Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass

By Stephanie P. Ledgin | Go to book overview

Twenty-Five Recordings to Jump-Start Your Collection ... Plus a Random Sampling of Videos

These twenty-five treasures represent a broad spectrum. Some are historically important recordings, while others are by cream-of-the-crop contemporary artists. This is not a “must have” or a “best recordings” list. It does not include all the important pioneers, just as it cannot include all the most popular current performers. This is a completely subjective list, one that contains recordings that I believe you will not only enjoy but that will also lead you to others. Therefore, consider these as introductions to the wide world of bluegrass. The further you travel on your bluegrass journey, the more you will want to add to your bluegrass collection.

Those already immersed in bluegrass should find it delightful to revisit some of the older recordings or those recently reissued on CD. Readers are encouraged to pursue albums by other artists mentioned in this book, particularly the younger performers whose musicianship seems to improve with each new group that emerges.

A plethora of compilations is widely available that offers the opportunity to sample a particular style, theme, or instrument focus. Comprehensive boxed sets covering the careers of some of bluegrass music's pioneers will prove rewarding as you become more familiar with, and develop a stronger appreciation for, the finer points of bluegrass.

Listen with an open mind; the recordings listed here are certainly not the last word in bluegrass. There is an ocean of pearls out there and why not, given the long history of this exceptional music where excellence and virtuosity are hallmarks. I think you will find these choices great starting points to familiarize you with—and get you excited about—discovering bluegrass.

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