What does Bluegrass look like today???

Upon reading  “Bluegrass Today” by Neil Rosenberg I saw a few things that I found interesting. The first of which was the fact that it took until 1971 to have the first real book published about the genre when it had been around for so long. But I suppose that it would make some sense considering all of the ground that one would have to cover (all of Appalachia) to gather the facts and listen to the different styles. But the book was by James Rooney and it was in most parts a focus on Bill Monroe. This would be fine and all, but for Rooney, it must have not looked like an important question to ask Monroe, about his feelings on the newgrass movement or any of the newer bands coming out.

The only reason I bring this up is that even to this day, fans are divided on the issue of what they consider bluegrass. You have your loyal Monroe fans and you have others who have more progressive stances on the genre. This does not seem to have affected the spread of the genre because it has moved into all corners of the Earth. Abigail Washburn for instance has done serious work in spreading the sounds of bluegrass in China. There are also bands that are starting to take up popularity in New Zealand and in many parts of Europe.

To me, the problems that were not addressed back when the genre started or when people began putting it in history books, may have had a hand in making the genre what it is today. It may be a good thing, and I look forward to seeing its continued progress.









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