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Miko (3)
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Helsinki's Heavy Metal Hillbillies

A Finnish band named Steve 'N' Seagulls (site in Finnish) plays bluegrass covers (in English) of Iron Maiden's 'The Trooper', DIO's 'Holy Diver' and AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck'. Because... why not? [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Aug 6, 2014 - 28 comments

The Trooper, an interpretation.

The famous Iron Maiden tune. Sort of. [more inside]
posted by vapidave on Jun 21, 2014 - 25 comments

Just stay off the river...

Dogs.... Dogs playing "Dueling Banjos"
posted by HuronBob on May 5, 2014 - 19 comments

On Sale: Nine Pound Hammers

Founded in 1900, Beck & Benedict Hardware Store in Waynesboro, PA, has been hosting Friday night bluegrass jams since 1989. Now in their 25th year, the sessions are open to listeners and pickers alike.
posted by stinkfoot on Jan 31, 2014 - 4 comments

The Difference between Bluegrass, Old Time and Celtic bands.

The Difference between Bluegrass, Old Time and Celtic bands, now finally explained!
posted by Confess, Fletch on Sep 10, 2013 - 58 comments

David Grisman and Jerry Garcia in Concert on Various Occasions

Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Two Soldiers
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Handsome Cabin Boy
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Man Of Constant Sorrow
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- When First Unto This Country
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Dreadful Wind and Rain
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Russian Lullaby
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Sweet Sunny South
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Old Rockin' Chair
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Down Where The River Bends
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Shady Grove
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Friend of the Devil
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Ripple [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jul 29, 2013 - 16 comments

"You don't need that many guitars. Bout two's enough."

"They come in and, they may bring their instruments in, lay it in the back room, come out and eat some peanuts, talk with us, get some coffee, trade knives, tell a few jokes, settle the world's problems, and eventually, play music if and when they want to."

The Barber Shop, Drexel NC.
posted by timsteil on Apr 11, 2013 - 22 comments

Smooth pickin' and sweet harmonizin'

Friends, neighbors, let's drop in on ol' Don Reno, Red Smiley and the Tennessee Cut Ups for a heapin' helpin' of some of that good old time country/bluegrass goodness, shall we? What say we kick it off with their fine rendition of Love Please Come Home? Mmm-MMM, so satisfying! You know, the boys had their own lil' ol' TV show, too, brought to you by the fine folks over at your local Kroger grocery store, and I'll just bet you'd like to watch the pilot episode, now, wouldn't you? Well, here's Part one, and there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 2, 2013 - 3 comments

Punch Brothers, Mandolin Brothers and Lloyd Loar

On Monday September 24th, Mandolin Brothers were visited by 3/5ths of The Punch Brothers: Chris Thile, along with Chris Eldridge and Noam Pickelny. Chris played their Lloyd Loar 1924 F-5 mandolin and their 1925 Fern. Among the numbers they played was a lovely rendition of Tennessee Waltz. Previously [more inside]
posted by Bartonius on Dec 3, 2012 - 16 comments

Pluck those strings

This winners for the MacArthur Awards have been announced , and among the fellows is Chris Thile. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster on Oct 2, 2012 - 23 comments

RIP, Doc Watson

Iconic bluegrass guitarist Doc Watson has died in a Winston-Salem, NC hospital. Arthel "Doc" Watson, 89 years old at the time of his death, was one of the greatest traditional, folk and bluegrass guitarists in history. He is credited with popularizing the flatpicking style of guitar, and his involvement with the concerts in New York City, Boston and Newport helped popularize traditional mountain music and bluegrass during the 1960s. [more inside]
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare on May 29, 2012 - 106 comments

RIP Doug Dillard

Doug Dillard was a pioneer of country rock with his band The Dillards, with his brother Rodney, who were perhaps the first to plug bluegrass instruments into amplifiers back in the early sixties. He died today at the age of 75. [more inside]
posted by Fnarf on May 17, 2012 - 18 comments

RIP Everett Lilly

Everett Lilly, founding member and mandolin player for the Lilly Brothers, has died. The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover (on banjo) had a longtime residence in Boston in the 1960s at the Hillbilly Ranch. Although the band disbanded and moved back to West Virginia following the death of Everett's son in an accident, their influence on the folk revival was substantial. Here is their classic rendition of "Sinner You Better Get Ready" from their 1961 Folkways album Bluegrass at the Roots. Everett's mandolin is upfront and sweet. RIP
posted by OmieWise on May 10, 2012 - 7 comments

