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Bluegrass

Someone 29 Sep 97 - 04:42 PM
Old Timer 30 Sep 97 - 09:36 AM
Old Timer 30 Sep 97 - 09:42 AM
Bert 30 Sep 97 - 09:51 AM
Coralena 30 Sep 97 - 10:00 AM
Jon W. 30 Sep 97 - 10:18 AM
Bill in Alabama 30 Sep 97 - 10:45 AM
GaryD 30 Sep 97 - 10:17 PM
Old Timer 01 Oct 97 - 10:03 AM
Coralena 01 Oct 97 - 12:20 PM
Old Timer 01 Oct 97 - 02:32 PM
Downeast Bob 02 Oct 97 - 12:07 AM
Joe Offer 02 Oct 97 - 01:00 AM
Coralena 02 Oct 97 - 09:54 AM
Jon W. 02 Oct 97 - 10:37 AM
Whippoorwill 02 Oct 97 - 11:13 AM
Bob Landry 02 Oct 97 - 05:17 PM
GaryD 02 Oct 97 - 08:41 PM
Jon W. 03 Oct 97 - 11:18 AM
Old Timer 06 Oct 97 - 12:37 PM
Coralena 06 Oct 97 - 02:34 PM
Old Timer 06 Oct 97 - 03:30 PM
Coralena 06 Oct 97 - 03:57 PM
Gene 06 Oct 97 - 10:56 PM
Barbara 28 Oct 97 - 07:59 AM
betsy 21 Dec 97 - 06:56 PM
Heather Ferris 17 Jan 98 - 10:40 PM
Barry 18 Jan 98 - 12:06 AM
The Shambles 10 Jun 00 - 07:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jun 00 - 07:52 PM
kendall 10 Jun 00 - 07:56 PM
black walnut 10 Jun 00 - 08:53 PM
Mark Clark 10 Jun 00 - 09:40 PM
Mark Clark 10 Jun 00 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Banjo Johnny 10 Jun 00 - 09:58 PM
Mark Clark 10 Jun 00 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,Joerg 10 Jun 00 - 11:03 PM
catspaw49 11 Jun 00 - 02:56 AM
kendall 11 Jun 00 - 08:30 AM
Barbara Shaw 11 Jun 00 - 08:36 AM
Barbara Shaw 11 Jun 00 - 08:48 AM
Gern 11 Jun 00 - 09:56 AM
sledge 11 Jun 00 - 10:14 AM
Pixie 11 Jun 00 - 10:30 AM
Midchuck 11 Jun 00 - 10:32 AM
sledge 11 Jun 00 - 10:53 AM
BanjoRay 11 Jun 00 - 11:34 AM
keltcgrasshoppper 11 Jun 00 - 12:03 PM
Mark Clark 11 Jun 00 - 03:12 PM
Gary T 11 Jun 00 - 03:18 PM
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Subject: Bluegrass
From: Someone
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 04:42 PM

Does anyone like or play bluegrass? What instruments do you play? Do you know any links?

Thanks, Someone


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Old Timer
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 09:36 AM

Try the following. They both have pretty good links to Bluegrass sites:

http//BGR.ee/

http//bluegrassbanjo.com/

Happy hunting!


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Old Timer
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 09:42 AM

By the way Someone, I forgot to answer your question. Yes, I like Bluegrass and play the Banjo. That is one reason I visit this site- there are many "folk songs" in the Bluegrass repertoire, and this is a good place to browse and ask for help from other people who love music and singing. How about you?


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Bert
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 09:51 AM

I like bluegrass but don't sing much of it as it doesn't seem to sound right with the remnants of my Limey accent.

