On one hand, that music’s flag wavers are constantly bemoaning its demise. There are, at any given moment, one or two threads on the BHO about this topic. On the other hand, however, the music is so hilariously “traditional” that it has no chance to grow its audience much. Its followers say that anything outside the auspices of the stuff Scruggs, Monroe, and a few other guys did 6 or 7 decades ago isn’t bluegrass. The instrumentation or the arrangements or the style of the tunes can never vary from those original lineups. Heck, we had a thread here months ago where it was debated whether or not one could play bluegrass on a Gibson acoustic guitar. Really? We’re talking about instrument brands while simultaneously wondering why everyone’s Itunes library is not filled with bluegrass tunes.
The definition of no music is as tight and constricting as is the definition of bluegrass, yet we bemoan its inevitable demise knowing that with such a constricting definition that music can not possibly flourish. The whole thing seems very odd to me. I’m not the bluegrass expert many of you are, so I’m asking for your expertise here. Please enlighten me.
Trust me: the shit-whining about the brand names of musical instruments is very real. I’ve been to “picking contests” where people were automatically awarded an extra ten points merely because their guitarist happened to be using a Martin D-28, or their mandolin player had a Gibson, or equivalent bullshit.
That was so unbelievably stupid that I couldn’t even manage to wrap my mind around it.