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  1. #1

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    I don't really know anything about bluegrass, but every now and then something jumps out at me. Here is one of those things. My question is, is this a specific type or subgenre of bluegrass? I'd like to check out more along this line, but would also like to avoid "You Are My Sunshine" crosspicked at 300bpm.

    Fretboard Journal Subscription Drive: Molly Tuttle | Fretboard Journal

    Incidentally, Molly Tuttle seems to be an absolute monster player.
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I don't know, but do you think this is similar?

    Build bridges, not walls.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    but would also like to avoid "You Are My Sunshine" crosspicked at 300bpm.
    Yeah, well, bluegrass is practically nothing but monster pickers, usually on multiple instruments. It's also the other major music genre besides jazz that is heavily invested in improvisation.

    If you haven't checked out Dave Grisman and his Dawg Music, start there (Quintet '80 is a classic). It's a glorious collision of bluegrass and gypsy jazz. Others along that line would include the Tony Rice Unit, Mike Marshall, and Darryl Anger.
    Bryan Sutton is more of a straight-ahead bluegrass guitarist, probably thought of as the foremost in the genre these days.

  5. #4

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    The only bluegrass I could ever get into was the jazz-fusion-esque that Bela Fleck and the Flecktones did.


  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    I don't know, but do you think this is similar?
    Yes, I suppose it is, thanks.

    I know the snippet I linked to in my original post was quite short, but I guess what I'm referring to is the more kind of atmospheric, bluesy end of bluegrass... as opposed to the traditional-country-at-breakneck-speed end.

    Are these considered stylistic differences within the genre? Or is it all just bluegrass in a similar way that for example, in 50s jazz some tunes are ballads and others are rhythm changes based?
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatPick View Post
    Yeah, well, bluegrass is practically nothing but monster pickers, usually on multiple instruments. It's also the other major music genre besides jazz that is heavily invested in improvisation.If you haven't checked out Dave Grisman and his Dawg Music, start there (Quintet '80 is a classic). It's a glorious collision of bluegrass and gypsy jazz. Others along that line would include the Tony Rice Unit, Mike Marshall, and Darryl Anger.Bryan Sutton is more of a straight-ahead bluegrass guitarist, probably thought of as the foremost in the genre these days.
    Grisman is what got me to explore bluegrass improvisational music. I love the 'clean' sound of the acoustic instruments.My favorite Grisman album is 1977's The David Grisman Qunitet. The interplay between the musicians (lot of call and response), is what makes this a must-have album for me.
    Attached Images Attached Images What substyle of bluegrass is this?-david_grisman_quintet-jpg 

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    I don't really know anything about bluegrass, but every now and then something jumps out at me. Here is one of those things. My question is, is this a specific type or subgenre of bluegrass? I'd like to check out more along this line, but would also like to avoid "You Are My Sunshine" crosspicked at 300bpm.
    You are just digging the vibe of a bluegrass instrumental ballad, which can have the moody goodness as any other genre. Bluegrass is an awesome style of music with a rich tradition that keeps getting better. Surely most stuff is vocal at dance tempos, but it's got everything a music lover could want, great melodies, instrumental virtuosity, great stories, vocals, harmonies.

    I play in an eclectic Americana trio, and always include some bluegrass in the repertoire. A couple recent tunes we cover...




  9. #8

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    There aren't really subgenres in bluegrass, it's bluegrass or it ain't! Not to be confused with old-time, country, or just plain folk, although all those categories can be played bluegrass-style, as can other songs. The bluegrassers have taken over songs like Georgia and Summertime and like to play them. Tony Rice used to do those two and also played Shenandoah a lot. He also took over many of Gordon Lightfoot's tunes, which are probably 'folk', and played them bluegrass style.







    I suppose, as someone suggested, Dawg music is a sort of subgenre or off-shoot of bluegrass. It's really an attempt at incorporating jazz sounds, or a jazz feel, to acoustic bluegrass-type music. Whether it was any good depends on one's taste, I guess.



