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Who Will Be the New Bluegrass God?

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Jun 13, 2018 - 2:16:07 PM
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671 posts since 12/2/2013

Except for Del McCoury, the bluegrass gods have come and gone: Bill, Earl, Ralph, some would include Doc. But we all need heroes, demi-gods as it were, so who do you think are the likely candidates to join the Pantheon of Bluegrass bobbleheads? I assume it will be a banjo picker, but not necessarily so. I have no favorite, I'm an old newbie. So name your candidate(s) and say why.

Jun 13, 2018 - 2:26:21 PM

136 posts since 3/29/2018

Ricky Skaggs for the mandolin...I also think Chris Thile on mando...this Lincoln fellow in the Hangout....the Sleepy Banjo Band...or something like that.... Willow Osborne---wish she would go back to banjo----those are a few living and up and coming bluegrass picking young masters who can keep bringing the sound to new generations...oh the why:...well give em a listen...

Edited by - Astrobanjo on 06/13/2018 14:27:32

Jun 13, 2018 - 2:29:05 PM



35966 posts since 10/5/2013
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I’ll go check with my fortune teller, David - she predicts stuff b4 it even happens, in the future even!
Seriously, I have no idea. No one really predicted Del’s success- it was after his sons joined him that he got more ambitious. Bill Runkle even said in a BNL interview that he didn’t think Del had enough ambition, he was so laid back, back in the day.
Ricky ,, now that’s another story - child prodigy and all.
Not sure if the next one will come out of one of the bluegrass colleges, or more likely out of the old school of hard knocks.

Edited by - chuckv97 on 06/13/2018 14:30:00

Jun 13, 2018 - 2:30:46 PM
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136 posts since 3/29/2018

oh god....ya...still living is Mr Tony Rice and Mr David Grisman too....legends of our time

Jun 13, 2018 - 2:33:16 PM

136 posts since 3/29/2018

and Jim Mills is a living legend..Bela...and on fiddle....well, Krause of course, but also Michael Cleveland....that guy is a genius....Casey Murphy(?)...the banjo goddess....


but with Banjo: Lincoln Hensly is the guy to watch..

Edited by - Astrobanjo on 06/13/2018 14:42:31

Jun 13, 2018 - 2:49:44 PM
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658 posts since 5/19/2007

Taylor Swift on the banjo. Or one of those Mumford sons.

Jun 13, 2018 - 2:59:59 PM

1389 posts since 12/31/2005

Sierra Hull
Rhonda Vincent
Everyone in AKUS
Jr. Sisk
Gibson Bros.

Jun 13, 2018 - 3:28:33 PM
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658 posts since 5/19/2007

I hope people know I was joking in my previous post. Are you asking about Bluegrass gods that will inspire those of us already into the genre, or inspire and bring in folks from the outside into Bluegrass? If the latter is the case then I'm not sure it will be anyone specific. Typically for this music it has been a movie that brings 'em in: Bonnie & Clyde, Deliverance, and Oh Brother.

I do know I'll be happy if, when my grandson gets old enough, he'll enjoy the music, play along with me and I get to be his Bluegrass Grandpa.

Jun 13, 2018 - 3:29:53 PM
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159 posts since 4/14/2017

Although I like Del McCoury for his song picking and everything he's done including his kids, Peter Rowan sings ten times better and is still very much alive, so I put him as the "God" of lead singing and songwriting for Bluegrass. On banjo,still so many great ones going: Alan Munde, Bela, Alison Brown, Jens Kreuger,Noam Pinkleny. On fiddle, Jason Carter and Michael Cleveland, I honestly think no one tops Thile on mandolin but I also love Ronnie McCoury and Sierra Hull. Edgar Meyer on Bass and I can't count all the great flatpickers so I'll let someone else do that category......

Jun 13, 2018 - 3:51:19 PM
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1075 posts since 8/10/2009

JD and Sonny - retired, but still alive.

Jun 13, 2018 - 4:01:23 PM

136 posts since 3/29/2018

if any of you know them---which I'll bet you do....tell them that they continue to inspire new generations...

Jun 13, 2018 - 4:05:17 PM

6239 posts since 4/7/2003

Banjo-Jeff Scroggins
Mandolin-Frank Solivan
Guitar- Billy Strings
Bass- Irl Hees

Jun 13, 2018 - 4:10:58 PM

1202 posts since 8/3/2012

Doc Watson
Sam Bush

“It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
? Yogi Berra

Jun 13, 2018 - 4:14:48 PM

8 posts since 3/3/2013

I'm going to go younger, have you seen Anthony Howell? I saw him at a Blue Grass Festival playing with Williamson Branch. He is multi talented, and played all the instruments on his CD "The Unclouded Day." I bought his CD and had him autograph it.  It's going to be worth something in a few yearswink

Jun 13, 2018 - 4:37:07 PM
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2213 posts since 11/15/2003

That is a seriously "subjective" question at best (i believe) because if i've witnessed one "HUGE" truth about the hangout, it is that the members can't overwhelmingly agree on anything!

I would be hesitant to list any banjo pickers in traditional Scruggs Style, as Gods with exception to Sonny and JD.

In the progressive , Jazz, or melodic styles, there are quite a few, and they were influenced by Sonny and JD, with exception to Larry McNeely, and Carl Jackson because of there age's now, you could say Allison Brown, Noam Piklney, Bela, jens, Alan Munde, and Eric Weissberg for melodic/ progressive jazz, probably Pat Cloud and Tony T but this category demands more levity because it was derived from Scruggs Style.

