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Notes

1. These divergent orientations recall Owe Ronström’s distinction between tradition and heritage: “Tradition tends to evoke a nostalgic, bittersweet modality, a longing for and mourning over lost good old days, together with commitments to honor a specific local past, often personalized as ‘family roots.’ Heritage is about a muchmore generic past that you may pay an occasional visit to without much obligation, nostalgia, or grief.” Owe Ronström, “Traditional Music, Heritage Music,” in
The Oxford Handbook of Music Revival
, ed. Caroline Bithell and Juniper Hill (
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
2014
),
43
59
,
53
.
2. M. P. Fleischer,
“No Generation Gap at Folk Festival,”
Bluegrass Unlimited
, October
1970
,
7
8
; Neil Rosenberg,
Bluegrass: A History
(1985;
Urbana
:
University of Illinois Press
,
2005
),
207
.
3. In linking taste with social identity, I follow Pierre Bourdieu,
Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste
(
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
,
1984
) and innumerable other ethnomusicologists and cultural studies scholars; see, for example, Mark Anthony Neal,
What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture
(
New York
:
Routledge
,
1999
),
15
, 26, 29, 126–27, 153,
166
.
4. My interviewees frequently used the term wild to describe New York City experimental bluegrass. I discuss this term later in the article.
5. Joti Rockwell,
“What Is Bluegrass Anyway? Category Formation, Debate and the Framing of Musical Genre,”
Popular Music
31
, no.
3
(October
2012
):
372
.
6. Ibid., 374. Bangs [Tapscott] is one of Rockwell’s informants.
7. From the late 1990s through the mid-2000s, when I most frequently attended southern bluegrass festivals and fiddlers’ conventions, contemporary recordings by the Lonesome River Band served as the prototypical performances for most southern bluegrass musicians under the age of thirty-five.
8. This elasticity is further augmented by the stylistic eclecticism of Bill Monroe’s original repertoire; by the usage of bluegrass as a marketing term for the rootsy offshoots of rock and country music; and by the participatory culture of bluegrass music, whose jam sessions are defined in part by what they are not (i.e., old-time jam sessions without instrumental solos). As early as 1959 Mike Seeger wrote: “Bands are now called Bluegrass that contain one element of the original style. … Bluegrass, like other types of music, is constantly changing and searching for combinations that will give them something new and put them a step ahead of the competing groups.” “Mountain Music Bluegrass Style,” in
The Bluegrass Reader
, ed. Thomas Goldsmith (
Urbana
:
University of Illinois Press
,
2004
),
101
4
,
103
.
9. Rosenberg,
Bluegrass
, 28, 29, 30, 57. Hillbilly was a marketing term in the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s for records recorded by ostensibly rural white artists.
10. Jody Stecher, interview by the author, July 9,
2015
; Robert Cantwell,
Bluegrass Breakdown: The Making of the Old Southern Sound
(
Urbana
:
University of Illinois Press
,
1984
),
85
.
11. Rosenberg,
Bluegrass
,
101
2
.
12. For a discussion of this same trend in the context of country and western music, see Elijah Wald,
How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music
(
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
2009
),
138
39
.
13. Alan Lomax,
“Bluegrass Background: Folk Music with Overdrive,”
Esquire
52
(October
1959
):
103
9
. For more on bluegrass and masculinity, see Bill Hardwig,
“Cocks, Balls, Bats, and Banjos: Masculinity and Competition in the Bluegrass Music of Bill Monroe,”
Southern Quarterly
39
, no.
4
(Summer
2001
):
35
48
; and Cantwell,
Bluegrass Breakdown
. For more on bluegrass and modernity, see ibid.; Rosenberg,
Bluegrass;
and Goldsmith, Bluegrass Reader.
14. Rosenberg,
Bluegrass
,
206
.
15. For an analysis of
“The Story of Bluegrass” as “redemption drama,”
see Ron R. Roach,
“‘The Story of Bluegrass’: Carlton Haney, Bill Monroe, and Redemption Drama in the First Bluegrass Festivals,”
Journal of Appalachian Studies
20
, no.
1
(Spring
2014
):
7
23
.
16. Rosenberg,
Bluegrass
, 226,
306
.
17. Timothy Josiah Morris Pertz,
“The Jewgrass Boys: Bluegrass Music’s Emergence in New York City’s Washington Square Park, 1946–1961”
(undergraduate honors thesis, Harvard University,
2005
),
8
. Regarding Jews’ attraction to bluegrass, Hank Sapoznik told Pertz, “The [bluegrass] repertoire advanced my Americanness more than my brief tour as a Boy Scout,” and Steve Arkin told him, “It was a way to feel more indigenous–not consciously, but a way to feel less parochial, cloistered, cut off from mainstream American culture.” Pertz qualifies these comments, however: “Those who claim
ex post facto
to have been drawn to bluegrass expressly because of its Americanness were definitely in the minority, but their comments reveal a characteristic common to a majority: to a great extent, these musicians thought of themselves as social outsiders” (51). Most musicians that I spoke with resisted any general explanation as to why so many northern Jews were drawn to bluegrass.
