NQC 10: Two notes on bluegrass

These are particularly or specifically NQC related, but a couple of conversations I’ve had made the following timely.

1. The first is just to note that just yesterday I got to hear some material from the (not southern gospel) bluegrass group, Balsam Range. As bluegrass followers doubtless know and I found out, Tim Surrett, formerly of the Kingsmen, is part of the group. I’ve only heard a few of their tunes and I’m not expert enough in bluegrass to know if this constitutes new grass or bluepop or what, but it strikes the ear as smart and listenable. FWIW.

2. This in turn reminded me that I’ve been meaning to mention that Ricky Skaggs has a new album out that traffics heavily in gospel and religious themes. I caught a flattering review of it on Fresh Air a week or so ago. Skaggs, by all available accounts, now fancies himself the second coming of his mentor, Bill Monroe (thus the hair and the other affectations). I gather there’s a rather serious schism-like divide in the bluegrass world between the Stanleyites and the Monroeists, the latter of which Skaggs stands at the head.  I don’t have anything to say about this, but I did like a couple of the tunes off the album that I heard in the review, particularly a cut that includes Skaggs’ daughter.

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Comments

  1. Bluegrasser wrote:

    Hey, just so you all know. Tim Surrett’s group Balsam Range is one of the premiere groups in bluegrass today. They don’t do much gospel music, they are a regular bluegrass band. But they have very quickly become one of the top bluegrass bands around today. Tim is an astounding bass player, Darren Nicholson on Mandolin is phenominal, Caleb the guitar player was formally with a bluegrass gospel group called Harvest. The fiddle player, Buddy Melton is an amazing tenor, and Marc Pruett on banjo is the only banjo player to ever win his own Grammy. Not as part of a group, but his own, for his banjo work. It gets no better than Balsam Range in the Bluegrass World

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