Monday, February 27, 2012

[Read] Bluegrass For The Newborns & The Twang Records, Vol. 1

Note: We don’t actually mean newborns, that'd be a little ambitious. This post is aimed towards followers near the ripe age of 21. 

A while back I debuted a fun, almost pointless article titled "Hip-Hop Explained for the Elderly." I’m young and naive - thought I could possibly swing the 2% of elderly followers from oldie-loving to Tupac-thuggin'. I suppose there is a slim chance I converted a few, but I'm sure the post was more so a morsel of comic relief here at Beat Dropping. Well I'm up for round two, but this time I'm turnin’ the table on you, and my ageist approach is directed towards those around the age of 21. Oh and screw hip-hop, we're talking twang this time...

Old grass, new grass, blue grass. Young people are so caught up in their Weezy's and their T-Pain's that they have single handily watered down an entire genre known as bluegrass. I know that statement might be stereotypical of our generation, but humor me, because to some extent, it's true. Sadly, Ni**as in Paris has become more or less our anthem. What happened to Alison Krauss? She's still around ya know. Why can’t our anthem be Let Me Touch You For A While?


Here's my case as to why it should be: 
New grass or bluegrass, it sounds better. Maybe you can't play it at a house party or have victoria secret models strut their stuff to it, but you can listen and not worry about looking like an idiot, pumping your fist and screaming, "that shit cray!" God I'm tired of that song. Bluegrass is by no means "cray." It’s just good music, and here's why: 
1. If its the message you're after when listening to some Weezy, you're likely to catch some of the same in bluegrass. You have your sexual innuendos and your alcohol being preached about over the sweet sweet pickin' of a banjo. 
2. The musicianship involved trumps any hip-hop performance out there. Let's talk instrumentals. Big bass and repetitive synths or mandolin strumming, violin plucking, and banjo picking? I mean this should be a no brainer by now. 
3. Personality, and this is probably the biggest point I’ll make. Hip-hop has mixed with, and consequently tainted, just about everything. Everything except bluegrass (talk about a nightmare - maybe that's what dubstep was supposed to be originally). Bluegrass is full of characters, as you can imagine, and inevitably, it's unique and shows personality. 

So here’s the deal. In attempts to get some of the young folk out there hooked on twang, Tommy and I have planned out something special that will debut over the next few weeks. I’ll let him fill you in... 

Original photo cred belongs to Mark Mawson
Twang Records, Vol. 1 
It’s no secret we love bluegrass - from the old pickin’ tunes our grandparents listened to, such as Jim and Jesse McReynolds, to the grass that our generation has grown to love, such as Yonder Mountain String Band and the like. But these bands are merely a fraction of the talent that is out there, and who knows how many posts we could write up to cover them all. 

This is why Hobbs and I are going to do our best by introducing y’all to a wide spectrum of artists and bands through what we like to call “The Twang Records.” This series will be ranging from that good ole’ pickin’ and grinnin’ that got this great genre started, to the more modern grass that comes with a twist, but will undoubtedly keep your feet stomping. So get comfortable and start your week off right with the first volume of the Twang Records (others will come weekly). 

The Road is a Lover - Alison Krauss & Union Station

Faces - Blueground Undergrass

Evolution - Hot Buttered Rum String Band

Doreen - Steam Powered Airplane

Sleep With One Eye Open - Chris Thile & Michael Daves

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