doyle Lawson is an American bluegrass and gospel musician. Doyle is best known as an accomplished mandolin player, vocalist, producer, and leader of the 5-man group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.-Biography:...

 and Quicksilver, and Dan Paisley and the Southern Grass enjoy nationwide popularity. California mountain bluegrass, a variation on traditional, has enjoyed regional popularity with such bands as Rita Hosking
Rita Hosking
Rita Hosking is an American composer and musician based in Davis, California. She plays Americana and bluegrass styles of music with both standards and original songs. Since the release of Are You Ready?, she has been performing around the country at concerts, festivals, and other...

 and Cousin Jack.

Progressive bluegrass

Another major subgenre is progressive bluegrass
Progressive bluegrass
Progressive bluegrass is one of two major subgenres of bluegrass music. It is also known as newgrass, a term attributed to New Grass Revival member Ebo Walker. Musicians and bands John Hartford, New Grass Revival, J.D. Crowe and the New South, The Dillards, Boone Creek, Country Gazette, and the...

. Groups use electric instruments and import songs from other genres, particularly rock & roll. Although a more recent phenomenon, progressive bluegrass has roots going back to one of the earliest bluegrass bands. The banjo and bass duets Earl Scruggs
Earl Scruggs
Earl Eugene Scruggs is an American musician noted for perfecting and popularizing a 3-finger banjo-picking style that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music...

 played even in the earliest days of the Foggy Mountain Boys
Foggy Mountain Boys
The Foggy Mountain Boys were an influential bluegrass band founded by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs in 1948, shortly after leaving Bill Monroe’s band. They recorded and performed together up until 1969.-Biography:...

 hint at the wild chord progressions to come. The four key distinguishing elements (not always all present) of progressive bluegrass are instrumentation (frequently including electric instruments, drums, piano, and more), songs imported (or styles imitated) from other genres, chord progressions, and lengthy "jam band
Jam band
-Ambiguity:By the late 1990s use of the term jam band also became ambiguous. An editorial at jamband.com suggested that any band of which a primary band such as Phish has done a cover of be included as jam band. The example was including New York post-punk band Talking Heads after Phish performed...

"-style improvisation. The String Cheese Incident is one band that sometimes mixes a bluegrass tune with a jam band feeling, especially in original tunes like "Dudley's Kitchen". A twist on this genre is combining elements that preceded bluegrass, such as old-time string band music, with bluegrass music.

Bluegrass Gospel

"Bluegrass gospel" has emerged as a third subgenre. Many bluegrass artists incorporate gospel music into their repertoire. Distinctive elements of this style include Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 lyrics, soulful three- or four-part harmony
Harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

 singing, and sometimes playing instrumentals subdue. A cappella
A cappella
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato...

 choruses are popular with bluegrass gospel artists, though the harmony structure differs somewhat from standard barbershop or choir singing. Mainstream bluegrass artists Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and IIIrd Tyme Out have produced bluegrass gospel music. While The Issacs, Mount Zion
Mount Zion
Mount Zion is a place name for a site in Jerusalem, the location of which has shifted several times in history. According to the Hebrew Bible's Book of Samuel, it was the site of the Jebusite fortress called the "stronghold of Zion" that was conquered by King David, becoming his palace in the City...

 and The Churchmen play Bluegrass Gospel exclusively.

Neo-Traditional bluegrass

A newer development in the bluegrass world is Neo-Traditional Bluegrass. In the 1990s, most bluegrass bands were headed by a solo artist such as Doyle Lawson
Doyle Lawson
Doyle Lawson is an American bluegrass and gospel musician. Doyle is best known as an accomplished mandolin player, vocalist, producer, and leader of the 5-man group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.-Biography:...

 and Rhonda Vincent
Rhonda Vincent
Rhonda Lea Vincent is a bluegrass singer, songwriter, mandolin player, guitarist, and fiddle player.Her musical career started as a child in her family's band, The Sally Mountain Show, and has spanned almost four decades...

, with an accompanying band. Bands playing this subgenre include The Grascals
The Grascals
The Grascals is a six-piece bluegrass band hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 2004, the band has since gained a level of notability by playing on the Grand Ole Opry and in bluegrass festivals around the country....

