Is Bluegrass old enough to be traditional?

Chris ThileExpress, a blog belonging to the Washington Post, has a short article up about Chris Thile. They quote Chris on the topic of bluegrass tradition. Chris expresses his viewpoint in words similar to those he used in our recent GrassCast interview with him. Chris is obviously on a mission to let people know that bluegrass is really a young music and that it’s still growing. But he opens up a controversy with his comments. Some in the bluegrass world would like to prevent the music from changing because they fear it will no longer be bluegrass if it changes from it’s present form, or the form it had in the ’40s, or whatever. Here’s Chris’ exact comment.

“The community treats it like … it needs to be preserved and put in a glass case,” he said. “I’d like to help dispel this feeling that it’s this old American form that’s a relic.”

I see his point, but at the same time I have a great love for traditional bluegrass and don’t want to see it dissolve into a featureless amalgam of music with or without a banjo in it. I have confidence that it won’t. I think there are plenty of fans who will look for and purchase different styles of bluegrass, I will. Chris’ music and Del’s music can sit side by side on my iPod without conflict.

What do you think?