“The question is not, how do we get diversity into bluegrass, but how do we get diversity back into bluegrass?” asked Rhiannon Giddons during her keynote at the 2017 IBMA conference. The answer is Nefesh Mountain. Yes, Beneath The Open Sky is a bluegrass album. Yes, some of its lyrics are sung in Hebrew. No, it isn’t a gimmick or a parody. And, no, it’s not klezmer music.
WHAT IF, the debut studio album from The Jerry Douglas Band is out today (8/18) via Rounder Records, and is already riding high on a wave of praise. "Even after 14 Grammys, Jerry Douglas is still exploring unlikely musical pairings, as evidenced by the soul-and bluegrass-melding rendition of 'Hey Joe...' notes Rolling Stone, while American Songwriter says: "...
Sometimes I think I am so full of shit. Ask my wife, and it’s probably safe to drop sometimes I think. But coming to Grey Fox Bluegrass Music Festival, a festival I come to every year, trying to think of a new way to make you, fair reader, understand that it is unlike anything that you have or ever will experience? I am full of shit to think I can do this. But thankfully, this year mother nature is co-writing this review, and she’s writing in the blurry ink of rain.
I have a moleskine book I keep in my pocket at concerts. My wife gave it to me as a gift years ago. She always gives the best gifts. This tattered little vestige to my musical history is used solely for notes at concerts I am reviewing. Nothing could better embody who I am, not just as a writer, but as a person. Every time I write in the book, it is a process. I have to take the now stretched out elastic rope off of the book, turn to the page marked with the connected bookmark and pick up where I left off.
Bluegrass music is deeply integrated into American musical culture and roots. Yet bluegrass isn’t a pure form. It’s an amalgamation of many preceding styles and individual root systems. None have revealed more about the instrumental beginnings of bluegrass than David “Dawg” Grisman. His mandolin virtuosity was simply too adventurous to not stray from the vein of Kentucky-born grass.
There’s more to country than heartbreak and hillbillies. Experience the depth and breadth of this American art form when the Green Music Center hosts “Dawg Day Afternoon Bluegrass Festival” with Sonoma favorite The David Grisman Sextet, The Del McCoury Band, and dobro master Jerry Douglas presents the Earls of Leicester.
On Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm, The Earls of Leicester will perform in concert at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street, Boulder, CO, 80302. Tel (303)786-7030.
Tickets are priced from $20.00 to $27.50, and are available at the box office, or www.bouldertheater.com. The Earls of Leicester, an homage to the music of Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, is the brainchild of musician, songwriter, and producer Jerry Douglas.