I recently had the opportunity to see Earl Scruggs perform – Wow, he can still play like his fingers are on fire. Even at the age of eighty-four, he still picks with authority. The tasteful, articulate and of course, powerful style of Earl Scruggs has inspired more than a few pickers and this night was no exception.
The song selection was fantastic – from Lonesome Rueben to The Ballad of Jed Clampett, a lot of classic Bluegrass was enjoyed. Foggy Mountain Breakdown always gets me going and I wasn’t alone this evening – the audience ate it up too. FMB was written way back in 1949, and has been drawing new fans to Bluegrass and the banjo ever since. Thank you Earl Scruggs.
Before I leave you, I have to mention Jerry Douglas - Jerry and his band pushed the limits of Bluegrass, but at the same felt at home doing traditional tunes. Not to take anything away from Jerry, but Earl`s dobro player, Jennifer Meredith, has a few moves that will make your head spin too. Hats off to Earl, Jerry and their great bands – keep it up, you are our inspiration.
Listening to an all Bluegrass channel on the radio exposes you to a lot of different styles of bluegrass, a band that I always enjoy hearing is The Lost and Found. What a great sound, and what a tight band; these guys play with passion and definitely have a unique style.
Founding member and mandolin player, Dempsey Young plays with such conviction and clarity that you just HAVE to stop and listen. His mandolin tone just jumps out at you, it is so rich sounding. Unfortunately Dempsey passed away a few years ago at the age of 52; what a loss to the bluegrass world. Although the mandolin takes front and centre, I can’t get the banjo out of my thoughts – it is so solid.
One of the songs that I really like is “Sawmill Road”, it’s a mixture of an old time sound with a definite modern edge. One of the highlights is the mandolin solo, WOW; the banjo licks are really catchy too, and in C tuning, to top it off. Have a listen to this song, I know you will appreciate something about it; maybe the vocals, the lyrics, the bass, who knows, but I’m sure you will be impressed.
The banjo player on this cut is Lynwood Lunsford, who handled banjo duties in The Lost and Found for five years. Lunsford also has his own group; Lynwood Lunsford and the Misty Valley Boys. Jimmy Martin employed Lunsford as his banjo player in 1990 and 1991, a job that Lynwood Lunsford coveted for a long time.
Here’s a couple of links to find out more about The Lost and Found:
The Official Site
If you would like to purchase some of the band’s music or some Jimmy Martin just click on the links below:
Give the Lost and Found a listen and it wouldn’t hurt to listen to Jimmy Martin and The Sunny Mountain Boys either. For that matter, listen to as much banjo music as you can – it’ll inspire you to play better.
The world has changed forever – music is distributed by downloading, and the days of going to your local record store and picking up a few albums are long gone. There are literally millions of songs available on the internet and Amazon.com is an excellent source for music in both the old fashioned form – CDs, or the more modern MP3 format. Clicking on the picture above will take you to Amazon.com, where you can buy Ricky Skaggs tribute to the fathers of Bluegrass – way to easy.
When I was younger, I loved buying a new record and bringing it home to listen to. This was a ritual for me, no there isn’t any sacrifices or anything involved; I would tear the plastic open, pull the inner sleeve out and put the album on the turntable. Now the fun starts – sit back and listen to side A in it’s entirety, that’s right the whole side – no skipping songs. The nature of a record dictates that skipping tracks was difficult, so it was easier to listen to every song. While I enjoyed listening to my new find, I occupied my visual senses by reading the liner notes, learning about the instruments they used, the producers name, where it was recorded – information that gave me a feel for the recording. I would stick with one side for a while and when I was ready, and no sooner, I gave side B a listen.
Like I said earlier – those days are long gone, and now you can download one song for less than a buck and avoid the ritual that I love so much. Progress – I think not. Anyway, if you wan’t to check out an endless list of music in both Cd and MP3 format – follow the links below, but beware there’s a lot of good music out there.