Try this for a good collection of lyrics

http://www.nsknet.or.jp/~motoya/


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Coralena
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 10:00 AM

Like it but am not an authority on it. Would like to attend a bluegrass festival.Is it hard to learn the banjo? Love the dulcimer and would love to learn to play one. My sister bought one at BlackMountain NC that comes with sheet music that you slip under the strings and shows you what to pick to play a song, not sure if that is a good way to learn or not but it is fun.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Jon W.
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 10:18 AM

I took a banjo class in a community education program for a few months two years ago. It focused on bluegrass. I got so I could play a few songs, but to get really up to bluegrass picking speed would take me probably a couple of years or more of daily practice. I have been thinking of switching to clawhammer style which I have read is much less demanding, but I haven't heard much music in that style. To compare bluegrass banjo to guitar (if that will help Coralena), the banjo right hand is considerably harder but the left hand is considerably easier (for me at least).


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 10:45 AM

I have played banjo for many years. For 18 years, I toured with my family as a bluegrass band. While I am proficient in most styles of banjo (Scruggs style, Keith style, melodic note-for-note fiddle tunes, etc.), the style I find that I am most comfortable with is the clawhammer style. You're right, Jon-- to play regularly in a bluegrass format, a banjoist must practice at least a couple of hours every day. I have one friend who practices on a strict and strenuous six-hour daily schedule. Needless to say, he's very good. For me, the beauty of bluegrass music is that it is so gloriously improvisational: I've probably never played a banjo break in a particular song the same way any two times. It's a lot like what I think dixieland music is like for other musicians. Clawhammer style is very demanding in that it requires much more left-hand work if one hopes to carry the melody. The family (minus our bass-player son) will be performing at the Museum of Appalachia annual Homecoming on October 8 through 12, in Norris, Tennessee. Others performing there will be Mac Wiseman, Doyle Lawson (great bluegrass), John Hartford, David Hope, Grandpa Jones, the Ramona Jones Band, Jeanette Carter (A.P.'s daughter), Sparky Rucker, and many, many others. pardon the commercial.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: GaryD
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 10:17 PM

Nice Thread!..I run a local Bluegrass Jam Newsletter here in Central MN..will be really interested in seeing where this goes..Here's a bunch of addresses I've come across. http://www.skdesigns.com/internet/music/folk.htm http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~andrew/shanty/blowdown http://www.roughstock.com/cowpie/cowpie-songs/ http://www.hidwater.com/folkvenue/mn.html http://www.cris.com/%7ESkaryd/ http://www.mandolincafe.com/ http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/spinneybrothers/bluegrassirc/ http://bgr.ee/LINKS/l_250.html (Probably the most comprehensive..)


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Old Timer
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 10:03 AM

I agree with you GaryD that this may be interesting. I think Bluegrass was brought back with the help of the folk movement of the early 60s. I also think it created renewed interest in acoustic music in general. Most folkies I have been acquainted with like Bluegrass. For any of you folk music fans that have not been to a Bluegrass festival, I would say GO! You will be glad you did!


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Coralena
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 12:20 PM

Does anyone know where you can get a run down on the dates and locations of Bluegrass Festivals by state?


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Old Timer
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 02:32 PM

Coralena: There are links for festival calendars at: http//BGR.ee/ You should be able to find something near you from one of them or the links to others.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 12:07 AM

Old Timer is right that bluegrass became much more popular as a result of the folk boom of the early 60s, but I don't think of it as a revival of bluegrass. Bluegrass had been growing pretty steadily throughout the 50s among a segment of country music fans who liked the down home feel and the acoustic sound, but not many northern musicians were interested in it until the 60s when bluegrass bands began appearing at folk festivals and folk singers showing up at places like the Old-Time Fiddlers' Conventions in Union Grove, N.C. and Galax, Va. Both of these had been going on since the 1930s, and you could hear plenty of bluegrass as well as old time clawhammer banjo picking at both of them.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 01:00 AM

I went to a bluegrass festival once, and I found it was a lot of fun. That's a problem with folk music at times - folk musicians can be a bit too sincere, and they can take themselves too seriously. Bluegrass people are just out to have a good time - there's something to be said for that. a little sincerity is nice at times, too.
I've always heard that Bill Monroe "invented" bluegrass. Maybe so, but I've heard lots of music with mountain roots that predates Bill Monroe and sounds a lot like bluegrass. What's that type of music called? What's the difference between old-timey and bluegrass music?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Coralena
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 09:54 AM

Here is another site with info. Couldn't find a festival for this month near by :( but it is a nice site. Had trouble trying to get to some of the above sites. Thanks for the info. I'ld say Bluegrass Music is Spirt Music, it sure does move you. :)


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Jon W.
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 10:37 AM

In my opinion--and this one really is humble since I'm not an expert in either (any?) type of music--bluegrass is more for really good musicians - professionals - and old timey is a lot of the same songs and same instruments, but played with less expertise and simpler styles.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Whippoorwill
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 11:13 AM

Nobody who lives in the Hoosier hills or Kentuckiana would consider bluegrass only for professionals. For every pro there's probably a hundred back porch pickers of varying ability - which, incidentally, describes some of the "professionals," too.

We generally give Monroe credit for the name, not the style.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Bob Landry
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 05:17 PM

I've been learning to flat pick some bluegrass tunes on my guitar for the last year. Previous posters are right. It takes a lot of practice, about 2 hours a day for me. A bunch of us got together Saturday night at the local trailer park (Note to Joe Offer - tourist season here is over ) and we played a lot of bluegrass among other styles. None of us is a professional and we all have differing abilities and come from different parts of Canada - we do love bluegrass here in the soon to be frozen north. The 2 fiddles, mandolin, banjo, 3 guitars and electric keyboard were hoppin for about 5 hours. Different instruments took the lead at different times and if one screws up, we laugh and carry on. Now if we had been able to find old Bill and his doghouse base ... For anybody wanting to play bluegrass, I highly recommend that you try it and if at first you don't succeed, don't quit ... it will get better.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: GaryD
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 08:41 PM

I agree..from Central MN we have a lot of us who like the music, but have various degrees of success in laying down the extra licks...you've heard about "The blind leading the blind...Well, sometimes its the "unconcious leading the blind" as in my case..but even if we are unskilled at instrumentation, the songs & words and music can be felt and expressed. It is a real treat though, when you can hear someone who does have it altogether.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Jon W.
Date: 03 Oct 97 - 11:18 AM

I guess what I meant by "Professional" was not so much that the musician got paid for it, but that someone who plays bluegrass has the talent and dedication to be a professional. Most of them don't make a living at it because, well--how do you get a folk musician off your porch? You pay him for the pizza. You get my drift.

The point I was trying to make before was that even though bluegrass and old time music share a lot of songs and instruments in common, bluegrass is much more difficult to play. This is because (on banjo anyway) the picking is at least double the speed of the melody. If the melody is basically a combination of quarter and eighth notes, the banjo is picking sixteenth notes. In old time music, the banjo would be playing mostly just the melody notes (or just stumming chords for backup). Please correct me if I'm wrong, I want to understand this better too.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Old Timer
Date: 06 Oct 97 - 12:37 PM

I happen to live in the deep South, and one thing I am very happy about is the ever-increasing numbers of young people showing up at festivals and jam sessions. They are enthusiastic about picking and singing. They sure do learn quick too! Makes me wish I was 12 or 14 again :)


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Coralena
Date: 06 Oct 97 - 02:34 PM

Maybe 12 or 14 and know what I know now but those teenage years can be rough ones. I'll take 19 and know what I know now. I am having a time finding out about festivals, even called the local bluegrass station but haven't heard back from them. Any more ideas?


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Old Timer
Date: 06 Oct 97 - 03:30 PM

Coralena: If you haven't been there already, try http://BGR.ee/LINKS/ (I suppose the uppercase letters are necessary) and click on the Calendar button . I don't know what part of the country you live in but there are still several festivals left this year in the southern states. Many local festivals don't make the list in the national/international publications, but if you can find a regional bluegrass organization they may be able to help. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Coralena
Date: 06 Oct 97 - 03:57 PM

Thank you Old Timer. I checked out the FESTIVAL link first but wanted to make sure you got this so thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Gene
Date: 06 Oct 97 - 10:56 PM

Of course you can always contact:

Frank Godbey * University of Kentucky * fgodbey@pop.uky.edu

For instructions on how to sign on:

He hosts the Kentudky Bluegrass Net....

