Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs

Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs – core of “The Foggy Mountain Boys”

Bluegrass Music isn´t due to something for most of the Germans. However, if they happen to sit in a concert, they are “blown away” with the originality, power, speed, and the melodic expressiveness of this acoustic music. “Folk music with overdrive” possibly matches best for the description of such an experience.

Bluegrass Music, which has been minted by “Bill Monroe (lead and tenor vocals, mandolin) and his Bluegrass Boys” originally comprising also Lester Flatt (lead vocals, guitar), Chubby Wise (fiddle), Earl Scruggs (5-string banjo), and Howard Watts (baritone vocals, string bass) occasionally has been described as a “wild music with banjos and fiddles with nasally recited songs on moonshine, vixens and the church”. Indeed, banjo and fiddle do not know any speed limit, and men frequently sing high baritone above tenor vocals in broken-hearted songs, or  á capella in a multi-voiced gospels. Since those times this music has versatily and pleasingly changed, and it has adopted multiple musical styles, which, by using the original Bluegrass instrumentation of mandolin, banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass and occasionally dobro, converts well known tunes into new tonal experiences. Women, who arrived later in this music, have greatly contributed to that process. While some bands strictly cherish the “high lonesome sound” in the old tradition, others set out with new rhythms, styles and own compositions for an acoustic “cross-over” music, in which the roots are recognizable as well as the fact that Bluegrass has grown (beautiful) flowers.

Detailed essays on the history and development of Bluegrass Music can be found as “links” in this website.

Bluegrass definitions – from webmaster Rudi

  • Bluegrass is undescribable – you must hear it
  • Bluegrass is is closely related to Country Music with respect to cntents and origin
  • Bluegrass has distinctive peculiarities, which are reflected in harmonies and improvisations
  • In Bluegrass marked trio-voices and breathtaking speed in instrumentals alternate with empathic ballads and gospels
  • Bluegrass tells stories with the sounds of mandolin, banjo, guitar and bass, and naturally with the voices
  • Bluegrass emerged from the hills of Kentucky, where blue grass grows under blue skies and “moonshine” is a natural thing
  • Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is only blue, if it grows on calciferous ground
  • blue Bluegrass therefore grows also on the Suebian Alb, which is Rudi´s ancestry
  • Bluegrass is love from the first note
  • Bluegrass never comes to early and rerely too late
  • Bluegrass is is a heaven full of mandolins
  • Bluegrass is giving your last G-string
  • Bluegrass must only be practiced on days ending with “Y
  • Bluegrass is undescribable – you must bring your friends