The style distinctions are imperfect, and we purposely left out a response for “I like it all,” to get a feel for which category would get the largest vote on its own.
Think of the categories below this way:
- Classic – Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, Reno & Smily, Jimmy Martin, et al
- Traditional – both the first generation artists above, and groups since that day (and today) who keep that sound alive (Karl Shiflett, David Davis, Junior Sisk, Flamekeeper, et al)
- Contemporary – current artists who base their music on the classic and traditional styles, but who incorporate influences from country, Gospel, folk, etc (Lonesome River Band, The New South, Rhonda Vincent, IIIrd Tyme Out, et al)
- Progressive – string bands who have grown from a bluegrass foundation, but whose music – while played on bluegrass instruments – is not always familiar as such (Punch Brotherts, Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush, et al)
- Jamgrass – largely acoustic acts who use bluegrass instruments to play music that is as influenced by The Grateful Dead as Bill Monroe (Yonder Mountain, String Cheese Incident, et al)
Please use the comments section below to expand or expound on the subject.
About the Author (Author Profile)
John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.
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