18. Tommy Edwards, interview by the author, October 21, 2015; Al McCanless, interview by the author, October 26, 2015.
19. Gene Lowinger,
I Hear a Voice Calling: A Bluegrass Memoir
(
Urbana
:
University of Illinois Press
,
2009
),
35
. A previous lineup of the Blue Grass Boys in 1963 featured Massachusetts native Bill Keith, who had developed a novel technique for playing fiddle tunes note-for-note on the banjo.
20. Nontraditional albums by 1960s northern bluegrass musicians include Roger Sprung,
Progressive Bluegrass and Other Instrumentals
, Folkways 2370, 1963, LP; Eric Weissberg and
Marshall Brickman & Company
,
New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass
, Elektra 238, 1963, LP; and the
Charles River Valley Boys
,
Beatle Country
, Elektra 74006, 1966, LP, which featured bluegrass arrangements of Beatles songs.
21. Rosenberg,
Bluegrass
, 316–18. The Scruggs-style elements of “Dueling Banjos” were already familiar to viewers of
The Beverly Hillbillies
, which was broadcast nationally on CBS from 1962 to 1971.
22. Old & in the Way,
Old & in the Way
, Round Records 103, 1975, LP. This was “for a time the biggest-selling bluegrass album” (Rosenberg, Bluegrass, xiii).
23. Bill Gurley, interview by the author, March 1,
2015
.
24. Tony Trischka, interview by the author, February 28,
2015
.
25. Edwards, interview.
26. Trischka, interview.
27. Bob “Quail” White, interview by the author, October 23, 2015.
28. Kathy Sawyer,
“Showing ‘Em How It’s Done,”
in Goldsmith,
Bluegrass Reader
, 223. For an audio recording of this festival, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNAP8jP0pzA (accessed November 9,
2016
). The music performed by the Great American String Band is an inchoate form of the Dawg music discussed later in this essay. There were 111 bluegrass festivals in 1974, and the festival in Marin County was one of several on the West Coast; see Fred Bartenstein,
Muleskinner News: Bluegrass Summer 74
, 1974,
7
10
.
29. One notable change of this period was the increasing number of women performers entering bluegrass, despite lingering attitudes that bluegrass was a “man’s music”; see Murphy Hicks Henry,
Pretty Good for a Girl
(
Urbana
:
University of Illinois Press
,
2013
),
3
. Some of these new female performers were Missy Raines, Pam Gurley, the Buffalo Gals, Laurie Lewis, Rhonda Vincent, Lynn Morris, Sally Van Meter, Kathy Kallick, and Dede Wyland. Claire Lynch is a particularly notable performer of this era in light of her influence on Alison Krauss, who would later become a leading figure in bringing bluegrass to mainstream audiences in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. For examples of Lynch’s music from the 1970s, see the Front Porch String Band,
Country Rain
, Lanark 14052, 1977, LP; and the
Front Porch String Band
,
Smilin’ at You
, Front Porch 909, 1977, LP.
30. Gurley, interview.
31. Walt Michael, interview by the author, November 5, 2015.
32. Kenny Kosek, interview by the author, October 7, 2015.
33. Gurley, interview.
34. Quoted by McCanless, interview. In an oft-retold story, Bill Monroe once asked New Grass Revival banjo player Courtney Johnson, “‘What is it you all call that music you do?’ Caught by surprise, Courtney managed to answer, ‘Eh… you mean newgrass?’ ‘Yes,’ said Monroe. ‘I hate that.’” See Richard D. Smith,
Can’t You Hear Me Callin’: The Life of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass
(
Cambridge, MA
:
Da Capo Press
,
2001
),
231
. Nevertheless, Monroe also offered encouragement to these younger musicians on some occasions. According to Peter Wernick, after one Country Cooking performance at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival, Monroe told Country Cooking guitarist Russ Barenberg to “keep on going for those new notes” (interview by the author, November 10,
2015
).
35. Fred Bartenstein, interview by the author, October 7, 2015.
36. For clear examples of progressive bluegrass, see J. D. Crowe and the New South,
J. D. Crowe and the New South
, Rounder 44, 1975, LP; the Seldom Scene,
Act 1
, Rebel 1511, 1972, LP; the Seldom Scene,
Act Two
, Rebel 1520, 1973, LP; the Seldom Scene,
Act 3
, Rebel 1528, 1973, LP; the Seldom Scene,
Old Train
, Rebel 1536, 1974, LP; or any of the numerous live concerts by 1970s progressive bluegrass bands posted on Takehiko Saiki’s YouTube channel. One innovation of progressive bluegrass that may escape the notice of contemporary listeners is the use of minor and secondary dominant chords.
