Mudcat Café message #1267888 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73111   Message #1267888
Posted By: Barbara Shaw
09-Sep-04 - 04:51 PM
Thread Name: Is bluegrass an attitude?
Subject: RE: Is bluegrass an attitude?
I think bluegrass is definitely an attitude. It's so much more than just the music, it's the lifestyle, the approach to all music, the participation, the jams, the community. And I call a lot of things bluegrass that are probably string band or old-timey or mountain or folk or country or acoustic rock or whatever.

And I personally don't trust a musician who doesn't move when playing! The stiffs can be technically proficient, but I don't feel much from their music. I'm sometimes embarassed by showy displays and bouncing around while playing (especially on the bass, an instrument you can literally DANCE with!) but to me it means the music is felt, not just presented. I've seen bands where the musicians interact with each other and the audience, have fun on stage, move, and they give a much better show - and are appreciated more - than the ones who stand like robots presenting brilliant licks and technically daunting, dead arrangements. Some people are always in control or perhaps totally inhibited or reserved or perhaps don't feel it physically like others, but I find movement to be an important part of making music.

On the other hand, some performers are so forced, showing such extravagant emotion and stylized movements that you know it's phony.

And that's my attitude.