We're ardent fans (and performers) of bluegrass music.   In these pages, we'll offer links to other bluegrass sites, information on the history of bluegrass music and about some of the important bands and individuals in bluegrass past and present, as well as photographs and lots of other items related to bluegrass.   We are privileged to host the beginnings of a page about the internationally known bluegrass band the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys.   We especially like hot fiddle, banjo, and mandolin solos, soaring vocal solos, haunting duets, & tight vocal trios.
Interested in "Newgrass"? One of these days, we'll add some links for you.    Interested in other kinds of music?   We can suggest links to several kinds.
What is Bluegrass?:       Contrary to what some people seem to think (and even to what some mis-informed Web pages will tell you), bluegrass music is not (repeat: NOT) folk music--not even "folk music in overdrive" as one writer said. Bluegrass music is the evolved invention of one man: the late William Smith (Bill) Monroe. Bill Monroe did not set out to develop a form of folk music. When Bill Monroe created the bluegrass sound (although it was not yet called bluegrass) in the late 1930's, he intended to create a commercially successful sound--in much the same way as (but with far more artistic success than) Buck Owens did a quarter of a century later. That Monroe's style of music has been adopted by many thousands of musicians around the world is a tribute to Monroe's genius, but it does not make his invention folk music.   Bluegrass is acoustic music, yes, but not folk music.
Many people do not realize that the definitive bluegrass band (Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys) did not originally include a banjo. The most traditional type of bluegrass band consists of five members, playing mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass--all acoustic, never electric. Today, all real bluegrass bands remain acoustic, but the traditional five-instrument lineup has become only one of many common configurations. Economics has forced many bluegrassers to work in three and four piece groups, while other groups sometimes add a dobro to the traditonal lineup to form a six-piece band.
Bluegrass music began . . . well, that depends on how you look at it. The roots of bluegrass go back to the traditional music of the British Isles, brought to eastern North America (and, specifically, the southern Appalachian Mountains) by immigrants. The traditional British folk music evolved into what is now called Old Time string band music (sometimes just called "Old Timey"), one of the two main antecedents of bluegrass music. Bill Monroe, the man who single-handedly created the style we now call bluegrass, grew up in rural Kentucky hearing and playing Old Time string band music. In the course of his rural Kentucky childhood, Monroe also heard the music of the local (largely separate but parallel) black culture, including "the blues". This became the other main antecedent of bluegrass. |
Bill Monroe's mandolin case bore the legend "Original Blue Grass since 1927", a reasonable claim but historically inaccurate. Bill Monroe and his brothers did indeed begin a successful performing career in 1927, but what they played was not bluegrass. Little, except for the superb quality of their performances (and perhaps Bill Monroe's driving mandolin on, for example, "Rabbit in the Log"), distinguishes the work of the Monroe Brothers from that of a hundred other string bands of the same era. When the Monroe Brothers split up in the late '30s, Bill Monroe formed his Blue Grass Boys (in 1938) and the sound we know as bluegrass was born. The wider (Southern) public became familiar with the bluegrass sound (although not yet the term "bluegrass" for it) when Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1939.
Want more bluegrass history? Click here for more.
| William S.
Father of Bluegrass,
star of the Grand Ole Opry,
& member of the
Country Music Hall of Fame
| Bob Jones, |
founder and lead singer
of the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys
and former member of
Blue Grass Boys
Some Bluegrass linksBill Monroe
Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame : Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe's Page of Fame
Liner Notes forThe Songs of Bill Monroe
Southern Folklife Collection - Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe and Bluegrass Music
Bill Monroe Tales
FestivalFinder: Bluegrass Music Festivals of North America
Bluegrass Music Festival Locator
IBMA Home Page
Del McCoury Bluegrass Article    One of the best living bluegrass singers.
Redwood Bluegrass Associates - Del McCoury Band January 1997
BLUEGRASS: The Del McCoury Band
Richard Greene Bluegrass Music Artist Profile
BlueGrassRoots: Peter Rowan: Quotes
Today in History (Bill Monroe)
Redwood Bluegrass Associates
SummerStage - Artists
Bluegrass Music Concert Review
Bluegrass Music Events    New York
Martha White Flour Bluegrass Music News    (under construction)
A resource for Bluegrass Music
Roots66:Music links - Bluegrass Links
BLUEGRASS: Putting Music on the World Wide Web
The Bluegrass Connection
Bluegrass music in SoCal
Bluegrass Frameless Page
Country, Folk, Bluegrass Music
a Swedish bluegrass band
Netherlands Bluegrass Music Association
Annapolis Valley Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Association Homepage
Ishibashi-Music / Bluegrass / Liberty Bell    Japanese bluegrass
Bluegrass Music Association Of Maine
Swiss Bluegrass Music Association
TRAMP AND BLUEGRASS MUSIC
COUNTRY & BLUEGRASS MUSIC
East Hants Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Association     (England)
International Bluegrass Music Museum
The Bluegrass / Acoustic Music Web Ring
Nerdworld's bluegrass listings
Bluegrass and Swing Music Magazine
BlueGrass Music (mid)
Bluegrass MP3 Music
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