why/how are you a bluegrass fan?

In my last semester of college I am studying “fan culture”-I have a question for all of you. Why are you a bluegrass fan and what is it about bluegrass festivals that keep you coming back for more? how are you a bluegrass fan? what is your interaction with other bluegrass fans/musicians? do you play an instrument, what/why? what is historically significant about bluegrass and what do the festivals represent for the genre? what about the people you meet time and time again at these festivals, what significance do those relationships hold in your life?..

Lets see, get deep, well for me that’s easy. :wave :flower

I am a fan of bluegrass because well for one it’s great music! And fer 2 it has this deep feel of tradition, history and roots. I feel connected.

The same for the fest. I personally feel connected to everyone while at the fest. I feel free to express myself through dance and song, movement…4 days to play when your an adult is like brain candy…4 beautiful days and nights of pure fun…nothing to do but boogie.

Nature plays a huge part, just being outside under the stars, feeling the crisp air on your cheecks and the music fill the air. It just feels so perfect, even in the rain.

Fest is all encumpasing.Did I spell that wrong, sorry. It fills my soul and stays there for a long while. Makes me feel a part of something huge, makes me feel alive. :medal

what she said…

there is a purity to acoustic music
be it bluegrass or classical or other acoustic music
if and when the power grid shuts down
the music will be alive, here and in the heavens…

and it’s the blues, not he delta or chicago blues, but mountain people blues
with banjos and mandolins rippin’
there’s an upbeat, high energy feeling
even though the lyrics might be cryin’
usually great 3 part harmonies on vocals with that “high and lonesome” sound
the music might be slow 4/4 or 3/4 time
or it might be and instrumental close to light speed
possibly more fun than a rollercoaster…

Grassroots. I feel as though it brings me closer to the Earth. It’s energy also makes me want to move. Ultimately though the Banjo did it.

I love music.
I love acoustic music or a little electric.
I grew up listening to country music and at some point that meant I heard New Grass Revival. Wow. Old and In the Way, Flatt & Scruggs soon followed. It’s just a great sound. The banjo and mando have a magic sound to me, I am not sure how to describe it. It feels so nature, so pure, it just make my soul feel right. On any bad day I can put in Alison Krauss or Sam Bush or Railroad Earth or Earl Scruggs or Blue Highway or Infamous Stringdusters or Longview or …and I can find calm.

Live music is special. Doesn’t have to be bluegrass. I love live blues and jazz

But cross live music with a dude going wild on the banjo and mandolin and I’m like 4 year old watching PBS. I’m glued.

Festivals is just where you find lots of bluegrass. Music is #1 to me, or was. 1 in 10,000 come for the show. Yea I like the Dead and saw the, but funny I came through via Jerry’s banjo not the other way around. I have meet enough friends on the road that I’m going back this year as much for Railroad Earth and the House Band as I am just to hang out and be with friends.

I don’t play. I don’t have the patience to learn. I’m appreciative of those who do.

Yeah I agree. Its just so different from any other type of music! I love it.


I was born in Western NC and my parents took me and my brother to church every Sunday morning…and evening…and Wednesday evening. Southern Baptists might have a certain stigma attached to them because of uncompromising fundamentalist beliefs; but I’ll tell you what: I’ve got some fond memories of singing “I saw the Light” every Sunday with the congregation, choir and basically an accompanying four piece bluegrass band. Glory be!

Why are you a student? What is it that makes you study what people do?
Mostly I am a fan of music. I like live music, many kinds of music. I like to play music,
mostly acoustic music. I like to play music in natural settings and I love to hear it in a natural setting,
especially in Telluride. There is something about hearing music under the mountains.
The other thing about music is that it can be used to shift your thought processes.
It does not communicate like a spoken word, where you think you understand,
but with music, the feelings you experience are real, but only for you, but you know
what you experience. Music can take you places that classrooms rarely go. Music
can draw people together. Music is more fun than work. Some people just drink better with music.

I apologize in advance, this is kind of choppy and not well planned out, but I did y best to present all the factors that brought me to where I am today musically.

