Diamond Rio go newgrass on stage

Diamond Rio perform their NewGrass Medley on stageHere’s a fun video for your New Year’s Eve…

Serious country music fans know that superstar Nashville act, Diamond Rio, has strong bluegrass roots. Several original members had performed in bluegrass outfits prior to launching their country career together. Most prominently, mandolinist and vocalist Gene Johnson had been a member of J.D. Crowe & The New South along with Keith Whitley and Steve Bryant. Lead singer Marty Roe and guitarist Jimmy Olander played bluegrass in Nashville just before joining Diamond Rio, and bass player Dana Williams had it in his blood – his uncles are The Osborne Brothers.

Even though the band has focused on country hits, selling over ten million records since their first release in 1991, the guys have long included a sort of newgrass tribute segment in their live shows. They take a medley of pop and rock hits and put the grass to it in a clever bit they call the NewGrass Medley.

Diamond Rio has released video of this segment to promote their new live album, which contains the medley. Can you name all the songs? Bonus points if you can name the original artists as well.


Diamond Rio Live, packaged as a live audio CD and a DVD with extensive interview footage, is offered for sale on the band web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

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.