Many well-known pickers frequent it.....


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Barbara
Date: 28 Oct 97 - 07:59 AM

I was glad to find this bluegrass thread, because I'm what they call "bit bad" by the music. I play several instruments well enough to enjoy myself, but not "professional" caliber. That's what's great about bluegrass: beginners can join in and make music with hot pickers who could start fires. It's really music for all levels of ability, and all ages.

We went to several festivals last summer in the Northeast, and my source is the magazine "Bluegrass Unlimited's" annual festival listing around January, Cuzin' Isaac's Guide (P.O. Box 252, Alstead, NH 03602, usually costs about $5) and picking up flyers at each festival. But proceed with caution. These festivals are totally addicting!

Also, take a look at the newsgroup bit.listserv.bgrass-l for discussion, festival.com for listings of all genres, and search something like yahoo.com for "bluegrass."


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: betsy
Date: 21 Dec 97 - 06:56 PM

I've been playing fiddle for 3 years now, and recently concentrating on bluegrass. For me, the main differences between old timey and bluegrass is: style- oldtimey tends to be unison playing, with the melody played by fiddle or occasionally another instrument, with guitar and others doing the rythmn. No "breaks" as in bluegrass- the improvisational solos that bluegrassers are known for. Some oldtime folks are really serious about having only traditional playing in that style. For fiddles, bowing is very rythmic. Old time jams are known for repeating a song many many times before playing another. Joke is - What is the difference between an UZI and an old time jam? Ans: The UZI quits after 30 rounds. As for which is harder- that's your own call. You can be a really good old timey player, or a poor bluegrasser. Bluegrass places the emphesis on individual performance, harmony singing, and "hot" instrumentals. It all grew out of the old-timey and mountain traditional playing. Anyone with bluegrass interest post anytime.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Heather Ferris
Date: 17 Jan 98 - 10:40 PM

Hi to Everyone Loved reading all these entries in the bluegrass section. I really enjoy bluegrass, my husband plays a mean banjo and I back him up on guitar, tinker around a bit on the mandolin and started singing "the tunes" about 4 months ago. We regularly jam with several musicians here in our small town in British Columbia and have played with some members of Nechako Bluegrass Band, Jerusalem Ridge and a former member of Wholesome Bluegrass from Manitoba. The best part of bluegrass is the people. They are so friendly, down to earth and are so appreciative of everyone who is trying to learn no matter how many mistakes you make. Special hello to Old Timer: I am still looking for the words to "In the Gravel Yard" which I heard being done by the Liberty Bluegrass Boys.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Barry
Date: 18 Jan 98 - 12:06 AM

Heather, in the late 70's, while I was livin in Hawaii, I met a bluegraser from out your way, played with some of the bands but can't recall who they were., any way his name is Warren Argo, know him, or his whereabouts, greatful for any info. Barry


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 07:38 PM

I have played at Old Time sessions but I think I would be quite daunted by the prospect of playing at a Bluegrass one. Could someone explain the rules and when exactly Old Time banjo, for example becomes Bluegrass banjo?


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 07:52 PM

And it would be helpful if peope chipping in here could say where they are geographically.

I suspect that the rules and customs might vary for different parts of the globe, and this is a great place to find out that kind of stuff.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 07:56 PM

Generally, Old time banjo is called, clawhammer, frailing, drop thumb or rapping. Bluegrass banjo is picked with three fingers Earl Scruggs style. There are many outstanding clawhammer players, Cathy Barton, Howie Burson, Kathy Fink, Sara Grey and Reid Martin, to name a few. I have a strong preference for clawhammer, and, wide open full speed bluegrass banjo sounds like a popsicle stick in a bicycle wheel (to quote an old friend whom I wont embarrass)


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: black walnut
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 08:53 PM

I like to listen to bluegrass, especially women singers like Jenny Lester and Alison Krauss, and bands like Heartbreak Hill. I went to the Tottenham Bluegrass Festival last summer, and had to laugh at the number of groups that got up there on the hottest drippingest day of the summer, in their matching fancy long-sleeved, long-pants outfits. And you say they don't take themselves as seriously, Joe? I'm not so sure about that.....

