Can we talk?
An interesting discussion happened last Tuesday night at our weekly jam session. It started with this statement, “long before there was a Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs’ 3 finger pickin patterns, Ralph Stanley or any other well known musician … there was this music played by people”. It got called Bluegrass first in the late 40’s or early fifties.
The folks in the hills (Appalachian mountains) played what they knew from old songs brought to the area by the Irish, Scottish and English; ballads and reels … they just played and sang and innovated when needed.
Because the music industry needed a marketing catch phrase, Bill Monroe (and his band from the bluegrass state of Kentucky) got the “honor” of labeling this music … and the world “discovered” what was never really lost.
Is Bluegrass not bluegrass if the banjo doesn’t play in Scruggs style?
If the guitar players uses a classical fingering instead of flat-pickin … is it still Bluegrass?
Does a Mandolin player absolutely have to cross-pick or could he/she just slow strum?
What do you say?