37. See, for example, the
Osborne Brothers
,
Up This Hill and Down
, Decca 74767, 1966, LP; Flatt & Scruggs,
Nashville Airplane
, Columbia 9741, 1968, LP; Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs,
Changin’ Times
, Columbia 9596, 1968, LP; and
Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys
,
Berry Pickin’ in the Country
, Epic 18422, 1965, LP, which exclusively featured covers of Chuck Berry songs. In
“Bluegrass Generations: An Historical Perspective,”
International Country Music Journal 2
(
2014
):
21
51
, Fred Bartenstein writes about the contributions of bluegrass musicians who were born between 1925 and 1941. He told me during my interview that these artists paved the way for the innovations of the 1970s by “fully flesh[ing] out all the ideas that the Monroe/Flatt & Scruggs/Stanley era architecture implied.”
38. Cohen uses the phrase “high lonesome” in reference to the intense, high-pitched mountain music of eastern Kentucky in John Cohen, dir.,
The High Lonesome Sound: Kentucky Mountain Music
(
New York
:
Cinema Guild
,
1962
), VHS.
39. I am not implying that all mainstream bluegrass bands of recent decades have taken a single homogeneous approach. For example, bands like the Lonesome River Band have followed the progressive bluegrass template, combining contemporary songwriting and production aesthetics with bluegrass grooves and instrumentation. Other groups like the Earls of Leicester promote themselves as faithfully reproducing first-generation bluegrass, but they nevertheless produce a distinctly post-1980s bluegrass sound. The Del McCoury Band, on the other hand, plays contemporary material with an ensemble sound reminiscent of an earlier era.
40. John Hartford,
Aereo-Plain
, Warner Bros. 1916, 1971, LP. Given the focus in this essay, it is worth noting that Hartford hired New Yorker David Bromberg to produce
Aereo-Plain
. According to Andrew Vaughn, “Hartford was looking for something different. … [T]he progressive, ‘hippie’ feel came from Hartford wanting what he called a ‘New York’ attitude. Bromberg explained: ‘In New York, we’d sit around and smoke pot and play “Sally Goodin” for an hour and a half. That approach kind of became, after a while, Newgrass. John wanted some of the wild playing that we did in New York. After about 30 choruses of “Sally Goodin,” it begins to get strange. And that’s what he liked. I think if he had gotten a Nashville producer, he wouldn’t have gotten that. I think I was chosen because I understood that direction’” (liner notes to
John Hartford Aereo-Plain /Morning Bugle: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings
, Real Gone Music 98, 2012, two CDs).
41. Goldsmith,
Bluegrass Reader
, 15. Some of these “freewheeling instrumental techniques” include Bill Keith’s melodic banjo style, which he premiered with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys in 1963; Clarence White’s rock-influenced lead guitar playing; and Richard Greene’s “chopping” fiddle technique, which was later developed, codified, and disseminated by Darol Anger. For more on chopping, see Laura Risk,
“The Chop: The Diffusion of an Instrumental Technique across North Atlantic Fiddling Traditions,”
Ethnomusicology
57
, no.
3
(Fall
2013
): 438, 440–41. For examples of these three techniques, see Muleskinner,
Muleskinner: Live
(
Sierra Madre, CA
:
Sierra
,
2001
), DVD. Although Muleskinner is best classified as a newgrass group, their performance of “Opus 57” introduced national audiences to Dawg music four years before the release of the David Grisman Quintet’s eponymous debut album.
42. See, for example, the New Grass Revival’s cover of Vassar Clements’s “Lonesome Fiddle Blues” on New Grass Revival,
New Grass Revival
, Starday 482–498, 1972, LR See also the solo section over the two-chord vamp in Old & in the Way’s performance of Peter Rowan’s “Midnight Moonlight” on
Old & in the Way
, 1975.
43. For a newgrass song with a nonbluegrass groove, see the
New Grass Revival’s
“With Care from Someone,”
from New Grass Revival,
Too Late to Turn Back Now
, Flying Fish 50, 1977, LP. For a newgrass song with an odd-meter time signature, see John Hartford’s
“On the Road,”
from John Hartford,
Morning Bugle
, Warner Bros. 2651, 1972, LP.
44. Note the stage attire of the New Deal String Band performing at Carlton Haney’s 1971 Labor Day Weekend Bluegrass Music Festival at Camp Springs, North Carolina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_T4vNcDQ3Y (accessed November 9,
2016
).
