I have a New Years tradition: I resolve to quit smoking, then realize I didn’t smoke to begin with. That was easy. I also take this time to give an annual bluegrass knowledge quiz.
This time around, I thought veteran readers of this column might be sick of the usual “What was Jim Eanes’ favorite dessert?” and “What performance-enhancing drug was Molly injected with right before her race with Tenbrooks?” line of questioning. So this year the quiz will have a theme: band names, specifically the “Bill Monroe and the (blank blank)” kind of names.
Your job will be to complete the correct band name to go with each star/bandleader. This will be known as the Paul Kovac Memorial Quiz because Paul really introduced me to the concept, and we used to try to stump each other. I realize I just made it sound like Paul is dead; he isn’t, last I checked. Maybe replace “Memorial” with “Honorary.”
As with quizzes in years past, the questions will start easy and get progressively more obscure and challenging.
There will be an answer key at the bottom and a guide to help explain what your numerical rank says about your knowledge of bluegrass music (reprinted from past quizzes).
Since I just mentioned Bill Monroe, let’s start with the most fundamental (warning: there’s a curve ball here):
1 – Bill Monroe and . . .
A. The Bluegrass Boys
B. The Blue Grass Boys
C. The Blue Cross Boys
D. His Band That Doesn’t Include His Brother Charlie
E. Malibu Storm
2 – Del McCoury and . . .
A. The Dixie Partners
B. The Dixie Significant Others
C. The Dixie Pals
D. The Dixie Acquaintances
E. All The Band
3 – Charlie Moore and . . .
A. The Dixie Partners
B. The Dixie Pals
C. The Yankee Prisoners
D. The Non-specific Carolina Rounders
4 – Laurie Lewis and . . .
A. The Grant Street String Band
B. Grant Street
C. Her Bluegrass Pals
D. Tom and Them
E. All of the Above (except possibly D, if you’re being technical)
5 – Lawrence Lane and . . .
A. The Lawrence Lane Band, featuring Lawrence Lane
B. Some Other Guys
C. The Boys Who Were Available
D. The Kentucky Grass
E. The Wisconsin Grass
6 – Mike O’Roark and . . .
A. The Free Born Men
B. Blue Mixture
C. Blue Upholstery
D. The Temporary Mountain Boys
E. Lonesome Cupcake
Bonus question, for extra credit:
Which of the following was not a real band name:
A. The Plucking Pigs
B. The Bluegrass Band That Sits
C. The Bluegrass Band That Doesn’t Sing
D. Four Ounces of Grass
E. 5yve Speed
You answered 0 or 1 correctly:
You’re a 1: You know nothing about bluegrass music and don’t care. You just took the quiz because you have a lot of time on your hands, and The Voice doesn’t come on until 8:00.
You answered 2 or 3 correctly:
You’re a 2. You know next-to-nothing about bluegrass music, but probably have strong opinions about it anyway.
You answered 4 to 5 questions correctly:
You’re a 3: You know a lot about this music, but not enough to be annoying at parties.
You answered 6 questions correctly:
You’re a 4. You’re an expert. You’ve spent a lot of time listening to and absorbing information about bluegrass music. You probably have very few friends and are not very good at basketball.
You answered all questions correctly:
You’re not fooling anyone; you’re Neil Rosenberg, and why did you bother taking this test (again)?