Author: ecropp

Examination of Bluegrass Identities Through Theories of Identity

Performance Theory & Articulation Theory “When one starts to think carefully about how discourse might be said to produce a subject, it’s clear that one’s already talking about a certain figure or trope of production.  It is at this point it’s useful to turn to the notion of performativity…So what I’m trying to do is … Continue reading Examination of Bluegrass Identities Through Theories of Identity

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

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…

Communities and Values

In “The Portable Community: Mobility and Modernization in Bluegrass Festival Life,” Robert Gardner quotes Richard Florida, who says, “Where old social structures were once nurturing, they are now restricting.  Communities that once attracted people now repel them.  Our evolving communities and emerging society are marked by a greater diversity of friendships, more individualistic pursuits, and … Continue reading Communities and Values

Music and Place

Relationships between place and music can be drawn on various levels, as each influences the other.  While the physical and cultural geographies of a place often provide inspiration for music, and may even dictate style, music also influences the character of a place. Creation:  Place can simply be a space to gather and create music or celebrate … Continue reading Music and Place

“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

Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen

Charlie Waller was born in Jointerville, Texas in 1935 but spent his childhood in Louisiana.  He started playing music at the age of 10.  In the early part of his career, he appeared on television with George Jones, Jimmy Newman, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and others.  Charlie Waller, along with mandolin player John Duffey, banjo … Continue reading Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen

Robert Cantwell on the Commercial Background of Hillbilly Music

The Monroe Brothers Cantwell reminds us that “it is always a bit of a shock to realize that the human career, which seems so brief from within, can embrace spans of time which have become historical.”  He relates this notion specifically to Monroe’s recordings, asserting that they “represent what we now regard as the high-water … Continue reading Robert Cantwell on the Commercial Background of Hillbilly Music

The New Lost City Ramblers

  The New Lost City Ramblers are an old-time string band, originally formed in New York City by John Cohen (left), Mike Seeger (right), and Tom Paley (center) in 1958. However, Paley left the band in 1962 and was replaced by Tracy Schwarz (left). Nevertheless, the group proved to be extremely influential during the folk … Continue reading The New Lost City Ramblers

“Bluegrass Music”

In the Introduction to Goldsmith, it is asserted that bluegrass was invented with the introduction of public radio.  Contrary to earlier mountain music, this commercialized version of original country is relatively more polished and places greater focus on technique (Goldsmith, p.4). However, Bluegrass is still relatively simple compared to other music genres and Rosenberg says that … Continue reading “Bluegrass Music”