Bluegrass: Perfect mix of old, modern for the new generation

Lauren Brinegar, Photo Editor

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You’ve heard of the king of pop and the kind of rock, but have you heard of the father of bluegrass?

Bill Monroe was born and raised in Kentucky and started a band called “The Bluegrass Boys”. The name was an appreciative nod to their home state.

The band’s twangy sound and high-pitched vocals created a new niche in music with Appalachian roots. Bluegrass music was coined as the genre style name as it was in almost direct reference to the band’s name.

Bluegrass consists of banjos, fiddles, mandolins, bases, guitars, spoons and raw talent.

Bluegrass connects many generations. Bluegrass is built on history, tradition and real-life circumstances.

Unfortunately, in the recent modern era, Bluegrass has a stigma of being old, outdated hillbilly music. Fortunately for us old school bluegrass lovers, newer artists are sneaking in the twang we so love in today’s music.

A variety of sources including traditional and fusion jazz, contemporary country music, Celtic music, rock & roll (“newgrass” or progressive bluegrass), old-time music, and Southern gospel music artists are utilizing the bluegrass sound in their music. There is even a new genre mixing rap and bluegrass.

The next time you listen to Mumford and Sons, High Valley, Ganstagrass, Darius Rucker and various new artists take notice of the bluegrass twang used in their songs.

Bill Monroe passed away in 1996, but his legacy still goes on. So, the next time you’re looking for something to treat your ears to try a little Ganstagrass, it’s the perfect mix of old and modern music for the newer generation.