Mudcat Café message #1265294 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73111   Message #1265294
Posted By: GUEST,Frank
06-Sep-04 - 11:30 AM
Thread Name: Is bluegrass an attitude?
Subject: RE: Is bluegrass an attitude?
The quote "folk music with overdrive" is attributable to Alan Lomax.

There is an attitude among some blue grassers that is exclusive to outsiders.
It is no cooincidence that there are no African-American bluegrass players which is not true in the Old Timey camp. Taj Mahal is a wonderful old time banjo picker.

The musicianship can be superb. The genre however seems resistant to change and a lot of petty bickering goes on about what is the correct way to play it. Often, some practioners reject any advanced harmonic structure and paint a psuedo-bucolic picture of quaintness and purity that confines the accompanist to fewer chords than necessary. It started not in the Blue Grass state of Kentucky but in the oil fields of Indiana. Innovation is resisted by traditionalists (what else is new?) but despite that, some wonderful developments have taken place because of it such as David Grissman, Andy Statman, Bill Keith and the advent of NewGrass. Monroe's forbidding presence has tended to suppress the genre by becoming an object of idolatry rather than an appreciation of what he accomplished musically. A lot of this is probably due to Monroe's personality although in fairness, he did have Bill Keith play with him and recognized this banjo innovator.