    Bryan Sutton is certainly one of the premier pickers but there are plenty of others. David Grier, for instance. Here, start with this and there are four more to go! Everyone's at it these days!


  10. #9

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    Incidentally, just to show I'm not all mouth and trousers, I used to do bluegrass. I did this slower a couple of years ago and enjoyed myself so much it went on for ages... so I tweaked it up a notch (electronically) and made this. Enjoy or turn it off :-)



    That's why I do jazz now, I can relax

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina View Post
    I like the little medium-tempo Appalachian (that's similar, right?) and Bluegrass music that I've heard more and more. If you know of a good comprehensive site with traditionally well-known songs in the less jolly, grittier styles I'd be grateful for directions. That 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' for instance is great stuff; one can hear where Blues came from (Appalachian and Bluegrass are much older, no?)
    I prefer that stuff too. I don't think there's one comprehensive site, though. It's more a question of trying the various artists by name. Most of the past and current players/singers do quieter tunes. It's a question of wrinkling them out. There's a lot of it about, no question. And it's about what you like personally, of course.


  12. #11

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    I like this. Suzanne Cox younger :-)


  13. #12

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    Martin, (who happens to be my all time favorite guitar player) has a lot of varied material over the years, and some of it might be what you are looking for.

  14. #13

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    Bluegrass isn't that old. The style was popularized, if not originated, by Bill Monroe and his band, the Bluegrass Boys. He somewhat changed the way older music was played, and his style became known as bluegrass. He also wrote many of the classic bluegrass repertoire tunes.

  15. #14

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    Last one, promise. This is a great trad song.

    By the way, the girl on the bass is Bryn Davies. She's also a cellist and a pianist - and a jazz major from Berklee. Oh, yes :-)


  16. #15

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  17. #16

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    This is not bluegrass, but I never get tired of listening to it. Tiny Moore made me start building instruments, because I couldn't find any 5-string electric mandolins to buy. He was truly a great player.

  18. #17

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    This was written as a rock song (by Englishman Tony Hazzard, who wrote songs recorded by the Hollies, Manfred Mann, and Herman's Hermits but has become a bluegrass staple. I've always loved the chorus

    "She walks through the corn leading down by the river,
    Her hair shone like gold in the hot morning sun
    She took all the love that a poor boy could give her
    And left me to die like a fox on run."

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post

    Incidentally, Molly Tuttle seems to be an absolute monster player.
    She is truly unbelievable. She is beginning to get real celebrity as one of the top players in the world today.

    In person she is painfully shy young woman. Celebrity and that level of social reticence are not a good mix. I wish her the best.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  20. #19

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    I wasn't going to but I think I'll put this in. It's a jazz-style reharm of the classic 'I Am A Pilgrim'. I'm not sure if this kind of thing is a subgenre of bluegrass but I suppose it could be. I just did it this afternoon.


  21. #20
    Couldn't open the op link...

    Always loved Alison Krauss and Union Station. Different, more modern instrumental sound. Lots of backbeat, subtle, atmospheric stuff. Best dobro playing you'll ever hear.

    There are other who are more modern than them in the genre as well. Honestly, there's a lot of diversity in the style. More than specific artists etc, enter a specific performance you like into apology, and let the algorithm do its thing. That's where you find the good stuff.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Couldn't open the op link...
    Try this:

    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  23. #22

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions, folks... looks like I've got some listening to do!

    I'm a bit surprised to hear that there aren't subgenres in bluegrass like there are in, well, every single genre I can think of. (Or is bluegrass itself the subgenre?) I know it might seem silly to harp on about arbitrary categories, but I was really just hoping to avoid something like having to listen to Wes play a thousand 'Surrey With A Fringe On Top's before stumbling upon a 'Unit 7', if you see what I mean.

    In the meantime, more Molly!





    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    In person she is painfully shy young woman. Celebrity and that level of social reticence are not a good mix. I wish her the best.
    I'm actually quite surprised to hear you say that. In the interviews I've seen she comes across as being extremely articulate, confident, and poised.
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  25. #24
    There are sub genres for sure . Honestly I don't know what they're called . I've heard people talk about Newgrass. There's gonna be a lot of overlap with things like Americana etc.

