I mean Blue Grass,as in music.
I have expanded my musical tastes a bit into "pop country" Its "ok" but I would rather concentrate on some awesome Blue Grass music.
Any suggestions for some great music??
Hi David; I've never been able to get into mainstream bluegrass, but such country greats as Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton have done a fair amount of "blue grassy" music that I like, and that's where their roots are.

But lately, I've been listening to a lot of Alison Krauss and her Union Station Band-- essentially a bluegrass band. But here too, the music of hers that I really like is a mix of bluegrass, country, folk, and pop-- hard to classify, but really nice. I especially like her "Forget About It" CD and haven't been able to get it out of my transport for long lately. Another long time favorite is Emmylou Harris' "A Cowgirl's Prayer"-- again not truly bluegrass, more country, pop, folk. Just my 2 cents worth. Cheers. Craig.
david: good to see you're expanding your musical horizons (another girlfriend?). please forget the "hee hah" bit, however; folks will think you're some kinda' upstate ny hick. anyway, a couple of suggestions. first, "nickel creek," a euponymous album by three youngsters from san diego is a fresh and easy to-listen-to album of new and classic bluegrass that is well worth adding to any collection. second, i suggest you try a couple of samplers from acoustic disc, the label owned by david grishman. they are called: "acoustic disc:100% handmade music." you can get a good idea of several sub-genre to see what may interest you; for a listing of available cd's see:

Thanks Craig!
Kelly,nope,same galfriend!
I am a upstate NY hick and DANG proud of it!
Thanks for the 'tips' guys...please keep 'em comin y'all!
HEE HAH!! C|:~) thats a cowboy hat on my head btw.
Anything by the Seldom Scene, highly recommemded. Anything by Mike Auldridge. Dolly Parton's last two albums are superb. Doc and Merle Watson. The soundtrack "O Brother Where Art Thou". Anything by Del McCrory. Steve Earle has a killer blugrass album, can't remember the title right now, its all acoustic. Allison Kraus, Jerry Garcia "Old and in the Way". Bela Fleck is even doing Bluegrass on recent albums. Hope this helps.
Well I do not hold myself out to be a BG xpert but since you got me here under false pretenses I'll drop a few winners. Not exactly bluegrass but all music by BGers. Give a listen to: Anything by Clarence White, the man who changed time in blue grass; Tony Rice and David Grisman: "Tone Poems" and ; Tony Rice and Norman Blake "Blake and Rice". All nice stuff ifin you like martin geetar flat picking. I think cfb meant David Grisman too, one of the best mandolin pickers south of frog holla.

Sincerely, I remain
yeah clueless,I'za figgered I'd git some uh ya boyz in heaya whit dat thread title.

The past 7 years have seen 'Bluegrass' move far from its centrist roots and adventure into all sorts of genre.

'String Cheese Incident' is probably the most bastard child of all with electric mandolin complete with distortion pedal. They really are great though.

Guitar driven bluegrass/folk, Tony Rice is always on.
David Grisman with his 'DAWG' music is quite progressive.
Alison Krauss with Union Station is quite solid.

Outside the lines look for Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck. Together or solo these guys have redefined the genre altogether.

'Restless on the Farm'-Jerry Douglas
'Howlin' at the Moon'-Sam Bush
'Skip, Hop and Wobble'-Meyer, Barenburg, Fleck?
'Uncommon Ritual'-Meyer, Fleck and Marshall

These would make a good primer.
Check out Rounder Records. Alison Krauss and Tony Rice record on Rounder. Their website with an online catalog and online ordering is
Bluegrass starts with Bill Monroe. He is to bluegrass what Bob Marley is to reggae -- he invented it.
Many contemporary performers -- Allison Krauss, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck -- have deviated from the classic structure of Monroe's and created a subgenre sometimes called "Newgrass." Some really great stuff.
The Del McCoury Band still plays traditional bluegrass, along with many others, and the recording Steve Earle made with them, "The Mountain," is a must. (Everything Steve Earle does is a must, but this is his pure bluegrass album.)
Many of the songs from "The Mountain" were used in the soundtrack for the movie, "You Can Count On Me."
I'd say check out the reviews and find a decent Bill Monroe recording, but definitely -- "The Mountain."
Nobody plays bluegrass like the "Darlins" from Andy Griffin. They are members of the Dillards. They have some CD's with good bluegrass. Also there is a " pickin" series offered by BMG in which popular artists material is played in a bluegrass style - kind of interesting - I have the Eagles one and I like it.

Ricky Skaggs.....Bluegrass Rules !!!!

As he says...Country Rocks, but Bluegrass Rules !!!
Well, technically not bluegrass, but very interesting stuff. Blueground Undergrass is a really cool band. They are actually kinda like an electric bluegrass jam band. They are interesting as they have a following like a small band of Deadheads. People travel to their shows, record them and post the concerts on the internet for all to use. This practice is embraced by the band and they even allow you to plug into the mixing board to record. Too cool.

Now, this may not be to everyone's taste, but I love it.

Check it out:


Amen to the above suggestions: Dave Grisman, Tony Rice, Darol Anger, and ESPECIALLY the SELDOM SCENE with Mike Auldridge; regarded by many as THE best bluegrass. My father (God rest his soul) loved bluegrass, Flatt & Scruggs, and always waxed on about the Seldom Scene. I went to a two-day bluegrass festival in the catskills with dad about 10 years ago and there was a special apearance by the Sceldom Scene and they easily blew everyone else away with superior artistic vision, dynamics, harmonics, basic excellence in songwriting.
Strenght in Numbers "Telluride Sessions" is playing as I browse today. Not true bluegrass, instrumental cuts from the cream of the bluegrass crop. Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Mark O'connor Edger Meyer and of course Bela Fleck. These guys are incedible. On "Duke and Cookie" the players trade licks so hot they could be Mahavisnu Orchestra on moonshine. "The Locks of Dread" is just your typical Celtic/Reggae hybrid. On "One Winters Night" Mark O'connors violin stirs your soul and then Jerry Douglas carries it to heaven on his dobro. Did I say that?! Regardless, everyone should have this CD, bluegrass fan or not.
Lot of great suggestions above. I'm going to recommend some specific titles:

In the same vein as the Brother Where Art Thou songtrack is a songtrack cd called "Songcatcher."

The early Alison Krauss and Union Station cds, and maybe the latest (tho I still haven't opened it), but some of the ones in between are a little more pop oriented.

Anything by Doc Watson, but you could start with "Remembering Merle."

Jerry Douglas, "Slide Rule." (Jerry plays dobro)

Tony Furtado, "Within Reach." (Tony plays banjo, Jerry plays dobro on a couple of cuts, and Alison Krauss sings "I Will")

Emmylou Harris, "Roses in the Snow" and "Blue Kentucky Girl"

Not exactly Bluegrass:

"newgrass:" - Gillian Welch, "Revival." A remarkable album of brand new old timey music with a bass.

mountain music: - Patty Loveless, "Mountain Soul" - her Dad really did mine coal.

- The McCarters, "The Gift," an lp if you can find it by 3 sisters. The cd "Jennifer McCarter and the McCarters" is not as good.

The best for last, unclassifiable American music: Iris Dement, "Infamous Angel." Actually all three of her cds. Merle Haggard calls her the greatest singer he has ever heard. Singer/songwriter actually.
If you're looking for a catalog of some great bluegrass stuff, Rebel Records of Virginia has a nice one online. Have a look here.

I've seen the Seldom Seen (mentioned above) and they are certainly the real deal. They've done a lot with Rebel Records. I'd also recomend the Hogwaller Ramblers for some great bluegrass plus some fusion bluegrass/rock material. Try here There's lots more out there, enjoy the ride.
Early Bela Fleck would be more bluegrass oriented than his more recent stuff.
Try Mark O'Conner "New Nashville Cats" for bluegrass fiddle played by a trained violinist.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was the catalyst for two albums that brought together the traditionalists and the newgrass musicians "Will the Circle Be Unbroken, I and II". I can't recommend these two more highly. Recorded in a studio direct to 2 track I believe.
For Country/bluegrass/pop vocals with great studio musicians try Ronstadt, Parton and E.L. Harris in Trio and Trio II.
For bluegrass/gospel try Alison Kraus and the Cox Family "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.
For rockers turned bluegrass- Old and in the Way.
Jerry Douglas, Russ Barenburg and Edgar Meyer "Skip Hop and Wobble.
Rounder has a new compilation called "O Sister" celebrating the women in bluegrass.
"Down From the Mountain" is a live show featuring many of the artists from "O Brother Where Art Thou" recorded at the Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry.

Lots of good stuff in this genre and lots of new crossover which is very interesting. I have become a great fan of bluegrass gospel. A local college station (WWUH 91.3 for anyone in CT) has a BG show every Sat am and does about 30 min of gospel that I try to catch each week.
For Christmas I got "Bluegrass at Newport 1959-1965". Its got 2 sets by Bill Monroe,Flatt and Scruggs,Jim and Jesse and single sets with The Stanley Brothers,Don Stover and the Lily Brothers.
Also Mezmo was right about Rebel Records,home of the best Ralph Stanley recordings.Checkout "Ralph plays requests". Ralph really knows how to get a banjo to ring.
david, lotsa good stuff here. "will the circle be unbroken" & "old & in the way" are definitely vinyl classics. and ya ya *gotta* get that skip-hop-wobble one - it's a killer. jerry douglas is on it, btw - not bela fleck. also, another great album is "bourbon & rosewater", a kind of east-meets-west thing, where jerry douglas plays a mean acoustic guitar in accompanying vishna bhatt on indian stringed instruments. blue-grass, indian-style. great sonics on both these cd's also. the douglas/bhatt one is on the well-respected water-lily acoustics label...these have been seeing lotsa playing-time on the rig, lately, w/my new art di/o dac! :>)

doug s.

oh, also great fun is jerry garcia & dave grisman's "not for kids only" - it's *not*! ;~)

