Before reading this installment of Blue Yodel, you may want to (re)visit a recent reference by John Lawless to an article written by columnist Joe Queenan in the Wall Street Journal. Dear Joe Queenan, I'm writing from the year 2111—a full 100
Opinion and commentary
Is Joe Queenan funny?
Or just riven by banjo envy? Author, reviewer and columnist Joe Queenan has taken to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to expose his hatred of all things banjo. His unburdening was putatively inspired by the recent PBS airing of
Blue Yodel #7 – Herschel Sizemore’s Rebecca
Occasionally in this column I’d like to look at a specific song and, if possible, talk to the songwriter about it. First up is Herschel Sizemore’s Rebecca, a bluegrass instrumental standard. I just heard a story from the respected and beloved
A Field of Bluegrass Dreams
Instead of writing my bluegrass music column, I’ve been watching the World Series. Tonight, it’s Game Six, which is important enough to be capitalized because it could be the last game of the year before a long, cold winter without
Blue Yodel #5: 8 Myths About Bluegrass Songwriting
I wish I could sell you something that would make you a better songwriter, but unfortunately, there’s no tablature for songwriters, no string gauges to change if the chorus isn't working, no pearl inlay that will make you look deep
Tolerance in bluegrass
This piece is a contribution from Gene Reasoner, who co-hosts a syndicated Gospel bluegrass radio show called Believers Bluegrass, currently carried on about 20 stations. Gene also publishes his own blog, where this column first appeared. Tolerance is a word that has
What Next for IBMA?
Sunday afternoon often has an air of loneliness and finality for me, as the unstructured fun and fellowship of the weekend starts to fade with the advent of the renewed routine of Monday morning. A week ago Sunday was especially
I would first like to offer the disclaimer that this article is being written during the first few days of a European tour. I apologize if jet lag affects my objectivity, writing style, common sense, or font. At a time like
Bluegrass – America’s music?
Especially on the centennial of Bill Monroe's birth, it is important to reflect on the origins of the music we all love. And in light of the heated discussions of progressive versus traditional - and "What is or isn't bluegrass?"
Hard Rock after-party at IBMA
After having made plans to spend last week at IBMA showcasing, exhibiting, reporting for Bluegrass Today, and otherwise immersing ourselves in the World of Bluegrass, I received a court order setting a hearing for Thursday morning in a case involving over seven