I had a dream last night……

….well, actually, I had a dream Monday night, for real. In the dream, I was having a conversation with Del McCoury (for whom I have the greatest admiration). Something sort of like this:

We were talking about how bluegrass has changed. We also talked about how we loved the earlier sounds like Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley’s etc., etc.

The gist of his conversation to me (and I remember this part a clearly as the ringing of a bell) was, “I love all that stuff, but people just need to get over Flatt & Scruggs.”

In this dream, he didn’t disrespect them, and had the greatest admiration for them (and he still does), but he was trying to convey to me that music has to evolve. F&S made their big, deep, cut to the bone mark on bluegrass from the late 40′s to the late 60′s. A 20 year run. Monroe did the same thing, partially involving F&S and Carter Stanley in the process, as well.

What they accomplished can’t be reproduced. It was them, their current band members, the current state of affairs going on in the world at that time, the current or recently current other musical influences happening then, just a myriad of information/influences that helped them shape their music into what we remember as representative portions of their musical catalog.

We live in a differing time, with differing influences, both musically and socially, so the music should change, to a certain extent to represent what we face or are exposed to NOW.

That’s not to say that there won’t be music that I won’t like, but there will also be stuff I’ve never heard before, that I WILL like if someone is brave enough to experiment with the formula, to come up with something NEW.

If anyone has an argument with this thinking, then argue with Monroe, F&S, the Stanley’s, Jim & Jesse, the Country Gents, the Seldom Scene, Al Wood, The Paisleys, the Lundys, Hot Rize, Doyle Lawson, The String Dusters, Del McCoury, Mountain Heart, Alison Krauss and others, because that’s what they did.

They were ALL thinking outside the box of what had happened before. Through the process, they developed their OWN sound and that’s why we discuss their musical efforts and know who they are.

Shew….there. Now I feel better.


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