, Mountain Heart
Mountain Heart
Mountain Heart is an American folk/rock/country band. The current lineup is:-Awards and recognition:The group's entertainment, instrumental, and vocal prowess are widely acclaimed in bluegrass and other acoustic music circles...

, The Infamous Stringdusters, Steep Canyon Rangers
Steep Canyon Rangers
The Steep Canyon Rangers are an American bluegrass band from Brevard, North Carolina.In 2008, the band received a nomination from International Bluegrass Music Association for "Album and Gospel Performance of the Year"....

, Pert Near Sandstone
Pert Near Sandstone
Pert Near Sandstone is a bluegrass band from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. The band has recorded four full length albums since 2004, and have toured the United States extensively. In 2008 they performed on A Prairie Home Companion. In 2010 they won the Band Competition at Yonder Mountain String...

, Cadillac Sky, Waterfall Blue Boys, and Cherryholmes who all have more than one lead singer.

"New" grass

Recent developments in the Punk scene have lead some musicians to incorporate the traditional sounds of folk and bluegrass with punk rock attitudes and messages. Of notable examples, Cactus Attack hailing from Massachusetts blends punk rock attitudes, bluegrass and folk with tough melodies and lyrics reminiscent of lyrics of old.

In movies

  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 comedy film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning. Set in 1937 rural Mississippi during the Great Depression, the film's story is a modern satire loosely...

  • King of Bluegrass: The Life and Times of Jimmy Martin
  • That High Lonesome Sound
  • High Lonesome: the Story of Bluegrass Music (documentary)
  • The Ralph Stanley Story (documentary)
  • Bill Monroe: the Father of Bluegrass (documentary)
  • Deliverance
    Deliverance
    Deliverance is a 1972 American thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman. Principal cast members include Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty in his film debut. The film is based on a 1970 novel of the same name by American author James Dickey, who has a small role in the...

  • Harlan County, USA
    Harlan County, USA
    Harlan County, USA is an Oscar-winning 1976 documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike" or "Bloody Harlan", an effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1973...

  • Bonnie and Clyde
    Bonnie and Clyde (film)
    The film was originally offered to François Truffaut, the best-known director of the New Wave movement, who made contributions to the script. He passed on the project to make Fahrenheit 451. The producers approached Jean-Luc Godard next...

  • Bluegrass Journey (documentary)
  • Ralph Stanley: Reunion

Opera and theater

  • The Original Bluegrass Opera of Detroit
  • RedHead Express Bluegrass Show at Circle B Theatre, Branson, Missouri

Museums

  • International Bluegrass Music Museum
    International Bluegrass Music Museum
    The International Bluegrass Music Museum ) is a bluegrass music museum in RiverPark Center near downtown Owensboro, Kentucky, United States. The museum has inter-active exhibits, posters, costumes, live instrument demonstrations, and the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. The museum has...

     Owensboro, Kentucky
    Owensboro, Kentucky
    Owensboro is the fourth largest city by population in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is the county seat of Daviess County. It is located on U.S. Route 60 about southeast of Evansville, Indiana, and is the principal city of the Owensboro, Kentucky, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's...

  • Bill Monroe Museum
    Bill Monroe Museum
    The Bill Monroe Museum is a project of the Monroe Brothers Foundation to show the life of Bill Monroe and the early foundations of bluegrass music. The museum is in the house in Rosine, Kentucky, where Monroe grew up....

     Rosine, Kentucky
    Rosine, Kentucky
    Rosine is an unincorporated town in Ohio County, Kentucky, United States. Bill Monroe, The Father of Bluegrass, is not only buried in the town but also memorialized with a bronze cast disk affixed to the barn where his music remains alive. The community was named for the pen name of Jenny Taylor...

  • Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Country Star Museum Bean Blossom, Indiana
  • Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center  Clintwood, Virginia
    Clintwood, Virginia
    Clintwood is a town in Dickenson County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,549 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Dickenson County....

  • The Bluegrass Bus Museum Nashville, Tennessee
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...


Historical Music Trail

  • The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail Southwest Virginia
    Southwest Virginia
    Southwest Virginia, often abbreviated as SWVA, is a mountainous region of Virginia in the westernmost part of the commonwealth. Southwest Virginia has been defined alternatively as all Virginia counties on the Appalachian Plateau, all Virginia counties west of the Eastern Continental Divide, or...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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