February 2022

Featured Story

Gena Britt

Rooted in Tradition Photo By Michael Carter As banjo player for the 2020 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) “Entertainer of the Year” group, Sister Sadie, Britt describes her music as “rooted in tradition with a contemporary edge,” much like Britt herself. She was first introduced to clogging through her grandfather, William “Son” Britt, a square-dance caller,… Read the full article

The Tradition

Don Bryant

A Short— But Brilliant— Bluegrass Career Don Bryant’s experience playing bluegrass in the mid-1950s would be the envy of any professional bluegrass musician.  In the span of just a few short years, Don performed with Benny and Vallie Cain, Bill Harrell, Mac Wiseman, and then for nearly three months he subbed for Earl Scruggs with… Read the full article

Notes & Queries – February 2022

Queries: Q – “Who is Carl E. Hoffman, who wrote ‘Ice Covered Birches,’ recorded by Cliff Waldron and the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys?  It’s a great song, IMO, and rather unusual. It is more complex than most traditional bluegrass songs. The 3/4 time, the powerfully descriptive imagery, the unusual subject matter (there aren’t many Alaskan bluegrass… Read the full article

The Artists

Wyatt Ellis

He’s Got It In Him Photos Courtesy of Teresa Ellis The last few years of Wyatt Ellis’ young life have been remarkable in several different ways. Before the pandemic he was spending upwards of three hours a day shuttling between Boy Scouts, Taekwon-Do, soccer practice, and squeezing in a weekly 30-minute mandolin lesson: pretty much… Read the full article

Dale Ann Bradley

Showers Empathy in Her Music Esteemed bluegrass singer Dale Ann Bradley shares stories of hardship and hope on her latest project, Things She Couldn’t Get Over. Growing up in the isolated country of rural Eastern Kentucky, Bradley knows all too well the struggles of life.  “There wasn’t a lot of money at all. I’ve carried… Read the full article

The Sound

Hawthorn Banjos

It just makes sense that the finest musical instruments would be comprised of premier quality parts assembled and crafted by experienced luthiers, and that’s the foundation of Bradford and Company’s Hawthorn™ brand of instruments. If retired lawyer Glenn Bradford can’t find a particular part that meets his quality standards he will make it himself or… Read the full article

Story Behind The Song Two Highways

“I don’t know how much of this you can share, but I’ll tell you,” joked Larry Cordle about the story behind one of his earliest compositions.   “Two Highways” dates back to the late 1970s—a pivotal period in the life of this renowned songwriter.  It was recorded first by his childhood friend and musical mentor… Read the full article

Phil Salazar

And His Fabulous Fiddle Shop Many of the artists that we interview in Bluegrass Unlimited grew up in musical families.  The majority of them are raised in southeastern regions of the United States where bluegrass and country music was played in their homes from the time they were born.  California native Phil Salazar also grew… Read the full article

The Venu

Blue Ridge  Music Trails of North Carolina

Website Opens Up Doors to Heart of Bluegrass Bluegrass music was basically created in Nashville in 1945 when Kentucky native Bill Monroe asked North Carolina fiddler Jim Shumate if he knew of any powerful banjo players who could keep up with his up-tempo music. That is when Shumate introduced Monroe to the innovative three-finger banjo… Read the full article

The Earl Scruggs Center 

Photos Courtesy of The Earl Scruggs Center It’s no exaggeration to say Earl Scruggs changed the course of music globally with his innovative 3-finger style of banjo playing. “Scruggs Style,” as it is universally known, is a cornerstone of bluegrass music, and has served as inspiration for latter-day banjo innovators, including Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka,… Read the full article