Month: March 2015

Music, Place, and People

Bluegrass is intertwined into Appalachian culture as a folk tradition–folk being the key word here. Folk has different connotations depending on the context. It can mean a genre of music, a qualitative characteristic of culture and art, or simply people in general.  These three definitions of folk come together in bluegrass. Our class discussion this … Continue reading Music, Place, and People

Appalachia and Bluegrass

Most people automatically associate fiddles and banjos with the Appalachian region, but others question whether bluegrass music and Appalachia actually have a strong relationship.  I think there’s no doubt that bluegrass music is tied to Appalachia.  Many, many songs are written about the mountainous terrain of Appalachia and jobs, such as coal mining and farming … Continue reading Appalachia and Bluegrass

Videos in class on March 18, 2015

These videos go along with our discussion in class about festivals, folk and authenticity. There are a few included just for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! Listening assignment: Lecture/Readings: Cool things I didn’t want you to miss: enjoy! JLaney

The President notes Bluegrass…

“We are storytellers, writers, poets, and artists who abhor unfairness, and despise hypocrisy, and give voice to the voiceless, and tell truths that need to be told. We are the inventors of gospel and jazz and the blues, bluegrass and country, hip-hop and rock and roll, our very own sounds with all the sweet sorrow … Continue reading The President notes Bluegrass…

On Bluegrass and Politics

“Music embodies political values and experiences, and organizes our response to society as political expression.” – John Street Bluegrass, as we have discussed in class, is markedly apolitical. This trait cannot possibly be attributed to the genre’s regional roots, as Appalachia is and always has been a political hotbed for a number of controversial issues. Perhaps it was … Continue reading On Bluegrass and Politics

“Music and Politics” by John Street

The Power of Music and Censorship           John Street suggests that music and politics are not two distinct entities that interact and respond to each occasionally but are instead extensions of each other.  Rather than simply providing a forum for expression, he contends that music embodies political sentiments and values. In … Continue reading “Music and Politics” by John Street

My views on how bluegrass and repair business are much alike.

“Without return customers you don’t have a business;” this is a saying I have heard from many locals back home and from my experience of working in the machinery repair industry it is very true. From what I have read and understand about the bluegrass music business it has much in common with service industries. … Continue reading My views on how bluegrass and repair business are much alike.

“The Business of Bluegrass”

“They [music and politics] are not to be seen as separate entities whose worlds collide only occasionally, but rather are extensions of each other.” Deciding whether music and politics are directly related is a difficult judgement to make.  In his book Music and Politics John Street states that the boundary between music in politics is merely … Continue reading “The Business of Bluegrass”

The Importance of Business in Bluegrass

When discussing bluegrass music, many of us immediately hear the twangy pickin’ of the banjo, the beautiful siren like sounds of a mandolin, strummin’ and pickin’ of the guitar, a fiddle, and the high lonesome sound of the musicians. However, we don’t often take into consideration all of the hard work that goes into the … Continue reading The Importance of Business in Bluegrass

The Business of Bluegrass

After reading chapters 51-53 in The Bluegrass Reader and “Music and Politics” by John Street, it is easy to conclude that the “business of bluegrass” is centered around reaching new audiences through festivals, concerts and showcases. In Goldsmith’s chapter 51, … Continue reading