January 2021

The Tradition

Notes & Queries – January

Editor’s Note:  Our long-time Notes & Queries writer Walt Saunders, who is now 86 years old and has been involved with this magazine since 1967, was under the weather this month.  We have asked noted bluegrass musician, scholar, entertainer, and historian Gary Reid to step in this month to write the Notes & Queries column. … Read the full article

IBMA Hall Of Famers Remembered

The Legendary Pete Kuykendall Brought To Life By Peter Rowan When it comes to featuring artists who are honored at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, located in Owensboro, KY, our goal here at Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine is to look deeper than what you may read on their wall plaque. We will continue… Read the full article

The Artists

Back to Cuttin’ Grass

Although it’s taken him five albums to put out a project with the bluegrass arrangements to match, this is exactly what Sturgill Simpson has done on Cuttin’ Grass – Vol.1 and 2 (The Butcher Shoppe Sessions).  Bluegrass music has long been a part of Simpson’s upbringing—something he credits to his paternal grandfather. However, it took… Read the full article

Wings of a Jetliner

Master mandolin player Nate Lee of the Becky Buller Band (B^3) is flying sky high with the debut of his full-length album, Wings of a Jetliner. But before we board the plane to find out more about his new release, let’s soar back in Lee’s history. Pre-Flight Check List Growing up in Texas, Lee was… Read the full article

Patrick McAvinue

A Perfect Fit Between Nashville and Baltimore “I wanted to help bridge the connection between Nashville and Baltimore,” explains fiddler Patrick McAvinue about his latest album, Perfect Fit released in 2019.  For many the relationship between the two cities might seem odd at first, but for Baltimore native McAvinue—who first cut his teeth as youngster… Read the full article

The Sound

Gaven “Gravy” Largent

Modern Day Dobro Construction from a Traditional Perspective Photos By Jake’s Visuals In our world of bluegrass and acoustic music, the news travels quickly when a young master emerges on the scene. The sound of the Dobro1 in this artist’s hands puts the icing on the cake, or in this case the Gravy (self-penned moniker)… Read the full article

A 21st Century Bluegrass Guitar From Oregon’s High Desert

The D-MA from Preston Thompson Guitars in Sisters, Oregon has almost no interest in impersonating a vintage D-18. And that’s exactly what makes it such a compelling and distinctively modern flatpicking guitar. Even though it shares the basic D-18 DNA of a mahogany dreadnought body with a forward-shifted, scalloped-braced, tap-tuned Adirondack top, the Thompson D-MA… Read the full article

The Venu

But…It’s Never Been Done Before!

Joanne Gardner, John Lowell, and the Virtual 2020 IBMA Bluegrass Awards Show The performance centerpiece of the annual IBMA conference is the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards show, where – selected by the membership – the IBMA showcases and celebrates the best performers of the year. In a year of social distancing and facemasks, Paul Schiminger… Read the full article

Bill Monroe’s Gouged Headstock Veneer

If you look at any photo of Bill Monroe holding his mandolin taken between 1950 and 1980, you will notice that the company name, which usually graces the instrument’s headstock, is noticeably missing.  Most die-hard bluegrass fans will know that very early in the 1950s, Bill Monroe shipped his mandolin to the Gibson company for… Read the full article