    Honestly, Labels for sub genres and things are largely lost on people who listen to this specific music being categorized , maybe more so than others. The categorization of music into smaller and smaller subgenres is a pretty modern thing. I think it mostly came about with the advent of iTunes etc. It makes it a lot easier for people to find some more things they like.

    Several years ago, I had a conversation with my oldest son in which we talked about the music I grew up with . He's a musician too and a fan of different types . Anyway, he started mentioning all these labels for very specific subgenre niches. I guess I sounded like one of those music snobs when I told him basically that "we just called it music or rock etc. We didn't have all those labels for it back then ".

    He'd gotten all of those labels off of the descriptions on iTunes. I don't really have a problem with that , but it does point to a very real phenomena: the people who know the most about a type of music maybe don't really know what it's called in a super specific way.

  26. #25

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    Bluegrass is a subgenre of country music. Music evolves, and bluegrass has (sort of) subdivided into subgenres, but I'm not fluent enough to distinguish most of them. To me, it's all bluegrass - banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass, and sometimes dobro, the instrumentation is the primary distinguishing feature. You don't see pianos or steel guitars in bluegrass bands.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    the people who know the most about a type of music maybe don't really know what it's called in a super specific way.
    Hear, hear.

  28. #27

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    Gillian Welch spent a couple of years at Berklee, met David Rawlings and the rest is history....



    Marty Stuart started as a 14 year old mandolin player for Lester Flatt...



    Then there be Dwight.....


  29. #28

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    Hey, Dwight is solid country, man. He might have recorded something in a bluegrass style but he ain't bluegrass, that's for sure. Any more than Prince was!

    If anything, apart from country, he's done more punk than anything else...

    But he's a hell of a songwriter. This is almost a perfect song. Bob Dylan used to sing it (badly) :-)


  30. #29
    ITunes labels Molly Tuttle as "Americana". Emilou Harris , Nancy Griffith and others probably fall within this genre as well. . Again, I don't care and don't think it matters that much , aside from maybe helping you find similar music. A little different from straightahead bluegrass anyway.

    Find your favorite track and click "song radio" in Spotify and explore. Faster than asking people on the Internet to be sure.

  31. #30

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    Dwight Yoakum is California Country, specifically Bakersfield. There's a small subgenre of country music around there - Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, et al, and Yoakum is a follower of Owens. Haggard is actually more mainstream, having done a lot of western swing in the Bob Wills tradition. Country is a very broad category, with some very diverse styles mixed under the big tent. I consider much of it to be unlistenable, especially the newer rock-oriented stuff like bro-country, but some of it is great, and I listen to it all the time. Bluegrass is sort of in the middle for me, I can listen to it but I don't crave it or search it out.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Find your favorite track and click "song radio" in Spotify and explore. Faster than asking people on the Internet to be sure.
    Yeah, you're probably right. I just wondered whether there was some stylistic term that I wasn't familiar with, like "Appalachian Blues" or somesuch, that might help me narrow things down.
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  33. #32

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    Nowadays it's a wide open genre that's as much about musical approach and attitude, like jazz....





    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 10-19-2019 at 06:52 PM.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Nowadays it's a wide open genre that's as much about music approach and attitude, like jazz....
    Exactly -- hence my question!

    The reality is that I can't stand about 95% of country, bluegrass included. The trick is to find that other 5% without having to subject myself or my loved ones to the remainder.
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  35. #34

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    Some nice bluegrass playing in this film (but I can't find the right clip).

  36. #35

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    Well, if you mean this...



    ... I think it's bloody awful! Jim and Jesse are unquestionably bluegrass, originally anyway, but that thing sounds like a hokey, urban, contrived-for-a-movie country song with banjo for effect. Or something.