I’ve been a fan of music for as long as I can remember, and nobody has ever come up with a genre of music that I can’t find at least one artist I enjoy (although maybe not enough to purchase their work). For the longest time, it was heavy metal that I liked, I liked it because I felt it spoke what was in my soul, then I began to understand myself better. While I still occasionally listen to it, I find myself listening to Bluegrass more then anything else.

I suffer from depression, and for a while, doctors had me on anti-depressants, but eventually, I got to the point where I couldn’t stand the way I felt on them and looked for other ways to lift my spirits. To this day, I have never been in a bad enough mood that listening to music recorded live at Telluride couldn’t lift my spirits. I’m able to put myself back in the Serenity of the valley that I’ve only been to once. To me, it represents the most perfect place on earth, the most peaceful and the most like heaven.

When I was 14-15 years old, y oldest brother started playing me bluegrass when I would ride in his car (which wasn’t too often as we lived in different towns at the tie). At first, I couldn’t stand it, I thought it was too cheery or twangy or something. Then I heard Sam Bush doing “River Take Me” by Darrell Scott and it started to grow on me. I would begin to plug my headphones into my iPod and not turn it on, so I could hold onto the lie that I didn’t like it, because I felt it would turn me into something (still not sure what though). Then I decided that I wanted to go to Telluride with hi and had the most magical experience of my life, this was last summer when I was 16. While at the autograph table, I told Mr. Scott that it was his song that got me into this style of music. I’m not sure if this meant anything to him, but it was extremely fulfilling to me.

As for instruments, I play the drums. I started playing them when I was 10 and haven’t stopped. I love the pure rhythm and the magic of making each individual drum sound just right.I also have an electric bass that I need to learn. I plan on transitioning from a rhythm instrument, to a half rhythm half string instrument (the bass) to a string instrument (the guitar) and then to the most magical instrument I’ve ever heard, the mandolin. I would like to be that guy that could release an entire album by himself and hope that I can get there at some point.

I am a fan of Bluegrass because it fills my soul, speaks my language, and the guy’s don’t wear sparkles :medal Clean, true and natural.

I “discovered” bluegrass music around age 18. Listening to Old and In the Way in college, then going to Telluride for the first time in 76 and seeing NGR hooked me for life.
I don’t play an instrument, but listening to bluegrass music is emotionally evocative, and watching it is engaging, enveloping, enticing, and consuming. It is as if the strings of the instruments somehow spread out, like the roots of a tree, and wrap themselves around your head, your heart, and your soul, and pull you in and tie you forever to the sorrow, the joy, the pleasure, and the pain from which the songs emerge. It might be the lyrics, it might be the sorrowful wail of the fiddle, it might be the twang of the banjo, the big booming bottom of the bass, or the dizzying speed of the mandolin picker, or all of it. When it gets you, it gets you for life. It is the musical lifeblood that keeps you going, and add to that the purity of the voices, singing alone or in wondrous harmony, and it becomes a feast for the soul, one you never want to leave, because you can never get full. There is always the desire, the need, for more. It may be offered up in varying styles, various tempos, and old-yet-new interpretations that open up a whole new chapter to a book you thought you knew so well. Bluegrass music is solitude; it is multitude. It is a drug of the senses, a drug that is the cure, a cure that is the drug, and it is one I know I am addicted to for life. It is freedom.

Music gets in my head and stays there, sometimes blaring nonstop, sometimes swirling around, sometimes muted but ready to come forward when a sight, smell, touch, or feel beckons it to the “Play” slot in my brain.
Music is substance that feeds my head, whereas spoken words enter, some of them maybe get digested and filed away, but mostly they just leave as quickly as they enter.
Music isn’t just background in a movie, it is a background in my life, and many others like me. Music is timeless. Music is ageless. The creation of music brings forth more creativity, more exploration, more expression, not just by the ones who are writing/singing/playing it, but for those who are listening/feeling/embracing it.
One doesn’t have to play music or even understand it to like it. Be it one person with one voice making the music, or a 200-person orchestra with a huge choir, music is enjoyable to the artist as well as the listener.
Music speaks a language all its own, and the whole world can understand it, as long as they listen.