“Bluegrass has the mando chop, that’s all the percussion we need. They weren’t appropriate when Jimmy Martin , The Osborne Brothers or Jim and Jesse used them. They are no more welcome now.”
In my opinion, it’s up to the musicians to decide what they need and what’s appropriate. After all, it’s their music. And then the rest of us can decide whether we like their music or not. And the list of names offered – which could be extended with those of plenty of other Hall of Famers, like J. D. Crowe, Josh Graves, Benny Martin, the Lewis Family, et.al. – underlines the fact that, like them or not, many of the greatest bluegrass musicians have chosen to use drums throughout the music’s history.
Really, though, my main point is that I think it’s odd to see words like “need” and “appropriate” used in this context. Music is a creative endeavor, and it seems to me that the people entitled to use these words with respect to their music are the musicians themselves; the rest of us (and that includes other musicians), in my opinion, aren’t. What we’re entitled to do is like or dislike, embrace or reject the results, and, if we feel like it, to explain why – but not by trying to insert ourselves into someone else’s creative process. It might appear like a fine or trivial distinction, but in my opinion, it’s not.