Month: April 2015

Performance and Gender Bias in Bluegrass

When considering women’s space in Bluegrass, or even music in general, there are inherent struggles that women face within these communities.  Women are confronted with the dilemma of celebrating traditional Bluegrass forms or reinventing what it means to be a “Bluegrass” artist.  However, the genre’s lyrical content very strongly upholds social norms, with Anglo and patriarchal biases. … Continue reading Performance and Gender Bias in Bluegrass

Gender in Bluegrass Culture

Bluegrass has been, and still is, a musical genre dominated by white males, usually between the ages of 18 and 40. Why is it that so many other genres today are full of female artists and groups, yet bluegrass has struggled to showcase their female talents? Up until the early 2000’s, very few female bluegrass … Continue reading Gender in Bluegrass Culture

The Carter Family and Carolina Chocolate Drops

  In class we have been discussing the gender, race and class struggles within Bluegrass music. It is clear that Bluegrass was, and to a point, still is, primarily a white men music. Most all of the Bluegrass performers in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, were white males. The Carter Family was one of … Continue reading The Carter Family and Carolina Chocolate Drops

Gender Shifts in Bluegrass

Bluegrass is historically and presently a male-dominated genre of music (I believe the same goes for any genre of music, with maybe the exception of modern pop). Women in bluegrass typically played the bass–which meant they were in the back of a band. They also played with male family members, which implies a certain scope of dependency … Continue reading Gender Shifts in Bluegrass

Women in Bluegrass

Women in Bluegrass have not always been common and sometimes still receive a second look when performing within the genre today. According to an article by Robert Oermann and Mary Bufwack, “men responded to [women in bluegrass] by shouting derisively … Continue reading

Learning To Play Mandolin

Since taking this course, one of my goals has been to gain some background about the history and the artists of bluegrass in order to play the mandolin. I wanted to make a post to give some of the resources … Continue reading

Rock n’ Roll Bluegrass?!

I have been a Bluegrass fan for many years. For some reason I never new some of the traditional Bluegrass players played there own versions of contemporary songs of the 1960’s. A chapter out of text book “The Bluegrass Reader” discussed this interesting time in Bluegrass. From what I have read and heard from my … Continue reading Rock n’ Roll Bluegrass?!


I have a confession to make. Every time I hear someone bring up Mumford and Sons as a bluegrass band, I cringe. I know, I know. I’m judgmental, and narrow minded, and old fashioned, but I do have my reasons! Before I make any more enemies, I’d like to give you a little bit more … Continue reading Confession


My post is a little late this week because it took me a while to decide what topic I wanted to write about. In class, we have been talking about place, influence and genre, incorporating discussion about types of music … Continue reading

Genre-specific Identities in Music

Our class discussion about the appropriation of cultures or musical genres raises many interesting considerations.  I couldn’t help but notice that many of the points and questions raised only encompass identity based on lyrical content and artist behaviors.  I feel that…