The Guardian ran a superb article over the weekend on a genre we don’t cover enough here on AUK – bluegrass – partly because it appears to be the marmite of americana. The article focused on the genre’s recent gravitation towards activism: “Bluegrass has no history of protest music. Or rather, its protest has always been a passive, melancholic one, the sound of displaced workers longing for their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains far away. It is a music whose roots are bedded so deep in its nostalgic view of America that it can seem estranged from the modern world – and vice versa.”
It also considers how unusual it is that a music so tied in with the south and its early 20th-century history hasn’t made it into more US popular culture. You can read the whole rollicking good read here and while we’re at it, it’s a good time for us to plug the Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival which takes place this weekend over there, with an amazing line-up including the Hackensaw Boys, Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton and Tami Neilson. More details here.