TBT

Trampled By Turtles, (TBT) a modern Bluegrass band fronted by Dave Simonett from Duluth MN. Starting as a side project for the original members,
"...But as time went on, all those bands split and this band was all that was left. I was dead broke and left with just my acoustic guitar, after someone stole my electric guitar and my amp while loading out gear after the last show with my previous band. And like I said, the other bands were gone, and all my gear was gone, so this just naturally happened.”
[more inside]
posted by edgeways on Apr 24, 2012 - 13 comments

Birdcloud is Two Tennessee Girls with Stringed Instruments and Potty Mouths

"Birdcloud met in Murfreesboro and immediately didn’t like eachother. At a party in 2009 they had some whiskeys and became friends and started dicking around on guitar, writing their first song, a song about going down on your best friend, now lost to the sands of time. Despite a lukewarm reception at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, they have been sitting on eachother’s faces ever since, showing eachother their bruises and generally doing whatever they want when it works out that way." Songs on the inside NSFW if you can't tell. [more inside]
posted by cmoj on Feb 21, 2012 - 14 comments

I think I saw this in a disney movie.

Singers get all the chicks.
posted by empath on Jan 21, 2012 - 45 comments

You shall Hear things, Wonderful to tell

A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 22, 2011 - 107 comments

Thanks for all the music, Warren

Warren Hellman, billionaire, financier, and sponsor of the best free music festival around, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, died today in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 18, 2011 - 35 comments

I'm Only Going Over Home

Remembering Bill Monroe, the “father of bluegrass,” on what would have been his 100th birthday. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Sep 13, 2011 - 13 comments

Galax, VA. Old Fiddler's Convention since 1935.

Nothing to do this coming week? Head over to Galax, Virginia to catch the Old Fiddler's Convention, a mountain music festival & competition that has been ongoing since 1935. Galax, located on Virigina's Crooked Road is in the heart of Virginia's musical heritage trail, a well mapped excursion that takes you way off the interstate's beaten path to experience old time Appalachian music in some of the most beautiful settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you take the trail outside Galax, make sure you stop at the Floyd Country Store for daily (and nightly) jams inside the store, much like the Fiddler's convention's campgrounds' awesome impromptu jams
posted by priested on Aug 6, 2011 - 14 comments

East meets... South?

You've never heard bluegrass quite like this! Featuring Red Chamber and the Jaybirds.
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Aug 5, 2011 - 22 comments

Sleepy Man Banjoy Boys: not at all like the Jonas Brothers

Let me introduce you to the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, fans of the Earl Scruggs style and sound. Don't be fooled by their name or their youth, as they have two speeds: fast and faster. Their name comes from their youngest member, Jonny Mizzone, who often played the banjo on a bed. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 20, 2011 - 17 comments

"A two-piece band called Gillian Welch" releases its first new album since 2003

Singer-songwriter Gillian Welch has released her first new album in eight years, The Harrow and the Harvest. Welch, who writes, plays, and tours with her partner David Rawlings, combines multiple influences that extend well beyond the borders of Appalachian folk, bluegrass, and Americana, to what Alec Wilkinson has called "at once innovative and obliquely reminiscent of past rural forms" in his 2004 New Yorker profile. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Jun 30, 2011 - 41 comments

Country Classics

Joe Bussard has a podcast called "Country Classics," (mostly old bluegrass, but there's also a couple featuring old-time jazz) ... also available over the air on WREK (91.1 Atlanta, GA) every Friday afternoon. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Jun 18, 2011 - 11 comments

Jubilation Day

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers prove that music videos are truly for the birds.
posted by hippybear on Jun 13, 2011 - 21 comments

1 electric mandolin + 1 Fender amp = Burn

Donna Stoneman - Mandolin Shredder. Winning Arthur Godfrey with The Bluegrass Champs (2:10), "Under The Double Eagle", and The Stoneman Family - "Big Ball In Monterrey".
posted by Ardiril on Mar 31, 2011 - 7 comments

Where's the musical saw?

The musical saw is an instrument with close to a 300 year history. The musical saw sprung out of the Appalachian hills with mountain music, and then it found a home in Vaudeville. Despite its spotty documentation, the musical saw lives on.
posted by rageagainsttherobots on Mar 16, 2011 - 32 comments

High on a Mountain, Wind Blowing Free

Ola Belle Reed came down from the mountains and carried that old-timey sound with her. Her voice and her banjo took her from family sing-alongs to rubbing elbows with some of America's best-known country and bluegrass musicians. Radio stations played her work, and with a little help from friends like Marty Stuart and Del McCoury, her musical legacy lives. Or, as Reed herself sang, "I've worked for the rich, I've lived with the poor; Lord, I've seen many a heartache, there'll be many more; I've lived, loved and sorrowed, been to success's door; I've endured, I've endured." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Feb 20, 2011 - 7 comments

