Tag Archives: Bluegrass

Earl Scruggs

May seem a bit strange that a black urban guy likes Bluegrass – but I come by it honestly. My Dad was a West Virginia “Hillbilly” who listened to Bluegrass every Sunday on the radio when one of the local AM stations did a special show. And I am not ashamed to say that as a kid I enjoyed the hell out of trekking up and down those hills when we went to visit that side of the family – and have been known to take a trip up there when in need of a little solitude and reevaluation.

There are Master Musicians, and when you listen to them – it really doesn’t matter what the style of music is. Earl Scruggs 3 finger down Banjo style that he invented is used now by about 80% of the people who play Banjo.

Here’s an original Earl Scruggs/Lester Flatt piece from the 40’s –

Earl Scruggs remembered by Dierks Bentley, Steve Martin

 It may be impossible to overstate the importance of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs to American music. A pioneering banjo player who helped create modern country music, his sound is instantly recognizable and as intrinsically wrapped in the tapestry of the genre as Johnny Cash’s baritone or Hank Williams’ heartbreak.

Scruggs died Wednesday morning at age 88 of natural causes. The legacy he helped build with bandleader Bill Monroe, guitarist Lester Flatt and the rest of the Blue Grass Boys was evident all around Nashville, where he died in an area hospital. His string-bending, mind-blowing way of picking helped transform a regional sound into a national passion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Music, From Way Back When to Now


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Country/Bluegrass Night at the White House

Michelle Obama's New Do

Michelle Obama looking great whith her New 'Do

Yesterday and last night was the second in a series of “Music at the White House” – a series started by Mrs. Obama. The first was Jazz at the White House, featuring some of the greats, including the Marsalis family, Paquito D’Rivera, Tony Madruga, Zach Brown, Kush Abadey and Elijah Easton, who is a 17-year-old student at the Duke Ellington School of Music.

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley

Last Night’s performance featured Country greats Charley Pride and Brad Paisley, as well as Bluegrass giants Allison Krauss and Union Station. Earlier, Paisley, Krauss and Union Station taught 120 middle and high school music students from Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia about music and song writing.

Now, BTx3 has some West Virginia Hilltop roots – so I got exposed to, and gained an appreciation of Bluegrass at an early age. One of my cousins was the subject of a PBS special on the roots of Country Music. (That’s right, black folks played old-tyme country music as well, creating the fusion that would eventually diverge to become modern country, R&B, and rock.) Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on July 22, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life


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