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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Bluegrass legend and banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs passed away yesterday at age 88. Scruggs was instrumental (pun intended) in the development of the genre, going back to his time in the very first ever bluegrass band, Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, and later in his work with Lester Flatt. Next to Monroe himself, there is probably no other person who has been more influential in bluegrass than Scruggs. He developed his own style of three-finger banjo picking that is known today simply as "Scruggs style". He was still actively performing as recently as last year.

Rest in peace Earl, that sure was some mighty fine pickin'.

:cheers:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:35 pm 
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I have some of his music on my I-pod and was enjoying it yesterday. :( What a great musician!!!

I was also enjoying some early Osborne Brothers and wish more was available on I-tunes.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Earl was my guru-master, and the main reason I (along with many others) got into bluegrass in a big way many years ago. The musical world won't be quite as bright without him. There are those who play "fancier" these days, but no one has ever played banjo better or with more taste and drive than he did in his prime. For bluegrass, he is simply the best there has ever been. If you can, listen to the recordings of Flatt & Scruggs from about 1955 - 1960, and you'll hear what I mean (especially Shuckin The Corn version rec. 1/27/1957, Randy Lynn Rag 1/2/1955, or Ground Speed from 1960). He set the bar..... I'll miss you Earl!!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:16 pm 
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The Stanley Brothers are my all-time favorite. No matter what is happening in my life, if I turn them on, I feel great.

Earl Scruggs is the banjo guru, as Lindred mentioned (over a year and a half ago). He was my initial introduction to the genre, and I owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Hi vison! :wave:

To quote the Stanley Brothers: "Sleep peacefully, darling, I'll meet you up there!"


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 Post subject: Zoe Speaks
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:58 pm 
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Boring backstory: My (now) wife and I spent the fall of '98 dealing with the fact that we didn't know what to do with our lives by working with a volunteer organization in Appalachian Kentucky. While we were there, we discovered a musical duo that called itself Mitch and Carla (Mitch Barrett and Carla Gover). They specialized in, but were not limited to, traditional Appalachian/Bluegrass music, and did several songs about simple living and young lovers running away together that appealed pretty heavily to who we were then. We bought one of their tapes (yes, cassette) and listened to it regularly for years until we basically wore it out; after that, I kind of forgot about them.

(A somewhat similar album I listened to heavily during that time was Jerry Garcia/David Grisman's Shady Grove, which I mentioned upthread 7 years ago).

Anyway, I've been a touch nostalgic lately, and yesterday it occurred to me to check if the two of them were still out there. They are, and continue to perform together with a third guy (Owen Reynolds) in a group called Zoe Speaks. Quite a few of their songs are available on youtube, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I like their music as much as I did before; if anything, they've gotten better. But... they don't seem to have achieved much recognition outside of their own region. That may be how they want it, but I thought I'd try to repay them in a small way by sharing where I can.

Both of their voices have an innocent, childlike quality that works well for lullabies:
Angel Wings
If Wishes Were Horses (we wanted this for our wedding reception, but the tape was broken by then :()

That same vocal quality makes for an interesting contrast when they go harsh, as in this remarkable take on an old standard:
Shady Grove (listen to the whole thing if you listen at all)

But mostly they do the traditional Appalachian style:
One Small Bird
Barbry Ellen

Though they can pull the jazz/rock thing off too:
Cadillac Queen

There's plenty more out there if you're interested. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:28 pm 
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I'm listening to your third link. The first two links say "not available".

Maybe they really don't want recognition outside their own region :D

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 Post subject: Re: Zoe Speaks
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:16 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
(A somewhat similar album I listened to heavily during that time was Jerry Garcia/David Grisman's Shady Grove, which I mentioned upthread 7 years ago).


Why don't I remember that? I should remember that.

Anyway, I quite like Zoe Speaks' take on Shady Grove.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:19 am 
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I think you must have missed the post. :) I remember being surprised you didn't react to it the first time around, especially since you mentioned The Pizza Tapes yourself later on.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:14 am 
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I must have missed the post. I certainly would have commented on it, as Shady Grove is a great album.

One of my favorite bands recently has been the bluegrass jam band Hot Buttered Rum, whom I have been lucky enough to see perform several times recently, including one time in my friends' driveway:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:25 pm 
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I actually mostly like both of those groups. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:41 pm 
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You say that like it is a big surprise, Lali.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:04 pm 
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We've been on a Nickel Creek binge recently at our house....

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:24 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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It is, honestly. I have a narrow tolerance for Bluegrass. ;) It has to be very good. I generally like folk music, though, but I do not like twangy country music or Appalachian music (usually—there are exceptions).

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:49 pm 
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Lali, I also don't like twangy country music, and much Appalachian music. I can't tolerate much twangy singing, but I love me some good banjo, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and most of all, that great acoustic stand-up bass.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:21 pm 
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I agree, and then, if it's live music, I almost always like it.

In fact, I'm not going to volunteer at this year's Celtic Festival. This will be the first time in 13 years that I won't, but I want a break for at least a year. I just want to go and enjoy the festival and the music. I am usually too tired from working to really enjoy anything, and I'm too busy/lazy to go back on another day. So yeah. This year I'm planning to just go and be a spectator. I'm excited about it!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:01 pm 
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I grew up hearing bluegrass played live by my parent's friends, so I'll always have a soft spot for it. :) I do like "newgrass" better, though. I don't like the twangy nasal quality that a lot of traditional bluegrass vocals have, and I almost never hear that in newgrass.

The banjo can make beautiful sounds when played well.

I apparently can hear a larger range than a lot of people. My boss is an audiophile and once he had the whole company over and was demonstrating his elaborate stereo system. He played two different recordings of the same song and asked me which I liked better. The one I liked better was the wrong choice, apparently. The other recording was ever so much more technically wonderful. I had to explain that on the one he liked- the singer had an unpleasant low hissing to her voice. He couldn't hear it. I'm not sure he actually believed me, because he is such a careful, well trained listener. :roll:

That was before years of having a conure shriek on my shoulder, so I'm not sure I could tell the difference any more. But back then, the low hiss/buzz was obvious and unpleasant.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:15 pm 
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My hearing is crappy and I can't even hear the difference between MP3s and full resolution CDs.

I blame Eric Clapton, back in the 70s, I was at a Clapton show and stood right in front the speaker stack. Bad idea.

But for bluegrass, I'm a fan of Allison Krause, and liked Mr. Stanley's live stuff. One group I quite enjoyed was Old And In The Way, but I have always been a Jerry Garcia fan. He also did some stuff with David Grisman in the 90s. The did Shady Grove too.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:40 pm 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-7aBZSVjK4
Ha! They are on youtube! The two people on the right, Dudley and Deanne Murphy are the people who bought land next to ours and built a vacation cabin there. When they'd come visit, they'd invite my parents and my uncle and his family over and those two plus my uncle would sing and play around the camp fire in front of the cabin.

It was pretty cool. :) But it kind of spoiled me for recorded music.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:26 pm 
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Surprised that no one has mentioned this here, since several people have mentioned his name, but Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley passed away a few days ago, June 23. Stanley was one of the pioneers of genre and formed the Clinch Mountain Boys with his brother Carter in 1946. He remained an active performer throughout his life and won a Grammy for his rendition of Oh Death on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Rest in peace Ralph.


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