Does RollingStone know its Bluegrass?

Does RollingStone know its bluegrass?Does RollingStone know its bluegrass? Take a few minutes to read this article, recently published on the magazine’s website, and then answer in our poll.

Here’s the introduction.

It’s been more than 60 years since Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass, unleashed the genre on the world with his Kentucky band the Blue Grass Boys. But a new crop of acts are paying tribute to the style, updating the old-time-and-country-music hybrid with contemporary rock and pop styles. Below are five acts to watch with commentary from bluegrass legends Del McCoury and Sam Bush:

The article, titled The New Bluegrass: Five Acts to Watch, presents a short profile of five bands RollingStone thinks are the up and coming face of “new bluegrass,” whatever that means. The five bands are: O’Death, Avett Brothers, Uncle Earl, Those Darlins, and Old Crow Medicine Show.

I don’t think these are the bands I would have picked.

How about you? Do you think Rolling Stone knows what it’s talking about?


  • americanaproud

    Couldn’t take the poll without commenting:

    Although these are all wonderful groups with their own unique sounds and styles, they are certainly by no means the future of Traditional Bluegrass, and are only one small part of the entire Contemporary side of the genre.

    As always, it will be the fans who ultimately decide who to like and keep their collective eye on. Who would have thought two years ago, for instance, that two long time sidemen getting together (Dailey and Vincent), would be the talk of the IBMA, and such a hit with the fans.

    On the plus side, it’s good to know that RollingStone at least knows Bluegrass exists!

  • Well, I voted “yes.” The hedge is the quote the up and coming face of new bluegrass. I’ll accept the characterization of these bands with that precondition.
    They specifically didn’t ask about the future of traditional bluegrass. Anyway, five bands, no matter how selected, will inevitably be one small part of the bluegrass spectrum.

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  • aburtch

    Any coverage is good coverage so I would say the answer is yes. We need articles like this in mainstream press to keep our music in the public eye. You have to remember only bluegrass people argue about what bluegrass is or isn’t. To casual fans, anything acoustic with a banjo sounds like bluegrass to them. And to give RS credit, other than omitting the Infamous Stringdusters, those are some good bands they picked.

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  • countryst

    There are reviews of the Avett Brothers’ concert in Boston on Sunday and their CD, “I and Love and You,” at Country Standard Time’s website: