Author Archive: John Curtis Goad

John Goad is a graduate of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music program, and is now pursuing a Masters degree in Appalachian Studies at ETSU.

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Lonely Tonight – Bill Runkle & Smith Hollow

| November 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

When you think “Del McCoury’s banjo player,” your mind probably automatically goes to Del’s son, 2015 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Rob McCoury. However, before there was a Del McCoury Band, there was Del McCoury & the Dixie Pals. The longest serving banjo player […]


Elsebound – True North

| November 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

Along the softer edges of bluegrass, where smooth contemporary melodies merge with a folkier, singer-songwriter sensibility, lies Oregon-based band True North. The group’s music is largely gentle and contemplative, guided by the lyrics and lead vocals of Kristen Grainger, an accomplished songwriter whose songs have […]


The Vickie Vaughn Band

| October 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Vickie Vaughn Band has been making the bluegrass rounds over the past few years, racking up appearances at the Station Inn, Music City Roots, and the World of Bluegrass, securing a nomination for an IBMA Momentum Award, and serving as representatives of the International […]


Great Northern Railroad – The High 48s

| October 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

Train songs are a staple of bluegrass and other forms of traditional American music. From John Henry to In the Pines, from Orange Blossom Special to Blue Railroad Train, you can seldom attend a bluegrass show without hearing at least one song dedicated to the […]


Run Away Tonight – Chris Jones & the Night Drivers

| October 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

In the ever-present debate on tradition vs. innovation in bluegrass music, I feel that the value of consistency is sometimes overlooked. It seems like bands are always seeking to change up their sound from one album to the next – adding in more country influences, […]


Country Livin’ – Big Country Bluegrass

| October 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

If you ever want to fire up a room full of bluegrass fans, just ask them to define traditional bluegrass. Some will define it as the original 1945-46 Blue Grass Boys. Some will expand it to include a few second generation acts, while others will […]


Miles from the Hard Road – Allen Shadd

| September 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

Folks in the bluegrass community proudly acknowledge that bluegrass is one of the few popular genres of music in which fans are just as likely to cheer a fine instrumental break as they are powerhouse lead vocals. Nonetheless, many excellent musicians still hover somewhat outside […]


Nothing But Sky – Delta Reign

| September 7, 2015 | 0 Comments

When most folks think of the Gulf Coast region, bluegrass is not the first musical style that comes to mind. Maybe blues, maybe country, maybe even the easygoing stylings of Jimmy Buffett. For the folks in Mobile, Alabama-based Delta Reign, however, bluegrass comes first. They […]


Across the Deep Blue Sea – Original Five

| August 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

Although most American bluegrass fans are aware of the international bluegrass scene on at least a surface level, thanks to the “International” in IBMA and a few acts like the Kruger Brothers who have gained popularity here in recent years, most folks in the US […]


Brighter Every Day – Trout Steak Revival

| July 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

One of the most recent groups from the western bluegrass world to begin gaining national recognition is Trout Steak Revival, a Denver-based band that also won the 2014 band competition at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. The five-piece group has been playing together for several years, […]