I recognize that this is not the best forum to point out the passing of “The Professor” of Drummers… Neil Peart of Rush earlier this year.
I have been a huge fan of the band since 1980… and felt a shadow cross my heart upon hearing of this master… whom I consider to be a private and humble man who penned inspired lyrics (the lyricist of Rush)… and to whom it has been attributed… Neil Peart was your favorite drummer’s favorite drummer. Stated further, gifted players like Neil was… often innovate or redefine what excellence is on their instrument and influence… as Neil was recognized to be.
God Speed and rest in peace, Neil Peart.
As I considered Neil’s career… a question came to me.
As many of you know (as I freely admit), I am new to the genre of Bluegrass… having become a recent fan when picking up my Hallowback Banjo and Mandolin just a few years ago.
That said, it occurred to me just how critical but often overlooked (dare I say thankless but vital) Bassists and drummers are to Bluegrass music… where Guitar, Banjo, Mando, Fiddle, Dobro and voice are generally featured so prominently.
In this light, I ask the following questions:
Are there prominent bassists/drummers (that aren’t singers who play bass or drums) that are recognized on these instruments? If so, who are the greats?
Aside from traditional Bluegrass… Are their any Newgrass or Prog Bluegrass that allow these instruments to break through into - what I will call - equal recognition or exposure?
Seems to me that at some point, there would be some opportunity for those rare and visionary artists to come into recognition by way of soloing and/or innovative, new songs…
Even as such bands may exist, does this somehow then remove the band or style away from the Bluegrass genre… as it is so unusual or ground-breaking? If such bands exist, do they then become categorized differently as a result?
Please understand that this topic is meant with the utmost respect to the many talented artists who, through their work, enable and allow the other instruments to be featured.
Forgive me for asking what may be a taboo or obvious subject… but I have truly wondered… and look forward to the responses!