Yep! Gillian Welch. I love "Little Black Bird".
Some great recommendations,... here is one more that you all try ..." Positive Friction" by Donna the Buffalo, a blend of bluegrass, zydeco reggae rock and country. Trust me, it really works! Great band.
Every album by The Revival was and is a most wonderful thing. John Cowan has the best voice in bluegrass not counting Mac Weisman. Sammy, Bela and others followed the lead of John Hartford and other pioneers to fashion "newgrass" as a distinct branch or subspecies of blugrass and roots music. Ditto Winoguy's and the Buffalo...they rule! Jeb,Tara, Jim and the rest are the next Revival...the next Dead...unbelievable...try all their music for free at their site.
If you are getting into Blue Grass try. Why not give the following non-mainstream Country & Western Bands a try.
BR5-49 ; The Derailers ; Asleep at the Wheel. They may suprise ya.
While an old post I feel I have to help spread the the names of Sierra Hull, Balsam Range, Full Lonesome.  So many other great acoustic bluegrass bands I can't list them all.
Sarah Jorosz
von Grey

Here are a few of my favs:
Younder Mountain String Band
The Infamous Stringdusters
Steep Canyon Rangers (particularly when they are backing Steve Martin)
Old Crow Medicine Show
Railroad Earth
Vegasears has good ones. Also anything on which Jerry Douglas (Dobro) plays. And The Del McCoury Band.
Hi, David ...

Check out the Maple Shade site. Pierre offers CD's that he's recorded. He has an excellent bluegrass disc that contains some really kick-ass bluegrass players ... and the sound is superb. 

You'd be looking for "Tony Williamson and the Williamson Brother's Band."  Title of the CD is: Still Light of The Evening"  Here's a link:

Happy toe tapping. 

I agree w/ bdp24, the Del McCoury Band is great.

And w/ oregonpapa about Tony Williamson....., we really like this disc.

The Earl Brothers play great bluegrass.

The High Bar Gang has a really good disc out now.

However, bluegrass is best live and outside.

The Del McCoury Band is responsible for the best lunch "hour" I've ever taken. Years ago I traveled to a customer's site in Philadelphia to train them to use our software. Walking around downtown one evening I ended up in a record store (Tower?) and noticed The Del McCoury band was performing there live in the store for free the next afternoon. Since I was in charge of the class I scheduled lunch the next day from noon to 2:00 pm (or something like that), telling the class I had a conference call to attend. They were happy to get a two hour lunch so did not object. Next day just prior to noon I ran out the building, bought an apple on my way to the store, and ate it while Del and his band performed some terrific music in the store. To this day it was by far my most memorable lunch hour ever.
In my Top 10 All-Time Best Shows is Steve Earle and The Del McCoury Band at The House Of Blues in Hollywood in the 90's. Steve on vocals (of course) and acoustic guitar, Del and his boys on harmony vocals, guitar, mandolin, stand-up bass, fiddle, and banjo, all acoustic and unamplified. The six men were arranged in a semi-circle around a single large-diaphragm mic, whoever was performing the "lead" part a step closer to the mic than the others. While singing song verses that would be Steve, who when the verse concluded would step back in line with the others. When the fiddle player took a solo he would take a step towards the mic, stepping back in line when it was over. Fantastic music, fantastic sound!
Finally pulled the trigger on the CD "The Hillmen" recorded in the early 60s. Terrific bluegrass (and folkgrass too), California style (Chris Hillman on mandolin).
I like Muleskinner:  Peter Rowan, Clarence White, David Grisman, Richard Greene, Bill Keith--hippiegrass never sounded better than this.  I also like the trio of John Hartford, Tony Rice and Vassar Clements.

Love Muleskinner tostado! Rockadanny, Chris Hillman’s solo albums on Sugar Hill are fantastic too, as is his Country group with Herb Pedersen and John Jorgenson, The Desert Rose Band.

Here’s a warning, of a sort: There are two main strains of Bluegrass, Traditional and Progressive. Traditional is "song-based"---singers accompanied by instrumentalists. Progressive Bluegrass is akin to Progressive Rock, mostly instrumental music featuring a lot of soloing. There is a Progressive Bluegrass band named Psychograss, whose "A-list" members include a bass player who was in the same Pop Group (!) as I in ’71, Todd Phillips. I was just joining the group as he was leaving, going up to Marin County to study mandolin with David Grisman. Dave told him there was a shortage of Bluegrass bass players, that he should learn to play stand-up (acoustic) bass. Todd took his advice, and carved out a nice little career for himself. He’s was touring with Joan Baez last I heard. I got myself a Psychograss album, and hated it! Traditional Bluegrass si, Progressive no, for me at least.

Anyway, the point is that not all Bluegrass is the same, anymore than The Beatles are the same as, say, King Crimson. I just went and saw Jerry Douglas, master Dobro player (Alison Krauss, Nashville 1st call recording), whose playing as an accompanist I love to death. Wouldn’t ya know it, solo (with a 4-piece band) he plays Progressive Bluegrass!