November 2020

The Tradition

Notes & Queries – November

NOTES In the August 2020 “Notes & Queries,” we fielded a query about the jam-session favorite and popular bluegrass number, “Love Please Come Home,” and its writer Leon Jackson. Leon, with his partner Johnny Bryant, fronted a band called the White Oak Mountain Boys. The group made at least eight recordings for the King label… Read the full article

Guitar Shop Honors Master Luthier Preston Thompson

A number of today’s top bluegrass guitar players are playing guitars that have been built by the crew at Preston Thompson Guitars in Sisters, Oregon.  The Master Luthier who started this company, Preston Thompson, sadly passed away in April of 2019.  Although Preston is no longer with us, the luthiers who worked with him are continuing his legacy building… Read the full article

No, You Back Up

Bill Monroe was not only known for his music but also for his one-line words of wisdom. “It ain’t no part of nothin’,” “Pie please,” and “You can’t hurt ham,” just to name a few.  Another of Bill’s quotes was, “No, you back up.” Over the years, stories have been told about the origin of… Read the full article

The Artists

Lindsay Lou

Pushing The Boundaries Of Bluegrass Photos By Scott Simontacchi A modern day pioneer consistently pushing the boundaries of bluegrass, Lindsay Lou‘s music is truly ahead of the times, but she isn’t the first in her family to push the limits. Lou’s “radical grandmother,” Nancy Timbrook, a hard-working mother of eight was working as a school… Read the full article

Becky Buller

Powerful Original Bluegrass Music Photos By Jason Myers For most of her life, eight-time IBMA award winner Becky Buller has been in a band, but she has been sidelined since mid-March when the pandemic forced the cancellation of shows.  “It’s been just awful,” the fiddler/vocalist said from her Manchester, TN home. “Things you probably wouldn’t… Read the full article

Songwriting In The Quarantine

Photo By Ben Bateson Tim Stafford was named IBMA Songwriter of the Year in 2014 and 2017, tapped for co-writing the IBMA Song of the year in 2008, and in 2020 has been again nominated for Song of the Year as co-writer (with Steve Gulley) of “Both Ends of the Train.” As guitarist for Blue… Read the full article

The Sound

From Kentucky to Maine

Jimmy Cox Defines Quality And Craftsmanship Photos By Jamie Alexander 1,100 miles and 60 years perfecting a craft. From Wolf Creek, Kentucky to Topsham, Maine, banjo maker and innovator Jimmy Cox left his boyhood home in the bluegrass state for a life in the northeast, carrying with him a love of bluegrass music and the… Read the full article

David Harvey

Gibson Master Luthier Photos By Jake’s Visuals The Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, is legendarily linked to a Gibson F-5 mandolin. Its label was signed on July 9, 1923 by Acoustic Engineer Lloyd Loar. Loar implemented violin F-holes and raised fingerboards, and he introduced long maple necks to the fretted-instrument world. He took the existing,… Read the full article

The Venu

Bluegrass on the Grass

Celebrating 25 Years of Success Photos By A. Pierce Bounds As early as 1802, Pennsylvania was referred to as the Keystone State. This designation was placed on Pennsylvania due to its location and providing stability in holding the original 13 states together, architecturally speaking, similar to that of the function of a keystone in an… Read the full article

The 2020 IBMA Hall of Fame Class

A Diverse Genre Celebrates Both Ends of the Spectrum While Honoring A Legendary Venue In one of the most eventful years in history, a time that has seen the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, nationwide protests, a comet, a 5.1 Southeastern earthquake and the Backline bluegrass band releasing a single titled “If The Corona Don’t… Read the full article