Appalachian Mountain Music

Bluegrass is a style of country music that arose in Appalachia in the 1940s and it is typically played on acoustic instruments.  It draws on influences from many other types of music, including blues, jazz, country, Gospel music, and traditional music of England, Scotland, and Ireland.  As the settlers began to move out into North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia, they wrote songs about daily life in the new land.  Since most of these people lived in remote areas, many of the songs reflected life on the farm or in the hills.  This music was often referred to as country, hillbilly, or mountain music.  Bluegrass emphasizes acoustic stringed instruments like banjo and guitar.  The invention of the phonograph and the onset of radio in the early-to-mid 1900s brought this music out of the hills and into the homes of people all over the United States.  The genre derives its name from the band Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, but other influential bluegrass musicians include Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys.  In the 1960s, the concept of the “bluegrass festival” was first introduced, featuring bands on the same bill that had previously seemed to be in competition with each other for a relatively limited audience.  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1972 Will the Circle Be Unbroken triple LP set introduced artists like Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, and others to pop music fans and brought the authentic sounds of bluegrass and traditional country music to new audiences.  Bluegrass began a revival in the 1990s called Contemporary bluegrass which often emphasizes more elaborate musical pieces that draw inspiration from classical music, as well as musical improvisation and a wider variety of instruments.  Well-known musicians in the genre include Allison Krauss, Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers, and Old Crow Medicine Show.  In 2001, the triple-platinum soundtrack for the Coen Brothers movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, helped to attract even wider audiences to bluegrass music.

Last week we had Catch a Wave where the theme was to find Surf Rock songs.  This week the theme is to find Bluegrass songs.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, and even better, read as many of them as you can as you will probably find many enjoyable songs and it is quite possibly that you will learn a thing or two.  Share your music with others and post a video, try do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the theme, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

• Try to use the prompt words or at least conform to a general theme, as you see it.  If the song you select does not meet the criteria, then please explain why you chose this song.
• It would be good if you could post the lyrics to the song of your choice, as this is helpful for the people that want to follow along with the music.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due. It would also be a good idea to give credit to the singer and the band associated with your song.
• Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but please try not to include too many videos as that just makes it take longer to look at all of the other posts.
• Link to the YouTube video, or you can pull it into your post, so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

This week I will be writing about the Old & In the Way song ‘Catfish John’, and next week, I will be writing about the song ‘Vasoline’ by Stone Temple Pilots.  The upcoming prompts will be:
March 26, 2023 – Grunge music
April 2, 2023 – Alternative Rock outside the mainstream
April 9, 2023 – Soul Music
April 16, 2023 – Funk

25 thoughts on “Appalachian Mountain Music

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