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krhm
12-16-2003, 05:59 AM
I'm searching for gift ideas for my dad! He was at my house this weekend helping with some projects, and played a few CD's for me that would be considered bluegrass. They were both of local groups (to him) and not national groups. I think he won them at a charity dinner and found that he really liked them. Anyway, I know nothing about bluegrass, but I want to find a CD or two that he might like as Christmas gifts. The songs he played for me this weekend told stories and I could hear banjos and fiddles in the background.

I've looked up "hot" bluegrass bands, and I know DH and I loved Alison Krauss on the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack, so one of her CDs is already on the list, but I have never heard of any of the other bands listed. Can a true, dedicated fan help me out with some recommendations so I'm not just buying blind?

donleyk
12-16-2003, 06:16 AM
I don't know how much help this will be. We usually purchase our CD's right at the performance. But here are a few we enjoy.

Lonesome River Band
Northwest Territory

I'll edit as I remember them.

Blue Highway
County Gentlemen
Seldom Scene

Ricky Skaggs might be a good choice but I don't have any of his CD's.

KAG
12-16-2003, 06:18 AM
Maybe I can help.

Alison Krauss is not traditional Bluegrass really. She is what is termed "newgrass". Which to me is better than the twangy old time Bill Monroe Bluegrass. But I also really like that style too.

Try anything by Jerry Douglas or Sam Bush. Both are excellent.

Bela Fleck is also very good.
David Grisman Quintet
Alison Brown Quartet
Ricky Skaggs is one of the best bluegrass musicians around.
Nickel Creek


For old time Bluegrass try Bill Monroe
Earl Scruggs
Doc Watson - which by the way host THE BEST Bluegrass festival in the country (IMHO) called Merle Fest( www.merlefest.org )held every April in Wilkesboro NC.

edited to add one more group:
Yonder Mountain String Band

These are all very well known groups and you should not have any trouble finding CD's for any of them.

Good luck and tell your Dad welcome to the world of Bluegrass. It's fab.

badunnin
12-16-2003, 06:54 AM
Earl Scruggs put out a CD of duets last year that is really great. "Earl Scruggs and Friends." If your dad is into sacred music, there is also a CD entitled "Heaven Bound: Best of Bluegrass Gospel" that is worth a listen. Rhonda Vincent is another artist to look for who is really hot right now. Del McCoury is a good name to look for as well, as is Ralph Stanley (probably one of my favourites behind Earl Scruggs for the more traditional stuff). "Hand Picked: 25 Years of Bluegrass on Rounder Records" is a really nice collection.

ccooney
12-16-2003, 07:28 AM
Ricky Scaggs' older stuff is country/western, but recently he decided that since the old ways in music are dying out he'd devote himself to doing bluegrass from now on. Thus, his most recent recordings are bluegrass. He was interviewed on NPR and they were naming all the big bluegrass artists who agreed to work with him on his recordings to help preserve this dying art.

badunnin
12-16-2003, 07:34 AM
You may want to find out if your dad likes any instrument more than others. Banjo? Dobro? Mandolin? (I'm a mandolin girl myself) Then you can pick an artist based on that.

KAG
12-16-2003, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by badunnin
Earl Scruggs put out a CD of duets last year that is really great. "Earl Scruggs and Friends." If your dad is into sacred music, there is also a CD entitled "Heaven Bound: Best of Bluegrass Gospel" that is worth a listen. Rhonda Vincent is another artist to look for who is really hot right now. Del McCoury is a good name to look for as well, as is Ralph Stanley (probably one of my favourites behind Earl Scruggs for the more traditional stuff). "Hand Picked: 25 Years of Bluegrass on Rounder Records" is a really nice collection.

I forgot to add Del McCoury
and forgot about Ralph Stanley

I'm glad you added them. Looking forward to the rest of the replys to this thread. It's a subject and genre that I greatly enjoy.

Another great old time album is the "Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle be Unbroken". The album is about 30 years old and is one of the best featuring a lot of the old time greats.

Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder started out years ago as bluegrass then went country for commercial success and has now returned to his roots. I'm glad to hear he is devoting all of his energy on bluegrass from now on. He is simply one of the best out there.

badunnin
12-16-2003, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by KAG
Another great old time album is the "Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle be Unbroken". The album is about 30 years old and is one of the best featuring a lot of the old time greats.


Good call! That is an amazing album.

On the oldtime country theme, I'm really looking forward to getting the Louvin Brothers collection that just came out. They had some of the artists on the Opry this week, and it looks like an incredible CD!

KAG
12-16-2003, 07:44 AM
Thanks for the heads up. I'll be looking for that one also.

krhm
12-16-2003, 08:21 AM
This is fun! I truly know nothing about this genre of music so I'm glad I'm getting advice from some knowledgeable folks!

After your advice, Badunnin, I looked to see if I could find more specific information about the singer that my dad really liked. His name (the musician, not my dad!) is Matt Kinman and his group is Kinman's Old Time Serenaders. They're local to where we live. Here's a description of the band from their website:

Matt Kinman, from Cadiz, Kentucky via Bumpis Mills, Tennessee, performs traditional Southern music on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bones, and feet. Singing in his own cowboy balledeer style, he has been featured on the Grand Ole Opry, the Ernest Tubb Record Shop's Midnight Jamboree, and the Tennessee Fall Homecoming. (it was the cowboy balledeer songs and I believe the banjo that my dad really liked about this group)

And there was this:
The music of Kinman's Old Time Serenaders is the traditional music of the South, defined as music performed by the classic string bands of the 1920s and 30s. They also draw heavily from the melodies played and sung by the earliest settlers of America who brought their music from Ireland, Scotland, and England.

So would any of these musicians that you've all named here fit this description more than others? I'm having fun on Amazon listening to some of the tracks!

KAG
12-16-2003, 08:39 AM
It sounds like he likes the traditional stuff from the bio. I can't help you with cowboy balledeer but Earl Scruggs is banjo and he is old time bluegrass and he's very, very good. Alison Brown is also banjo. Ricky Skaggs is banjo also. All of these artist are great and Skaggs and Scruggs are more traditional than Alison Brown, although she plays traditional too. I think you will find that most artist today play both traditional and newgrass. Play around some more on amazon and you will soon figure out who's style appeals to you and sounds similar to your Dad's taste.

While you're at it check out Vasser Clements too. He's a fiddle player and one of the best.

Don't discount the others and go strictly for banjo because the mandolin and fiddle are also an important part of bluegrass.


edited: Ricky Skaggs plays guitar too. I'm picturing him with banjo, so now I'm confused. My brain is now malfunctioning. If I were home I could pull some cd's and double check. And he's one of my favorites too, why have I pulled a blank? :(

badunnin
12-16-2003, 08:48 AM
I agree that Earl Scruggs would probably be a good fit. Bill Monroe would be great as well. The Stanley Brothers.

As KAG said, if you go to Amazon, you can choose "Country Music," then as a subcategory "Bluegrass" then "Traditional" and get some good names.

Here (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/598640/ref=br_bx_c_2_1/103-2390223-6615831) is a link to that.

krhm
12-16-2003, 09:16 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone! I just love it when I can get a present that I know someone will really enjoy, and I think he will be happy with these. It would have taken me a long time on my own to come up with these.

I ended up with:

The Essential Flatt & Scruggs: 'Tis Sweet To Be Remembered

Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live (because DH and I like her so much and Dad had never heard of her)

The Very Best of Bill Monroe

I was amazed at how inexpensive these CDs were, by the way. Two were double-disk sets and the most expensive was 14.99!

badunnin
12-16-2003, 09:17 AM
Great choices! I'm in the mood to put some bluegrass back into the CD player. I go through phases with my music, and lately it's been Sting.

KAG
12-16-2003, 09:48 AM
I concur!

Enjoy, you picked some good ones.

sherri
12-16-2003, 10:08 AM
Great choice on the Allison Krauss Live CD. We have all her CD's and I love them. That one is especially good!

scout1222
12-16-2003, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by sherri
Great choice on the Allison Krauss Live CD. We have all her CD's and I love them. That one is especially good!

Hear hear! I've had both discs spinning in the car constantly for weeks. Great stuff.