Mudcat Café message #1267431 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73111   Message #1267431
Posted By: Dewey
09-Sep-04 - 05:42 AM
Thread Name: Is bluegrass an attitude?
Subject: RE: Is bluegrass an attitude?
Is Bluegrass An Attitude?


Bluegrass has a number of infuences, Mountain Music as you say IS part of it, Blues of Course was very infuential, as are Beautiful Celtic harmonies, And even med-evil dissident fifth note harmonies.

In the end it was the conceptual ATTITUDE as you have rightly said that made the music what it is.

I credit Bill Monroe (the FATHER of Bluegrass Music) for bringing this all together. He was the one who taught the Original Bluegrass Boys to play at lighting speed.

He was the one who took a tiny Tator-bug Mandolin (a quiet a subtle instrument) and turned it into a raging monster.

He was also the one who told his fiddler to draw the notes of the fiddle OUT (long and smooth with the bow), which created the vocals necessary in the common meter of the songs; and, to drive the music to lightening speed and still sound great.

He was also the one who developed his bluesy rifts and fill-ins (from arpeggiated scales) which conceptualize Lester Flatts need to Create the G-run, as well as the Banjo licks (fill ins and back-up) that Scruggs began developing. Without Bill Monroe the elements of Today's Bluegrass would not BE.

Ralph Stanley and Others Quickly Followed Suite, perfecting their sound based on the Monroe Sound.

Of Course Mountain Music Sound similars, But Bill Monroe gave to music it edge and likability.

The Proper Bluegrass Attitude is What developes "the Sound" And the concept for the "proper way" it should sound is all Bill Monroe in my opinion.

Some would argue that he wasn't the greatest singer, or Musician, I would beg to differ because he had something more precious than hotpicking musicianship (although this was pretty darn good too)

He had an instinct for the sound. He is to Bluegrass what Robert Johnson is to Blues, Or Glen Miller is To Big Band: A Pioneer.

But it was his ATTITUDE toward the music, that created the music: not the other way around.

I think of this everytime a pick-up my Banjo, or Flatplick a tune on the Guitar, the importance is INSTINCTUALLY DRIVING the music.

I learned this important lesson the very first time a went to Bean Blossum Indiana, where before this time I was not playing with the proper enthusiasm (or drive) to appreciate the great music that was being created there.


P.S. Congratulations on the Diet Jerry!, Keep up the Good Work.