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American bluegrass
Last Post 05 Mar 2004 03:22 PM by QsySue. 25 Replies.
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QsySueUser is Offline
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QsySue

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05 Mar 2004 03:22 PM
    Sorry if it's off topic, but I'm wondering how bluegrass is regarded in Ireland? Popular at all?
    flagmanUser is Offline
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    flagman

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    08 Mar 2004 07:52 AM
    It's quite popular in Cork as far as I know, I have an uncle down there that plays banjo and he's a big Bluegrass fan.
    QsySueUser is Offline
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    QsySue

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    09 Mar 2004 05:24 PM
    There are a lot of similarities to Irish folk IMO but I'm always drawing strange comparisons that only make sense to me. :)
    The_Thin_ManUser is Offline
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    Cormac Looney

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    09 Mar 2004 06:05 PM
    You would think there'd be more of an interest over here, given that the basic instrument set-up, and a lot of the melodies, are shared between Irish trad and bluegrass. A very good weekend festival runs in Omagh in September. I'd heartily recommend it to any bluegrass fans, check out : http://www.folkpark.com/whats_on/events/?article=477 Oh yeah, and Gillian Welch always sells out here.
    eoghanUser is Offline
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    eoghan

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    10 Mar 2004 11:37 AM
    I thought Bluegrass was something you got at one of those dodgy coffee shops in Amsterdam until - way back in October 2001 – I attended the Lake Eden Arts festival (http://www.theleaf.com/) in North Carolina and discovered the fuss was all about. At the festival I found myself in the living room of a big stone house that had been temporarily converted in to a venue and, as I hung out down the back drinking mulled wine surrounded by a bunch of pick-up truck driving Eco-Warriors, this remarkable 4-piece act stood up and played a jaw-dropping set of - yes - Bluegrass music. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the band but they knocked me for six. They had only one of those old style microphones and – like in those period movies – they would each take turns to step up close to it to amplify their instrument / harmony contribution. As QsySue mentioned, it was indeed clear from what they played that there was a clear relationship between this genre and Irish trad / folk but (and purleese excuse me as I posture here and get all serious and pretentious) what soon occurred to me as I listened to them in awe was that so much of what is considered the great music of modern times – be it Dylan, Springsteen, U2, The Stones, Elvis Costello, The Beach Boys, REM, whatever you’re having yourself - could trace itself back to this Bluegrass, whether the artists knew it or not. Bluegrass I realised stood upstream of all the great music in the 2nd half of the 20th Century and its influence flowed down and nobody (well, not me at least) was noticing. There you go. Beat that for pretence. And s**te-spouting. eoghan
    QsySueUser is Offline
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    QsySue

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    10 Mar 2004 12:39 PM
    Well I thought that was beautifully said, Eoghan, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciates bluegrass. :) I discovered it when I was looking for covers of Peter Gabriel's song "In Your Eyes." I downloaded a bunch of songs with that title, many of which weren't related to his song at all, since it's a popular song title. I burned them to cd and listened to them in my car. One was a bluegrass song, and before I could finish thinking, "What is this cheesy hill-billy music" I was completely hooked. I quickly looked up who it was and discovered it was Alison Krauss, recorded when she was only 16. If anyone isn't familiar with bluegrass, a good place to start is the soundtrack to the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? Some of which is by Alison and/or her band members, plus Gillian Welch and Emmy Lou Harris, and some old time country performers as well.
    stephenUser is Offline
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    Stephen McNulty

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    11 Mar 2004 10:09 AM
    Interesting thread. One of my favourite singer songwriters (and surely under-rated) is Steve Earle. In 1999 he teamed up with the Del McCoury band to make a record called The Mountain. What an utterly charming record this is - I still find myself smiling in amazement at the musicianship displayed on it. In fact, the closing song "Pilgrim" with Earle singing and backing vocals from Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch is one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded. This song made its way onto the closing credits of one of the loveliest movies of recent years, You Can Count On Me. Highly highly recommended. And thanks to whoever started this thread for making me dig out both of these fantastic records.
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    Binokular

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    11 Mar 2004 10:20 AM
    Haha, so I've been listening to bluegrass all this time and never realised it! I love the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack and keep meaning to get around to buy some Gillian Welchs albums. I currently only have MP3 copies of her albums (duck! here comes the RIAA ). Its like back around 1995 when I started to get into the Chemical Brothers and Leftfield but didn't think of it as dance music because it was so different to the scooter style happy hardcore techno all my schoolmates were listening to. I really am clueless when it comes to genres sometimes So in answer to your question "is bluegrass big in Ireland?", I'd say that if Gillian Welch can be filed under bluegrass, then its got a good following down in Cork. I believe here last concert in Cork (which I was unable to go to ) was pretty much sold out.
    The_Thin_ManUser is Offline
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    Cormac Looney

