Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Why I Have No Use For Bluegrass Music

I was listening to an old interview with Earl Scruggs where he said they “never played what folks today call ‘bluegrass music.’ We just called it country music.”
Since I’ve been living on Mars, I had no idea that “Wagon Wheel” was a big hit for Darius Rucker. According to Wiki, Rucker " it was largely an issue of musical genre and the high school group changing his thinking on it: “I knew the song, and to me it was such a perfect bluegrass tune that I didn’t think I could do it. But they did a country version of it, with drums and pedal steel. I was like, 'Wait a minute. That would be a great country song.”

Excuse me? I only recently became aware of this song and have eagerly listened to every version I could find. I cannot find one that sounds like “bluegrass,” what ever that is.
Bill Monroe defined bluegrass as “contemporary music arraigned for these instruments.” That might be right, but if by giving it the bluegrass label, should the music be dismissed, (Are your listening Nashville?")
So I have no use for bluegrass music. According to the records, “Dueling Banjos” (1972) was one of the biggest hits of the rock & roll era. Good thing it’s not bluegrass or we never would have heard it!
Oh, and the first #1 country song on the Billboard Hot 100 was “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” by some country music people.
A good song is a good song. Anything beyond that is just BS.

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I agree! I say don’t restrict yourself to listening to one particular genre, you may just miss something very special :wink:

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Old Crow Medicine Show is the closest thing to bluegrass I’ve heard, and that’s not really bluegrass.

Edit Shoot! I forgot that that video is a bit “adult.” PG-13 everyone!

Hi @Mark_Rocka you got the banjo TAB for this tune ? I really like the rolling backup. I think it would make a great warm-up exercise

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Afraid not. I always played guitar on this one.

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You might find what you want here -

The part i like is at the bottom of the page -
“Now using those ideas, just improvise and create your own version! There is no right or wrong!”

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I saw that video when I was researching the song. Usually the video tries to capture an aspect of the song, but this video seemed to focus on “medicine show.”

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Thanks Joseph Much appreciated

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Cheers anyway

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The fiddle player (Ketch Secor?) for that band wrote the song…I believe around an unfinished Bob Dylan lyric

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Actually, Dylan wrote the chorus. 25 years later Secor wrote the lyrics.
The chorus was an unfinished piece that was intended for the “Pat Garret & Billy the Kid” movie soundtrack, but never made the cut.

I’m still tying to figure out what “rock me like a wagon wheel” means. I guess I am more of a melody than lyrics person. Apparently I was influenced by “American Bandstand” as a wee child and all the cool teenagers who would rate a new song by saying, “It’s got a great beat & I can dance to it.” What else matters? :smile:

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Been wondering this for years.

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If you ever watched Wagon Train you would know that the wheels were loose fitting on the axle, the wheel would sway back & forth like rocking a baby in a cradle… I know I know, another piece of worthless info but you did ask the question and I try my best to impart my years of wisdom on you young fellas.

Go grease that axe

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OK, I guess my interpretation of Wagon Train may have been erroneous.
I always figured most of the passengers got motion sickness and puked a lot.

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I am sure they puked a lot, Toilet facilities wouldn’t have been a whole lot of fun either. They had it hard no mistaken. And to think most had travelled to the US in the hold of a sailing ship before heading south and west in a covered wagon.

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Hey after 6 months on an old stinking wooden ship the wagon would have been like riding in a Cadillac !!! Just sayin . :sunglasses:

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