~black walnut (who, to answer your second question, Someone, plays dulcimer, celtic harp, piano, guitar, whistle....)


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Mark Clark
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 09:40 PM

One thing to keep in mind about bluegrass music is that it was designed from the beginning to be commercial counrty music. I wasn't really meant to be back porch music. When country music fans first heard Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys over WSM's Grand Ole Opry with Earl, Cedric, Chubby and Lester, they went generally bonkers. Suddenly the Gibson Co. was back in the banjo business and, I think, had to dig out their patterns for five-string banjos. People hadn't wanted many of them for a long time.

Note that Monroe didn't originally refer to his music as "bluegrass." Other people eventually gave it than name because Bill had named his band The Blue Grass Boys after his home state. Bill has been quoted many times as saying he was just playing country music and trying to get a sound that was unique and easily identifiable. I believe he actually experimented with electric instruments, piano and accordian at different times before settling on the 1945 configuration.

The reason bluegrass jams may seem strange to many players unfamiliar with the idiom is that it is really intended as commercial entertainment. It tends to be highly arranged and often, several arrangements of a tune must be committed to memory before a player joining a jam will know when to play lead, when to play backup and when to just lay out.

Downeast Bob was correct in saying bluegrass grew pretty steadily in popularity since it's inception. The advent of R&R made it hard on most country musicians and I've read that in 1963, when Brad (AKA Bill) Kieth was a Blue Grass Boy, they would all climb into a station wagon with the bass tied up on top and drive from Nashville to California for a one night stand. Now that's dedication.

Bluegrass started to really grow in popularity when Carlton Haneys (sp?) produced the very first bluegrass festival at Watermellon Park near Berryville, Virginia. It seems to me the year was 1965. This event was so successful, it was only a short time before Monroe and others began producing their own festivals. And what festivals they were. Jan and I happened to be in southern Indiana not long ago and stopped by the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in Bean Blossom. As I looked around the room I realized that, with the exception of Carter Stanley who died before the festivals took off, every single current hall of Fame member would be booked on the same show at the same festival. You'd pull up to a festival site and there along the front fence would be a long row of giant tour busses facing the road with names like Ralph Stanley, Jim and Jesse, The Country Gentlemen, Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmy Martin... every big name in bluegrass would be there. What's more, they were nice people. Many of them would perform all day and then stay up all night just to jam with the fans.

Sorry to go on and on. I didn't realize when I began this post what a grip those memories still have on me. All I can say is, you shoulda been there.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Mark Clark
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 09:56 PM

Black Walnut, I agree with Joe that they tend not to take themselves too seriously. They do take the music seriously but not themselves. Costumes, when used, are just part of the country music tradidion; remember, it's supposed to be a sub-category of commercial country music. The folk roots may be clearer and stronger but a bluegrass show is supposed to look like it was staged, not like a university lecture.

Over the years I've found that there are may things in the world that can be more easily appreciated if I let go of my own notions about what they should be and just accept them as I find them. Most of the fine arts and liberal arts seem to be like that. Come to think of it, people are mostly that way too.

Cheers,

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: GUEST,Banjo Johnny
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 09:58 PM

The banjo techniques have been covered pretty well, so I'll just add this. Interesting the way, the minute Bluegrass was mentioned, the attention zeroed in on banjo. Does it still sound like Bluegrass without the banjo? The three-fingered, syncopated Scruggs style has certainly become part of the sound. But just as important is the FIDDLE, and the basic bowing is an alternating down--updown, up--downup. It's all in the wrist. Without the fiddle, you have nothing! As far as banjo, I combine frailing with melody picking. This divides the work equally between both hands. Your left does a lot of hammering and drawing off. This also makes the banjo a good accompaniment for singing. The drawback of the Scruggs style is that you just about need a band behind you. Otherwise it's hard for the average listener (non-musician) to hear the progression. It sure sparkles, tho. You can spend a lot of time mastering that, or you can spend time learning lots of songs in a simpler style. I'm basically a singer with a banjo, so that's what I do. Good luck with your banjo! -- Johnny in Oklahoma City


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Mark Clark
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 10:11 PM

B.J., you're right on about the fiddle. A bluegrass band really needs a fiddle. Unless there's a dobro, the fiddle is the only instrument with enough sustain to smooth out the choppy rhythms of the other players.