    Did you know it was written by someone called Don Raye, better known for songs done by the Andrews Sisters (I jest not)... and Robert Mitchum! Well, he was a train hobo and went to jail, worked on a chain gang, etc, so he's seen some living. But nowhere near Appalachia, I suspect.

    You're right, I hate it! Too bad, because Jim and Jesse are fine on their home ground.


  37. #36

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    one of the modern masters..del mcCoury...doin the lovin spoonfuls ole chestnut-nashville cats-..which john sebastion wrote after seeing a young danny gatton performing in some hotel bar, after the spoonful had just played the biggest arena in town!



    cheers

  38. #37

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    neatomic -

    See, that was great. Yeehaw! Smiling all the way through. That's how to do it!

    How come these bluegrass guys can all sing so high? Some kind of genetic mutation? Appalachian Valley air? Nitrous oxide?

  39. #38

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    A couple of top-notch steel players (mostly non pedal, just old-fashioned steel) who happen to be female are Cindy Cashdollar and Rose Sinclair.

  40. #39

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  41. #40

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    Hickory Wind is a great song but I can't find a decent version of it. There's a live Emmylou one which is okay (she normally does it too slow) but some others are awful. So I've done it myself. Excuse the cracked voice, I have a filthy cold :-)


  42. #41

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    Gram does it too slow too, might have been a bad influence on Emmylou, even though he wrote it.



    AJ Lee and the Tuttles do a bluegrass adaptation and drag it down also...


  43. #42

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    Gillian Welch does this grindingly slow, depressive thing with it. And there are all the horribly insensitive raucous versions that abound. I was waiting for everyone to promptly start posting all their particular versions!

    This is the Emmylou vid I thought just about passed the test. Maybe. It's still a bit slow. It's the sort of song that tempts the emotional types to milk it - but that doesn't work, it just sounds yukky and indulgent. Luckily Emmylou can do feeling without going off the deep end. Like 'Beneath Still Waters' and 'Making Believe'.

    Sorry, the song's not really bluegrass but it lends itself to being played well in that style.


  44. #43

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    Molly's style comes from Dan Crary a mostly solo flatpicker. Close your eyes and you would say it was Dan. Awesome player.


  45. #44

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    Quick, name a famous male cellist.

    Last edited by ragman1; 10-22-2019 at 05:47 AM.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I know, but if it's not their thing, it's not their thing. Too bad.

    Quick, name a famous male cellist.
    Um... Yo Yo Ma?
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  47. #46

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    Pablo Casals

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    .... You don't see pianos or steel guitars in bluegrass bands.
    ...... or drums. Or trumpets, trombones, or saxes.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    Exactly -- hence my question!

    The reality is that I can't stand about 95% of country, bluegrass included. The trick is to find that other 5% without having to subject myself or my loved ones to the remainder.
    I wish I liked bluegrass better than I do. It's kind of fun to play sometimes. I wouldn't have to lug an amp, and I could forget all those chords and complicated songs.

    I went through a phase 10-15 years ago where I got into Merle Travis, Doc Watson, then John Fahey, etc. I would hear finger or flatpicked solos and think, wow, here's a different way to play guitar and be musical, and it seemed less intimidating than jazz chord melodies (and something different than playing Green Dolphin Street again). I thought there would be things that would be transferable, too.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by JGinNJ View Post
    I wish I liked bluegrass better than I do. It's kind of fun to play sometimes. I wouldn't have to lug an amp, and I could forget all those chords and complicated songs.

    I went through a phase 10-15 years ago where I got into Merle Travis, Doc Watson, then John Fahey, etc. I would hear finger or flatpicked solos and think, wow, here's a different way to play guitar and be musical, and it seemed less intimidating than jazz chord melodies (and something different than playing Green Dolphin Street again). I thought there would be things that would be transferable, too.
    But this is why so many musicians of other styles gravitate to jazz, isn't it?, they want more than three chords and a nice tune. But, for all that, we nearly always go back to visit quite often :-)

  51. #50

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    Safe to say that bluegrass is more popular than jazz, Live From Here with Chris Thile on NPR is a great gateway to connect to it.