Search Results for: bluegrass

Earl Scruggs defines bluegrass banjo

Although the genre was yet to be named, the addition of Earl Scruggs (1924–2012) to Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys provided the crowning moment in the definition of bluegrass. Scruggs astounded everyone. His extraordinary banjo style allowed him to roll out … Continue reading


Filed under Popular music

Bluegrass jamming etiquette

A number of people attend U.S. bluegrass festivals not for the stage show, but for the informal jam sessions in the campgrounds or parking lot. The interactional etiquette that jammers follow is manifested both in the conventions that help strangers … Continue reading

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Filed under Curiosities, North America

Bluegrass discography

Maintained since 1996 by Charley Pennell, a cataloguer at the D.H. Hill Library at North Carolina State University, Bluegrass discography lists bluegrass singles, LPs, tapes, CDs, and videos by label, performer, and album. Resources for obtaining these publications are also listed. Below, … Continue reading


Filed under North America, Popular music, Resources

Steve Martin, banjo ace

Steve Martin’s love of the banjo dawned when he first heard Earl Scruggs on a record in 1962, when he was was 17 years old and living in the no-bluegrass-zone of Orange County, California. Though the actor and comedian was … Continue reading

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Filed under Curiosities, Humor

From oilcans to old-time

For more than 40 years—ever since Wayne Willis discovered that he could play the guitar and wanted some people to play with—Wayne’s Body Shop in Portsmouth, Virginia, has hosted a regular jam session. Just about everyone who can play old-time, … Continue reading

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Filed under Curiosities

Folk music index

Jane Keefer’s Folk music index is a database of U.S. old-time recordings that can be searched by title, recording, keyword, or publisher. Cross references to alternate titles, related pieces, and similar melodies constitute around 18% of the nearly 39,000 titles … Continue reading

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Filed under North America, Resources

Digital Library of Appalachia

Produced by the Appalachian College Association, the Digital Library of Appalachia provides online access to archival and historical materials related to the culture of the southern and central Appalachian region. The database’s contents are drawn from special collections of Appalachian … Continue reading

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Filed under North America, Resources, World music

A fiddler's Festschrift

The fall 2010 issue of Goldenseal, a magazine devoted to West Virginia traditions, is a Festschrift for the late senator Robert C. Byrd—as a fiddle player! Festschriften that celebrate politicians are fairly unusual, but it is even rarer for a … Continue reading


Filed under North America, Politics