I also agree with using the banjo as accompanimant for a solo act. Scruggs style just wouldn't work. Bluegrass is ensemble music and without the proper instrumentation, one is much better off performing the songs in a folk or perhaps a Merle Travis style. A single person simply can't perform true bluegrass.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 10 Jun 00 - 11:03 PM

Kendall - can you tell me more about the banjo styles you mentioned or direct me to where I can find out more on the net? I never found out how the three fingers style works but I think that for some purposes it might be great on the guitar (slower, of course) and what about the other ones? BTW I once was told that Earl Scruggs learned that style from a banjo player named - uh - was it 'Snuffy Jenkins'?

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 02:56 AM

Lots of intersting things here in this old/new thread. It is interesting to me that mandolin is barely mentioned and yet has been an integral part of the tradition, although one I see as becoming overshadowed by banjo and fiddle.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: kendall
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 08:30 AM

Joerg, I recommend you pick up a copy of Pete Seegers How to play the banjo. It covers all styles. For listening, I recommed a tape titled, On A Day Like Today, by Cathy Barton and Dave Para. What she does with that banjo is just great. Howie Burson also has an outstanding tape/CD. These are both on Folk Legacy Records. Go to their web site and check them out. If you buy, be sure to mention Mudcat. I also recommend any tape or CD by Ralph Stanley. He can switch from Bluegrass style to clawhammer with ease. I like his rendition of "Bound to ride".


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 08:36 AM

Mark Clark, I'm really enjoying all you have to say, so don't stop writing down those great memories! My husband and I go to 7 or 8 bluegrass festivals every summer, all over the northeast, and we're bit bad, real bad.

It's still like that, with all the headliners at the same festivals, all the busses lined up, really nice people accessible to the fans, and jams all night long. Check out the lineup at Grey Fox Festival (formerly Winterhawk) and Thomas Point Beach Festival, even smaller ones like Noppet Hill and Pemi Valley.

And the bluegrass lifestyle is another whole book, the people we've met at festivals and hook up with again every summer, people from every New England state, Canada, New York, Virginia, etc.

We met Carlton Haney a few years ago when we went to his festival at Berryville, VA. What a cantankerous old curmudgeon he was! Got up on the stage during one of the sound checks and called out specific settings to the sound engineer for several minutes. Bill Monroe was supposed to be there but was having health problems, but we saw Dan Crary, Rose Maddox (accompanied by a last minute pickup of Skip Gorman, who was camped right next to us), Chubby Wise, and many others. Never to be forgotton.

In our own little amateur way, we're carrying on the tradition locally with our own bluegrass band (called ShoreGrass) in a town that never heard bluegrass before, probably. We have guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and bass. Of course.

Thanks for your stories, Mark. Keep 'em coming.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 08:48 AM

Hi Kendall! (Met him at Thomas Point Beach Festival. You should hear him. . .)


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Gern
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 09:56 AM

The previous comments from Bill from Alabama should be heeded, because he is an authority on the subject. I enjoyed his performance with his wife at Norris last fall, and I concur that the Tennessee Fall Homecoming is one of the best festivals I have attended. Topnotch entertainment, a genuine effort to include local and lesser known talent, a commitment to mountain roots and a vast array of artists and crafstmen to demonstrate various cultural skills. Go to Norris this October! Meanwhile I hope to find a few mudcatters at Bean Blossom Indiana this week.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: sledge
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 10:14 AM

Blue grass curious, I have not knowingly heard any but would like to. Anyone with suggestions on south coast UK venues/festivals that might fit the bill or alternativley a good sampler CD.

