Bluegrass Presentation

“Mule Skinner Blues” –Bill Monroe (1930)

  • What instruments are used?
    • Fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass, banjo
  • How does the sound compare to traditional bluegrass?
    • Very traditional vocals, and playing styles
  • How was the popularity of the song? How successful was it?
    • Performed on the WMV
    • Has been covered a few times (i.e. Dolly Parton)

“What a Friend we have in Jesus” –Doc Watson (1984)

  • What instruments are used?
    • Harmonica
  • How does the sound compare to traditional bluegrass?
    • Very different, it only used one person’s voice, and it was low
  • How was the popularity of the song? How successful was it?
    • Did fairly well
    • It was on a more personal album “Down South”
    • All comments on it were saying it is true bluegrass

“Working Girl Blues” –Hazel Dickens (1986)

  • What instruments are used?
    • Banjo, guitar, bass,
  • How does the sound compare to traditional bluegrass?
    • Traditional style, but women singing together was very new
  • How was the popularity of the song? How successful was it?
    • Received very well. Said to have inspired future female artists

“Man of Constant Sorrow” –Dan Tyminski (2002)

  • What instruments are used?
    • Guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass
  • How does the sound compare to traditional bluegrass?
    • Keeps with traditional blues music
  • How was the popularity of the song? How successful was it? Received?
    • Made very popular by the movie “Oh Brother Where art Thou”
    • Said to have created the resurgence of bluegrass today
    • Used in many scholarly articles to show bluegrass progression
  • Marketing???
    • Popularized by the movie
  • Lyrical meanings

“Wagon Wheel” –Old Crow Medicine Show (2004)

  • What instruments are used?
    • Banjo, fiddle, bass
  • How does the sound compare to traditional bluegrass?
    • More traditional sounds, and the subject material is more traditional
  • How was the popularity of the song? How successful was it?
    • It really reopened bluegrass to younger generations.

“Psycho Girls and Psycow Boys” – Sam Bush (2007)

  • What instruments are used?
  • How does the sound compare to traditional bluegrass?
  • How was the popularity of the song? How successful was it?

“Kangding Qingge” –Abigail Washburn (2008)

  • What instruments are used?
    • banjo
  • How does the sound compare to traditional bluegrass?
    • Not at all. Not even in english
  • How was the popularity of the song? How successful was it?
    • Popular in China

“This Girl” –Punch Brothers (2012)

  • What instruments are used?
    • Mandolin, guitar, bass, fiddle, banjo
  • How does the sound compare to traditional bluegrass?
    • Not at all. Very popular vocals and playing style. Almost beach like
  • How was the popularity of the song? How successful was it?
    • Very well received by younger crowd

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