Bluegrass Music Lover’s Gifts
If you’re gifting a passionate Blue Grass music lover this year, how do you know what to gift them? After all, they may already have so many things. If you can snoop a bit, you can pretty much know what they have, and accordingly, make your purchases count. Here are some suggestions for bluegrass music lover’s gifts to help you find something they’ll love.
Bluegrass Music is uniquely American-born, contributed from people of various countries, numerous backgrounds and musical talents. Bluegrass belongs to Americans, just as jazz and the blues are part of this country’s music. If America is a melting pot, bluegrass melted all the ethnics together into a musical genre. People involved in early bluegrass came from Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, Africa and other lands. Bluegrass was born from all these ethnic people, putting their musical instruments, laments, joys, dances, and talents together. It’s true that it covers a lot of territory in more ways than one. When they figured out how to make music together, they created a beautiful thing; America’s own Bluegrass Music!
Why Is It Called “Bluegrass?”
It all came together as a totally American genre, when mandolin playing Bill Monroe helped to make it a national phenomenon. Monroe was born in the state of Kentucky, where the bluegrass grows, hence the name of the music and his band The Bluegrass Boys. Monroe was also a songwriter and singer. He gave the movement for bluegrass music the impetus it needed to become a world wide favorite; in the process he became known as the “Father of Bluegrass.”
“Bluegrass has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world. You meet people at festivals and renew acquaintances year after year.” ~ Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe Gifts
For a true aficionado of Bluegrass music, there is no gift finer than any recording by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” “In The Pines,” “Footprints In The Snow,” and “Kentucky Waltz,” are only a few of the 50 tracks on the album shown below. This is the ultimate gift for a Bluegrass lover. Monroe brought bluegrass music to the public in a big way, touring the country and playing on “The Grand Old Opry.” He was the best there was and he inspired generations of bluegrass musicians and other performers up to the present time. Here’s the 2 CD Bill Monroe Anthology and for any bluegrass fan you can’t go wrong, unless they already have it. Be sure to check their collection first.
Singers and Musicians Monroe Influenced
Of course, there are far too many musicians Monroe influenced to mention here, but a few come to mind: Elvis Presley recorded “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” in 1954, with Monroe’s blessing. The song was originally a slow waltz, but after Presley’s rock ‘n roll version brought attention, Monroe often played it in a faster version. Since musicians Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs (The Foggy Mountain Boys) had once been a part of The Bluegrass Boys, they were associated with Monroe in the early years. Contemporary artists Del McCoury,Nickel Creek, Allison Krouse and others are also influenced by Monroe.
The album shown below is a special gift and contains recordings of early artists such as the Stanley Brothers, Mac Wiseman, and Don Reno & Red Smiley. Music from the second generation artists from the 1960s and 1970s include the Country Gentlemen, The Seldom Scene, Keith Whitley & Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe, Tony rice, the Boys From Indiana and the Lilly Brothers & Don Stover. Rounding out an impressive list of performers are some of today’s most popular artists: Del McCoury, Larry Sparks, Claire Lynch, Dave Evans and the Lonesome River Band. Some of the best-loved songs on this album include “Nine Pound Hammer,” “John Henry,” “Fireball Mail,” “Wabash Cannonball.”
“It seems like bluegrass people have more great stories to tell than other musicians.” — Dan Fogelberg
Bluegrass at its Best! ~ “Old Time Gathering”
Old Time Gathering
This is toe-tapping bluegrass music at its best! I first owned this recording in a cassette years ago. I loved it so much, that when cassettes were being phased out in favor of CDs, I was almost frantic. But I found it in CD on Amazon. The instruments ring out loud, clear and joyously; makes you feel good all over. Featured are the Hammered Dulcimer, Autoharp, Mountain Dulcimer, Guitars, Mandolin, Banjo, Acoustic Bass, Fiddle, Accordion, Drums and percussion. Every song is a traditional bluegrass song such as “Shamus O’Brien,” “Sandy River Belle,” “Stony Point,” “Cheyenne Morning,” along with two exceptions; “Sweetbriar” by Mark Howard and “Ozark Hills” by Ron Wall. But it’s all satisfying and uplifting!
Same Artists and Instruments: Old Time Reunion
Old Time Gathering may be purchased here at this link to Amazon:
Old Time Gathering
Old Time Reunion may be purchased here at this link to Amazon.
A t-shirt for that special man in your life who loves Blue Grass Music!
A t-shirt for that special lady in your life who loves Blue Grass Music.
Earl Flatt, Lester Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs formed the Foggy Mountain Boy and rose to the heights of both country and bluegrass music with their recordings of “Come Back Darling,” “Head Over Heels,” “Til the End of the World Rolls Round,” and “I’ll Never Shed Another Tear.” Scrugg’s banjo prowess and unique style along with Flatt’s easy vocals showcase their talents. During their reign they recorded such TV themes as “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” and “Petticoat Junction.” Then they diversified their portfolio with covers of everyone from the Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, and Johnny Cash to John Sebastian, Bob Dylan, Tom T. Hall, and even Shel Silverstein. At the end of this page you will find more bluegrass recordings for your browsing pleasure.
How about some books on the history and stories of bluegrass music? Here are some great ones to choose from.