Blue Grass: Echoing from the Hills of Kentucky – Musicians
Somewhere in the hills of Kentucky on a back porch with a view, there’s a young lad picking away on his grandfathers banjo. And in that moment, the lifeblood of Blue Grass music continues. From the early immigrant migration in the 1600’s to the current day and age, blue grass music has captured the day-to-day experiences of hard-working men and women trying to scratch out a living in an equally hard land.
The Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky and the Virginias provide the backdrop for this musical style which is so typically American yet rooted in the rural lifestyles of a half-dozen European countries as well.
But it wasn’t until the arrival of Bill Monroe, that Blue Grass really came into its own. In the 1920’s and early 1930’s The Monroe Brothers were one of the most popular Blue Grass duets in an around Kentucky. In the late 1930’s the brothers went their separate ways, but brother Bill who sang and played the mandolin formed his own band, and quicker than you could mumble Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, a new musical genre was borne.
Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys paid homage to a number of popular styles including gospel music and the blues. They focused on acoustic instruments (specifically the mandolin, banjo, fiddle and guitar) with vocal harmonies and simply put, it was like nothing being produced at the time.
Yet for all it’s innovation, Bill Monroe’s blue grass roots stayed intact. He still sang about subjects close to his heart: sunrise on the farm, the girl that got away and the bubbling creek down yonder from the house. And darn it if now some 70 years later, blue grass doesn’t still echo the sentiments of a long ago age.