May 2021

The Tradition

Notes & Queries – May

NOTES “I was pleasantly surprised to see that you mentioned and pictured Lacey Jenkins Daugherty, writer of ‘Beautiful Lost River Valley’ in the March 2021 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited. Let me add to the story.  I used to own a Christmas tree farm in Hardy County, West Virginia. Friends there knew I was a bluegrass… Read the full article

When Strings Become Bridges

For over half a century, old-time/bluegrass music has connected the author with a wide variety of interesting and highly talented people, including autoworkers in Flint, Michigan, musicians in New Zealand, and Virginians transplanted to Detroit. The following is a selective appreciation. On the Fourth of July weekend in 1971, I attended Carlton Haney’s bluegrass festival… Read the full article

The Legend of the Rebel Soldier

“In a dreary Yankee prison where a rebel soldier lay.”  That is the opening line to the Charlie Moore classic “The Legend Of The Rebel Soldier,” which Moore had recorded on his 1974 Old Homestead release, The Fiddler. But it was the Country Gentlemen’s cover of the song a year earlier on their 1973 Rebel… Read the full article

The Artists

Journey of  a Bluegrass Fiddler

Tad grew up in a suburban area of Philadelphia. At a young age he heard music playing inside his head without the aid of a radio or phonograph. He recalls that as a child he would skip along the sidewalk, avoiding the cracks, and hum the tunes he was hearing. He is sure that he… Read the full article

Bringing the Banjo Beyond the Bluegrass

Photos by Sheri Oneal lthough Ashley Campbell carries the DNA of one of the most talented singers and instrumentalists in the history of American music, she did not aspire to be a musician when she was young.  The youngest daughter of country music legend Glen Campbell said, “My brothers Cal and Shannon where more into… Read the full article

Carl Jackson

Born Over A Bluegrass Bandstand Photo by Sheri Oneal In awkward adolescent script scrawled in his high school yearbook, amidst the well wishes and inside jokes from his buddies, one theme appears several times: “See you on the Glen Campbell Show.” “I look back, and I wonder how they knew that,” says the yearbook’s owner,… Read the full article

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Bluegrass

Bob Dylan said it in 1964, “The Times, They Are A Changing.”  Around that time, the Civil Rights Movement was burning a hole in our consciousness sometimes dividing North and South, and bluegrass music was still emerging from diverse musical forces.   In 1964, Bill Monroe’s band included Steve Arkin and Don Lineberger on banjo,… Read the full article

Annie Staninec

Photo by Amanda Rowan Annie Staninec (featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, May 2017) is a stellar bluegrass fiddle player of Japanese/Czechoslovakian descent who grew up in San Francisco, California and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.  She learned to play the fiddle at a young age and became interested in bluegrass because her father played the guitar… Read the full article

Sav Sankaran

Photo by Sandlin Gaither A resident of Asheville, North Carolina, Sav Sankaran is an upright bass player and vocalist with the bluegrass band Unspoken Tradition.  Previously, he toured with the Dixie Bee-Liners, Kristy Cox and other North Carolina bands.  He is a first-generation American of Indian descent who points to Bob Paisley & Southern Grass… Read the full article

Mackenzie Bell

Photo by Arnold Flenor Mackenzie Bell is a 15-year-old fiddle player who was born in Guatemala, adopted at the age of seven months, and has grown up just 10 miles from Bill Monroe’s hometown of Rosine, Kentucky.  When she was 7-years-old she heard a friend play the fiddle and thought that this was something that… Read the full article

The Ultimate Road Dog

Photo by Daniel Coston For nearly half a century, fiddling ace Mike Hartgrove of the Lonesome River Band has been traveling highways across America playing bluegrass and country music.  “Mike is a road pro,” says Lonesome River Band leader Sammy Shelor. “The guy has been on the road since he was 17 years old, about… Read the full article

The Sound

Mike Smith

A Music Seldom Heard Written By Dale McCurry with Bambi Grinder “Make it about the music,” Mike Smith implores. “Don’t make it about me. It’s about the music.” Mike said this in preparation for a story I was to write about him a decade or so ago. I remember he followed me to the parking… Read the full article