cheers


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Pixie
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 10:30 AM

This is a great thread! I don't have a large collection of bluegrass music, but love the festival we go to in Nova Scotia every summer (formerly in Beechbrook campground in Ardoise, now at Mt. Denson outside of Windsor, Nova Scotia). I don't sleep for two-three days other than cat naps. Too busy listening to the jams sessions and joining in. I play very basic guitar, but playing along at the festival with others has helped me tremendously. I love the harmonies in the songs, the gospel, and the instrumentals. Bluegrass people are very easy-going, love to teach you a lick, and encourage you to work on developing skills....they are also very patient and are definitely there for the music!

Note to Heather Ferris....I am originally from B.C.; where are you writing from?


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 10:32 AM

Sampler CD: Rounder (or, as Ron Thomason has doomed them to forever be called, "The Rounderflatterblacker Record Company") has a very nice 2-CD set called "Hand-Picked: 25 years of Bluegrass on Rounder Records" with 49 cuts on the 2 CDs. It came out in '95 and was sold very cheap - I think I paid something like US$6.99 for the whole thing, in a retail store. Their stock # is AN22/23. Of course I have no idea as to present availability in this country, much less in the UK. You might check the various internet CD sales operations.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: sledge
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 10:53 AM

Peter

Thanks for the tip

Stu


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: BanjoRay
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 11:34 AM

UK bluegrass festivals this summer (They are all weekends. The date is an approximation, because I can't get at my calendar!):
July 1 :A1 festival - Sacrewell Farm, Peterborough, half a mile off the A1 - good camping, concerts, workshops, sessions

July 8 :Conwy Bluegrass fesival, near Conwy town centre. Excellent concerts, workshops, sessions (BG & OT) and camping

July 22 : Yorkshire Dales BG festival nr Silsden (nr Skipton) North Yorkshire. Excellent concerts, workshops, sessions (mainly BG), camping

For those who prefer their old time unadulterated, there's a great OT camp for a week(including both weekends) from 11th Aug at the same site as the A1 festival (see above)only £2 pd camp fee, good facilities. Lots of sessions - indoors if wet.

You can just turn up at any of these, and pay at the gate!
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 12:03 PM

For any travelers to the Canadian Maritimes or better yet if you live there.."The PEI Old Time Music and Blue Grass Festival" will be held at the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival Grounds from July 6-9th..camping available on site.. call Glenda Jackson 1-902-569-4501.. This is usually a great time for Blue Grass lovers.. check it out if you can... KGH


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Mark Clark
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 03:12 PM

Barbara, thanks for your comments. I was afraid I was putting everyone to sleep. I'm glad to hear all the headliners are again booked at the same show. In the 80's festivals got to be so numerous that they would only book one or two top-tier bands, two or three middle-tier, a couple of "bluegrass related" acts and then fill out the program with local or amature talent. It was good from the perspective of bringing new bands along but it wasn't the same level of show. We really got spoiled in the early days of the festivals.

It's sure great to hear that bluegrass festivals are being held all over the world. Maybe someday I'll get to see some of them. I remember how bluegrass bands from Japan, France, ... all over, would be turing the U.S. during the summer and pick up bookings at the larger festivals. They were always fantastic. Even the Japanese who spoke no english had the singing down including a pretty decent southern drawl.

Those early festivals were astonishing on many levels. Of course there was the music and the fellowship but it was also the meeting ground for all kinds of people who might otherwise have been antagonists. Right wing, left wing, farmers, urban executives, student radicals, southern rednecks, hippies, Deadhead spinners, minorities, foreign citizens, you name it. There were no bariers and no one cared what you thought about anything but the music. I sometimes wonder what ever happend to all those people.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Bluegrass
From: Gary T
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 03:18 PM

Mark, I would venture that some of them--and their kids!--show up in Winfield for the Walnut Valley Festival. This year they'll have a Swiss act, the Kreuger (sp?) Brothers, who are of the "knock your socks off" caliber. I personally am not a Banjo aficionado, but the Kreuger banjoist is rather amazing.


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