The Cleverlys

Bluegrass covers of popular songs, by The Cleverlys: The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian, Beyoncé's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), Shaggy's Angel, The Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling, Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart, Fergie's Clumsy, Stevie Wonder's Superstition, Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl
posted by finite on Feb 20, 2011 - 33 comments

Fiddling On The Edge Of The Grave

Progressive bluegrass takes the original “melting pot of American music” and infuses it with strains of punk and rock, often giving rise to performances of intense musicianship. Some of the tunes might be familiar to you, such as Crooked Still’s cover of Johnny Cash’s Ain’t No Grave, featured on the True Blood soundtrack, or their aching, gender-twisting rendition of Robert Johnson’s Come On In My Kitchen. Some might be entirely new, such as Seven Story Mountain, by Railroad Earth, or Codeine, from Trampled By Turtles. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Feb 16, 2011 - 29 comments

"I just don't know what the limit is!" - Earl Scruggs

In 1969 banjo virtuoso and bluegrass innovator Earl Scruggs parted ways with his longtime musical partner Lester Flatt and the band they led to great popularity and acclaim, The Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs wanted to push his musical gifts as far as they could go. In 1970 he was the subject of a PBS documentary where he played with artists such as Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, The Morris Brothers, The Byrds, Charlie Daniels, Bill Monroe, Joan Baez, various friends and family members, and even records a track accompanying a Moog. You can watch the whole thing online: Earl Scruggs, His Family and Friends.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 28, 2011 - 17 comments

And So It Goes...

Mitch Jayne was an author, musician and humorist. After a stint at the University of Missouri, he began teaching in one-room schools in Dent County. His radio show in Salem, MO garnered national attention for it's snake and tick market report, but then he joined the Dillards and brought Ozark bluegrass to Los Angeles. Two weeks in LA and the Dillards had a record deal and a stint on the Andy Griffith Show as "The Darlings." Mitch Jayne passed away Monday at the age of 80. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 on Aug 5, 2010 - 6 comments

That High Lonesome

Bluegrass, it's said was invented by Bill Monroe,(yt) but where would bluegrass have been without the banjo style of Earl Scruggs?(yt) Together they created a sound that has become known as Bluegrass. In 1945 George Elam Scruggs joined up with Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, two years later Scruggs left to form a group with Lester Flatt(yt), but not before gifting Monroe with the amalgam that was and is Bluegrass. Other players like Chubby Wise born 1915, Lake City, Florida(yt), and bassist Howard Watts became known as the "Original Bluegrass Band". [more inside]
posted by nola on Feb 28, 2010 - 19 comments

Joyful Noise

Pilgrim Productions Presents: Voices Across America, an archive of gospel music in a variety of genres, submitted for free play and download by church groups and folk and traditional groups across the country and beyond. Style, age, and quality vary greatly, but fans of noncommercial music will enjoy hunting for the gems of blues, Cajun, bluegrass, choral, shapenote, country, vintage, and mountain gospel and more.
posted by Miko on May 24, 2009 - 15 comments

Bradley Walker

Perhaps the greatest country baritone since George Jones is confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy and has a day job at a nuclear power plant. [more inside]
posted by BitterOldPunk on Apr 14, 2009 - 29 comments

The Anthology, notated.

"With this blog, I want to use the Folkways Anthology as a roadmap to explore American folk music and maybe other countries traditions along the way. I’ll use texts, images, music and videos gathered from my personal collection and from the net to make this work-in-progress enjoyable and educational the best I can." (via)
posted by 1f2frfbf on Mar 12, 2009 - 17 comments

Mountain Bluegrass

Music in the Digital Library of Appalachia provides an unprecedented resource for study of repertoire, technique, lore, and the musical interchanges among the region's traditional musicians. Once you know what you like, it's easy to find the music live with Blue Ridge Music Trails. Meet musicians who have grown up with that music, visit settings in which Blue Ridge folk music thrives, see traditional dancing, and in many cases, take part in the festivities. The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Along the trail, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself. [previous 1, 2]
posted by netbros on Mar 8, 2009 - 12 comments

Figuring out harmonies mathematically is like reading the mind of God.

The occasionally updated The Celestial Monochord claims to be the "Journal of the Institute for Astrophysics and the Hillbilly Blues" [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jan 23, 2009 - 5 comments

Gospel bluegrass from the Del McCoury Band

Get Down on Your Knees, Crying Holy (Unto the Lord) with Vince Gill, and Working on a Building with Patty Loveless. Some gospel music from Del McCoury.
posted by RussHy on Oct 18, 2008 - 17 comments

Bluegrass Grows in Golden Gate Park.