As far as for there being a serious contender for the Term "Bluegrass God or Goddess if you go by crossover hits into pop and country with grammy wins up in the 20 somethings , Allison Krauss might be the big winner!

Jun 14, 2018 - 2:01:50 AM
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1306 posts since 11/8/2010

It will be either a musician that gets featured on the soundtrack to some future Hollywood blockbuster and thus exposed to a general audience or a musician that does a bit of careful innovating the genre and will get recognition from the usual small audience. In the second case it may be someone we haven't even heard about yet.

And then it might be Billy Strings.

Jun 14, 2018 - 4:01:20 AM

1648 posts since 9/12/2016
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that would be like trying to replace George Washington.It really does not fit under in existing hat,since we all see it differently.
For a go to spokesperson that steps on no toes for some reason Murphy Henry comes to mind

Jun 14, 2018 - 4:21:02 AM

578 posts since 6/3/2013

Bluegrass banjo artists today are in a whole new Stratosphere. The sky is the limit. They are doing things today on the 5 string that Scruggs, Crowe, Emerson, Reno, Stanley and Sonny never even dreamed of.

Jun 14, 2018 - 4:33:49 AM
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4422 posts since 9/5/2006

well for me personally,,,,, he has been for some time,,, as a band member and as a solo act,,,
ain't skeed of nothin ,, has done it his way since day 1 despite some criticism in his early years.
has recorded with nearly everyone, in the last 49 years.. in his mid 60s now and has the respect
of nearly everyone in the music biz. helped change bluegrass in the early 70s . and has been
a solid performer ,, and nobody gives more in a show then he does,, and his contributions to
music go from "poor richards almanac" to storyman... has beat cancer,,, was born in kentucky.
and to me can fit into any genre of music you want to through his way..
a 4 time grammy winner,, has his own personal time slot at one of the biggest festivals in the world.
multi time award winner in ibma and life time achivement award winner form AMA...
and finally was always referred to by bill monroe as "here comes that mutha"...

mr. charles samuel bush

thats just my pick and reasons why

and to be politically correct     allison for the female nominee

terry m

Edited by - 1935tb-11 on 06/14/2018 04:38:38

Jun 14, 2018 - 9:08:14 AM



11153 posts since 2/7/2008

Originally posted by Smelly Old Gibby

JD and Sonny - retired, but still alive.

JD was predicted to be the one to fill Earl's shoes in one of my early 1980's Banjo Newsletters.  

Jun 14, 2018 - 9:15:40 AM



11153 posts since 2/7/2008

Originally posted by dupreejan

Bluegrass banjo artists today are in a whole new Stratosphere. The sky is the limit. They are doing things today on the 5 string that Scruggs, Crowe, Emerson, Reno, Stanley and Sonny never even dreamed of.

It is great to experiment with musical ideas and hone your playing ability to new levels but ultimately the audience decides what they like and who becomes famous. Banjo players may be impressed with highly technical banjo playing but the average audience member wants something that makes them feel good. Taste is an important part of the equation.

Jun 14, 2018 - 9:38:06 AM
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13589 posts since 12/2/2005

Originally posted by dupreejan

Bluegrass banjo artists today are in a whole new Stratosphere. The sky is the limit. They are doing things today on the 5 string that Scruggs, Crowe, Emerson, Reno, Stanley and Sonny never even dreamed of.

This is true.

From my perspective, a "bluegrass god" must do two several things. They must essentially re-invent the instrument as its popularly understood, and in so doing they must be hugely influential going forward. That's not to say that the previous styles fade away, but that the new approach inspires large numbers of listeners and players to move well beyond what's commonly understood as the way it's done.

We can all cite players in banjo world who've done that. Earl, certainly. Reno. Bill Keith and Bobby Thompson (who independently of each other essentially arrived at the same revolutionary conclusions). Bela. I'm sure there are others who could be named.

Clarence White isn't considered a bluegrass god, but he was one of the chief inspirations for someone who is often thought of that way: Tony Rice. Consider the brilliant flatpickers who took Rice's concept and blew the doors in.

Consider Jerry Douglas. I personally find his style a bit too busy and would rather listen to players who match his technical ability but don't engage in his pyrotechnics. Regardless, there can be no question about his impact on the instrument and how it's played today. Ditto for David Grisman on the mandolin, from a technical standpoint, and Sam Bush, who brought a much more aggressive approach to the mandolin.

These are all players who made people re-think what could be done within the context of the five- or six piece string band ensemble and inspired them to both emulate and surpass.

Given the level of teaching and inspiration available out there today, I think it's more likely than not that the days of the true revolutionaries may be past us, if only because there are so many players pushing back the boundaries in so many ways I wonder how likely it is that someone will be able to come up with an approach so different and so radical - and cool sounding - that we'll ever have our collective jaws drop before we say "Holy crap! DID YOU HEAR THAT?"

But you never know, and that's part of the fun.

Edited by - eagleisland on 06/14/2018 09:53:16

Jun 14, 2018 - 9:59:42 AM

1648 posts since 9/12/2016
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your ideas of Jerry's match mine of Tony T's sometimes

Jun 14, 2018 - 1:25:45 PM
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385 posts since 12/31/2009

Russ Carson will be/is THEE banjo player of his generation.

Just check out some of those videos. Amazing stuff.

Jun 14, 2018 - 3:30:11 PM



699 posts since 2/9/2007
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There are so many great pickers out there the answers to this are all subjective and personal tastes.quite a crazy question

Jun 14, 2018 - 3:47:40 PM

4798 posts since 5/8/2014



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