What are your feelings about bluegrass music and performance?

In the June issue of <I>Stereophile</I>, Art Dudley <A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?855" TARGET=NEW>waxes poetic</A> about the virtues of bluegrass music and festivals. What do you think about this acoustic form?

What are your feelings about bluegrass music and performance?
Love it!
24% (48 votes)
Like it
25% (49 votes)
It's okay
19% (38 votes)
Don't care for it
15% (30 votes)
Don't like it
9% (18 votes)
Hate it
8% (16 votes)
Total votes: 199

Daniel's picture

I don't listen to as much as I used to, although I have good friends who are professional bluegrass musicians. Listen unamplified at a small venue if you can. Amps kill it. I have to second Art's respect for Tony Rice, though. I have heard lots of hot, hot, fast, fast flatpickers, but Tony Rice is the only one who can make me cry after one chorus. So beautiful!

Fudd, Swap Springs, AR's picture

Not for me!

Christopher's picture

What's bluegrass? What kind of question is this?

Mark Gdovin's picture

After 30 years of deploring it like a tick on my sphincter, I'm coming at least coming around to recognizing it as a legitimate and very American art-form. Still, those wailing voices are a bit grating to my ear. Given time, I might come around. At least I've opened my mind in the last couple of years.

Graeme Nattress's picture

Not my cup of tea.

Dilbert's picture

When was the last time you saw Eddie Van Hallen play Bluegrass music?

Joe Hartmann's picture

My college student son is a bluegrass head who collects CDs from groups I've never heard of—all indepedently produced. He plays guitar, fiddle, and mandolin, and he attends three to four festivals a year. Judging by him, it appears to be an Internet thing.

C.  Vomisa's picture

Art should have waxed mechanical (his car)instead! Poetic he ain't.

Mike Healey's picture

Bluegrass is wonderful, if it's played well. Check out Tony Rice to hear some excellent flat-picking.

ACigarNut's picture

I like Mr. Dudley's review and comentery about Bluegrass music. In fact, I purchased the Gibson Brother's CD based on that review. It's GREAT. This is my fisrt delve into Bluegrass, and I plan on others. Now, If Mr. Dudley could only refrain from adding his liberal political slant to just about everything he writes, I would REALLY enjoy his colum! If I want political news, I go to CNN, Newsweek, Drudge Report, etc. etc., NOT Stereophile!

OIe G.'s picture

It's a long way from the maddest pickers to Allison Kraus....

C.  Healthgut, M.D., FACS's picture

Did you say music?

Hands Over Ears's picture

Banjos—yikes! In the next issue Art will describe the joys of bagpipes in great detail. Stop him now before this goes any further.

Tom Byrd's picture

Chris Hillman and Tony Rice are superb examples of top-notch musicians and vocalists. Not hot licks show-offs, just great musicians who play from the heart.

Al Marcy's picture

Music is music. Good music is great! My opinion is not as important as my ears ;)

JRG in KY's picture

I am from the South and yet modern country never put any fire under my music lovin' butt. A long time Artie reader, I started out with just a little bluegrass, a few tubes, and a little vinyl. Now I still only listen to a little bluegrass—however, it opened me up to more "traditional" music: Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Hank Sr., even early Louis Armstrong. Those artists, I think, represent "Southern" music values more than any LA produced "country" music on the market—even if the artist's aren't always from the South. Thanks, Artie.

Timothy O.  Driskel's picture

Merle Travis, the man. Roots, baby, roots!

macksman's picture

Bluegrass is one unavoidable link in the chain from Celtic through to country, blues, gospel, rock and, to a lesseer degree, jazz. So if you listen any of that and dis bluegrass, you're stepping on your own roots.

Anonymous's picture

Bluegrass has some great musicians, but I don't really care for the music.

xx's picture

How do the totals of last week's poll only add up to 94% when 'other' and 'nothing' were possibilities?

M Davison's picture

Sure, there's some great musicianship in {bliegrass}, but it's close to country, which is the Special Olympics of music.

FPC's picture

The only sound that is more irritating to me is solo harpsichord!

Anonymous's picture

I like bluegrass, especially Allison Krauss. Can't stand Art Dudley and his ongoing leftist politics though. Note to "Mr." Dudley - most bluegrass fans are conservative. That must kill you Art.

Ross's picture

I like it. I prefer acoustic instruments in general, as well as vocal harmony and ensemble interplay—all of which are integral to bluegrass. Like most listeners, I was peripherally aware of the genre but had not listened to very many recordings. After reading a positive review in Fi magazine, I picked up an Allison Krauss LP, but that was the extent of my experience. After seeing O Brother Where Art Thou?, I began to investigate further and liked what I heard. So far, I have picked up the soundtrack to the movie and the subsequent Down From the Mountain live recording. I have also made a point of getting a copy of Will the Circle Be Unbroken, several more Allison Krauss LPs, and a few by Gillian Welch. On a side note, I have also investigated the Farfield 4, who were also featured in the movie, but are not bluegrass.

Craig's picture

Not too bad once in a great while, but it generally has nothing in it to really grab a hold of you. As far as the festival aspect, I personally prefer well-recorded music over live, so that is no attraction either.

Rich, Chicago's picture

Bluegrass, polka, and Pat Boone: Music for the soul-deficient masses.

Randolph Schein's picture

I have always prefered older, genuine music (not "new" grass)—Western swing, folk music, and other musics sometimes lumped together as American "roots" music. What I can't stand are modern over-produced and sanitized imitations.

Brankin's picture

I like it when I hear it, but never know what to get. I write titles down when they are suggested, but then have trouble finding them. I have stuff by Alison Krauss, Doug Kershaw, and Dolly Parton for a start.

BJT's picture

Gotta hear it live!

Woody Battle's picture

I love really good bluegrass music. But, I also love almost any other kind of music that is done really well. For me, it's not the type of music, it's the skill of the songwriter and the quality of the performance that makes the music.