Bluegrass Grows in Golden Gate Park. The line-up for the 8th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival has been announced for the first weekend of October in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, its traditional location since its inception in 2001. [more inside]
posted by Senor Cardgage on Aug 17, 2008 - 22 comments

Talkin' 'bout the old style too: dawn Landes & the We Sorta Tried Bluegrass Band

dawn Landes & the We Sorta Tried Bluegrass Band perform a rather charming version of Peter, Bjorn and John's Young Folks [SLYT]. [more inside]
posted by le morte de bea arthur on Jul 1, 2008 - 15 comments

Joe Maphis, King of the Strings.

I tell you what, buddy, that ol' Joe Maphis fellow outta Bakersfield, he was one fast picker. Yup, fast as greased lightning and smooth as gaht-damn silk on that double-neck Mosrite guitar. He and the missus have a little advice for you, too: Don't Make Love In a Buggy. And though Joe was mainly a picker, he did pen one memorable little country ditty which you might've heard in some honky tonk along the line: Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (and Loud, Loud Music). [note: see hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 28, 2008 - 27 comments

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He plays the banjo, but he isn't just some hick. He enjoys Chicks, jamming with friends, wide open spaces and fights.
posted by stavrogin on Jan 18, 2008 - 74 comments

Backstroke from plink

F i d d l e.
posted by Mblue on Jul 28, 2007 - 17 comments

Plink

Banjo
posted by Mblue on Jul 24, 2007 - 61 comments

Lots of free acoustic music lessons!

MusicMoose wants "to provide the world with free, useful music lessons, and a community based site to help back it all up." The site contains hundreds of free video music lessons (often containing notation and/or tablature) with a distinct focus on acoustic and bluegrass music, all taught by some pretty badass pickers (including the astonishingly good mandolin shredder Anthony Hannigan). There are also obligatory but very useful forums. Takeaway: the whole thing is free and you don't have to register to watch the lessons.
posted by kosem on Jun 29, 2007 - 15 comments

Nashville, Don't Touch My Country Music

Dim Lights, Thick Smoke, and Loud, Loud Music Photgrapher Henry Horenstein's Honky-Tonk: Portraits of Country Music, 1972-1981 captures a sound in transition. This evocative collection of informal, black-and-white portraits of country musicians and fans in bars, backstage, and on the road illustrate a decade when smoky roadhouses and venerated venues began to give way to the more mainstream Countrypolitan or "Nashville" sound. Seminal artists like Mother Maybelle Carter and Bill Monroe mingled backstage with shinier newcomers like Dolly Parton and Anne Murray. But even as the commercial sound was dominating, youngsters mixing with old-timers sparked the first wave of old-time/bluegrass revival, and some of the artists who got started then still carry the torch for a non-Nashville sound today. In this online exhibit you can watch it all unfold.
posted by Miko on Feb 2, 2007 - 30 comments

folkstreams.net - A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures

Folkstreams.net has two goals. One is to build a national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films about American folk or roots cultures. The other is to give them renewed life by streaming them on the internet. The films were produced by independent filmmakers in a golden age that began in the 1960s and was made possible by the development first of portable cameras and then capacity for synch sound. Their films focus on the culture, struggles, and arts of unnoticed Americans from many different regions and communities. The filmmakers were driven more by sheer engagement with the people and their traditions than by commercial hopes. Their films have unusual subjects, odd lengths, and talkers who do not speak "broadcast English." Although they won prizes at film festivals, were used in college classes, and occasionally were shown on PBS, they found few outlets in venues like theaters, video shops or commercial television. But they have permanent value...
folkstreams.net Currently streaming are the films The Land Where the Blues Began , Cajun Country , Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now , Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance: Buck, Flatfoot and Tap , Ray Lum: Mule Trader and Pizza Pizza Daddy-O , among many others.
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2006 - 14 comments

y2karlTube - Simply Beautiful

Clarence Ashley - The Coo Coo
Skip James - Crow Jane
Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years
Son House - John the Revelator
Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys - Close By
Houston Stackhouse & Joe Willie Wilkins - Cool Drink Of Water
Muddy Waters - Honey Bee
Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys - Lone Star Rag
Mississipi John Hurt - You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley
Maybelle & Sara Carter - Cannonball Blues
Al Green - Simply Beautiful
Enjoy. Note that, too, save for Mississippi John Hurt, there is more by each of the above artists linked on each clip's page.
The first is via FaheyGuitarPlayers, the rest were all in a day's surf. On dial-up, even.
posted by y2karl on Sep 20, 2006 - 73 comments

Young Ricky Skaggs performs with Flatt & Scruggs

In 1961, on the Martha White Show, seven year-old mandolin prodigy Ricky Skaggs performs two songs with Flatt & Scruggs. "Ruby" and "Foggy Mountain Special". [both songs direct to youtube]
posted by kosem on Sep 16, 2006 - 14 comments

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