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    11 Mar 2004 12:01 PM
    Gillian's Dublin gig last August was the finest I'd seen in the capital in many a year. Grown men reduced to tears (may have been the Guinness) with her version of 'Dear Someone'. That guy David Rawlings is the real deal; his guitar looks like it was made in an Appalachian woodshed two hundred years ago! Knowledgeable folks can excuse me while I make one vital recommendation for anyone interested in old time and bluegrass. The famous Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music is a must-have. It sparked the coffeehouse folk revival of the 1960s (it provided dylan baez and all with the bulk of their early setlists) and T Bone Burnette freely admits to using it as a template for his soundtrack work, on Oh Brother and Cold Mountain too. More info at http://www.folkways.si.edu/harry/hsa.htm
    QsySueUser is Offline
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    QsySue

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    11 Mar 2004 01:48 PM
    Wow, thanks for that recommendation, Thin Man, I'm going to have to locate a copy of that. I'm gonna have to get my hands on that Steve Earle record, too. I recently saw him play, opening for Jackson Browne, and liked him a lot.
    rave.onUser is Offline
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    rave.on

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    12 Mar 2004 06:54 PM
    you all will like this artist- jolie holland. you can listen to her 1st 'release' (you'll understand the quotes if you read her site a bit) at www.jolieholland.com. and she's out with a fabulous new release in april called 'escondida'. catch her while you can, you'll feel like you're listening to a timeless artist.
    The_Thin_ManUser is Offline
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    Cormac Looney

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    13 Mar 2004 09:30 AM
    Jolie Holland sounds really interesting, but her cd is out of print unfortunately. Will just have to await the successor disc I guess.
    rave.onUser is Offline
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    rave.on

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    13 Mar 2004 04:21 PM
    i think that is just the cdbaby link. should be available from the bigger places now. cdbaby was the original "pre-release" site before the anti~ label "re-released-the-pre-release-release"! ;o) if you get your hands on the original one, you get an additional song attached to wandering angus because she didn't want to wait for a release to be worked out. have fun- and just don't actually describe her music as "bluegrass" or "folk" as she'll deny it!
    QsySueUser is Offline
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    QsySue

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    13 Mar 2004 04:24 PM
    Thanks for the heads up on Jolie, she's great.
    The_Thin_ManUser is Offline
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    Cormac Looney

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    14 Mar 2004 11:28 AM
    She sounds very like Karen Dalton, the late NY folksinger. I think she was also described as the bluegrass Bille Holiday. She was a close friend of Fred Neil too - and covered a lot of his stuff. Worth investigating if yr folkie inclined.
    markwhiteUser is Offline
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    markwhite

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    15 Mar 2004 11:49 AM
    check out a bluegrass band from Dublin: http://www.prisonlove.info the 2 mahoneys were in school with me!
    QsySueUser is Offline
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    QsySue

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    15 Mar 2004 04:14 PM
    Cool, wish they had music samples!
    fiddlechickUser is Offline
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    fiddlechick

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    12 Apr 2004 02:46 PM
    I know this topic is a little old but I've never posted to this board before even though I read it regularly and bluegrass is something I've really gotten into since I first heard Alison Krauss about 8 years ago. If you’re interested in bluegrass I would say that these would be essential… To get into bluegrass O Brother soundtrack is an excellent start. Alison Krauss and Union Station have so many albums at this stage but "New Favorite" and their live DVD are superb. She also plays with The Cox Family who are really good as well. Gillian Welch is so cool and I am still sore that I couldn't go to her last Dublin gig – “Soul Journey” her newest and probably most popular but “Time the Revelator” has the brilliant "I want to play that Rock n'Roll" which is one of my all time fav songs her other albums revival and hell among the yearlings are produced by t bone burnett and are also superb. Steve Earle and Del McCoury's “The Mountain” is excellent and the Del Mc Coury band have other albums 2 of which I bought but don't listen to much. Rhonda Vincent is good too and Amazon have 3 free mp3s available from her which are well worth checking out. The Chieftains’ “another country” and “down the plank road” are excellent as is anything by Ricky Skaggs or Doc Watson - they've a newish album "the three pickers" with Earl Skruggs which is excellent. Anything by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are really excellent Other albums that I think are superb bluegrass are Dixie Chick's Home (way better than you'd think - especially instrumental lil' jack slade which won country instrumental grammy), Nickel Creek, nitty gritty dirt band…..
    dirtypropagandaUser is Offline
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    dirtypropaganda

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    13 Apr 2004 02:31 PM
    yes. prison love are a great band. wholly entertaining. go along and check them out live if you can. i have only seen them once but it was a memorable night.
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    Vent My Spleen

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    13 Apr 2004 03:19 PM
    As a matter of interest, where is the line between Americana and Bluegrass? I thought bluegrass would be more O Brother Where Art Thou teritory whereas the likes of Steve Earle and Gillian Welch are more country rock, for want of a better description.
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