Author: Molly Hilt

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


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

Bluegrass Festivals and Community

In my Bluegrass class this week we focused on Bluegrass festivals and the communities that form among members of the festival audience. On Monday we watched a documentary called Bluegrass Country Soul that showcased Carlton Haney’s 7th annual Labor Day … Continue reading

Bluegrass and Appalachia

My initial reaction to the question, “Does Bluegrass music represent Appalachia?” was “Of course!” I grew up in Southwest Virginia, hearing Bluegrass and Gospel Bluegrass everywhere from churches to county fairs.  Many of the themes in Bluegrass remind me of … Continue reading

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

The Debate of Constant Sorrow

On Wednesday February 25, John Lawless (founder of Bluegrass Today) came to visit our Bluegrass class at Virginia Tech. After reading Chris Pandolfi’s Bluegrass Manifesto, I was able to link concepts between it and Mr. Lawless’ talk. Pandolfi’s Bluegrass Manifesto focuses on the transition from traditional to progressive Bluegrass and the acceptance of the newer […]

Country Boy at Heart

Ricky Skaggs, considered by Fred Bartenstein to be a third generation artist, was born in Cordell, Kentucky on July 18, 1954. His father purchased a mandolin for him after he was heard harmonizing with his mother when he was only five years old.  When he was six, he was invited to play onstage with Bill […]

ASU Fiddler’s Convention Field Trip

On February 7th our class took a field trip to the 7th annual Appalachian State University Fiddler’s Convention in Boone, NC.  This event is coordinated by only 15 to 20 ASU students each year.  After attending a clogging/flatfooting workshop taught by Rodney Sutton (a member of the Green Grass Cloggers), we were able to watch […]

Robert Cantwell’s “Hillbilly Music”

Robert Cantwell’s “Hillbilly Music” focuses on the commercial background of the Bluegrass genre, specifically the Monroe Brothers’ music. Cantwell begins this chapter with some of Bill Monroe’s background. In 1929, Monroe moved to Whiting, Indiana from rural Kentucky along with many other Southern migrants after World War I. He worked in a Sinclair refinery for […]