45. Gurley, interview; Kosek, interview; Trischka, interview.
46. See, for instance, the haircuts and outfits in J. D. Crowe and the New South’s 1975 performance for Kentucky Educational Television (KET): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py9ZPX-8CUE (accessed November 9,
2016
).
47. Many first-generation bluegrass musicians such as Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise, and Kenny Baker also drew heavily from swing jazz, although they appropriated different elements than Grisman.
48. David Freeman,
“The David Grisman Quintet,”
County Sales Newsletter
87
(May
1977
):
3
.
49. Tony Trischka,
“New Acoustic Music,”
Bluegrass Unlimited
, November
1985
, 14. Another important member of the new acoustic scene was Béla Fleck, who began learning banjo in New York City in 1973 and was a protege of Breakfast Special’s Tony Trischka. Fleck joined the New Grass Revival in 1982 and founded the jazz-pop-bluegrass fusion group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones in 1989.
50. For examples of new acoustic music, see Mike Marshall and Darol Anger,
Chiaroscuro
, Windham Hill 1043, 1985, LP; and Darol Anger and the
American Fiddle Ensemble
,
Republic of Strings
, Nashville, Compass 4372, 2004, CD.
51. Breakfast Special finally recorded a studio album in 1976 after they had disbanded. Various fans and members of the band told me that the album paled in comparison to their live performances and that Tony Trischka,
Bluegrass Light
, Rounder 48, 1974, LP, and Tony Trischka, Heartlands, Rounder 62, 1975, LP–which were subsequently packaged together as Tony Trischka,
The Early Years
, Rounder 11578, 1998, CD–are better representations of what the band sounded like (Bartenstein, interview; Michael, interview; Stacy Phillips, interview by the author, October 12, 2015; Andy Statman, interview by the author, October 30, 2015; Jim Tolles, interview by the author, December 18,
2015
).
52. Cecilia Sun, “Experimental Music,” in
Grove Music Online
(Oxford University Press,
2012
), http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.libproxy.temple.edu/subscriber/article/grove/music/A2224296 (accessed November 9,
2016
).
53. These tracks appear on Trischka, Heartlands, and Trischka,
Bluegrass Light
, respectively.
54. Roger Mason, interview by the author, November 4, 2015.
55. Breakfast Special’s stage banter can be heard on various bootleg recordings of their concerts. Their 1974 performance at Hungry Charlie’s in Syracuse, while a musical off-night, features some outstanding and outlandish banter. For more examples of the humor employed by this circle of musicians, see
“Bluegrass Nightmare”
from the
Wretched Refuse String Band
,
The Wretched Refuse String Band
, Beet 7003, 1978, LP. See also
“Nothing” and “It’s a Meltdown”
from the
Wretched Refuse String Band
,
The Wretched Refuse String Band
, Betrayal 1001, 1990, CD.
56. Tolles, interview.
57. Trischka,
“New Acoustic Music,”
12
.
58. Andy Statman, interview by the author, August 3, 2009.
59.
The Beatles
,
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
, Parlophone 7027, 1967, LP.
60. Statman, interview.
61. Country Cooking,
Barrel of Fun
, Rounder 33, 1974, LP.
62. Wernick, interview; Country Cooking,
14 Bluegrass Instrumentals
, Rounder 6, 1971, LP.
63. Wernick, interview.
64. Kosek, interview.
65. Chris Ditson, Richard Crooks, and Barry Lazarowitz each performed drums with Breakfast Special.
66. Andy Statman, interview by the author, December 24, 2015.
67. Some of this music appears on Breakfast Special,
Breakfast Special
, Rounder 3012, 1977, LP; Trischka,
Bluegrass Light;
Trischka,
Heartlands;
and Stacy Phillips,
All Old Friends
, Revonah 930, 1975, LP.
68. Bartenstein, interview.
69. Ibid.
70. Ibid. Although Flatt & Scruggs and other first-generation bands had recorded with a snare drum, Breakfast Special’s inclusion of a full drum kit maligned the band in the eyes of traditional audiences.
71. For a discussion of the participatory culture of bluegrass jam sessions, see Michelle Kisliuk,
“‘A Special Kind of Courtesy’: Action at a Bluegrass Festival Jam Session,”
TDR
32
, no.
3
(Autumn
1988
):
141
55
.
72. Edwards, interview; McCanless, interview.
73. Mike Greenstein,
“Expanding the Horizons,”
Bluegrass Unlimited
, December
1976
,
21
.
74. J. D. Kleinke,
“Tony Trischka Dust on the Needle,”
Bluegrass Unlimited
, August
1990
,
64
.
75. Barry Mitterhoff, interview by the author, November 12, 2015.
76. Kosek, interview.
77. Matt Glaser, interview by the author, February 23, 2015. Relatedly, Jody Stecher told me during our interview that the ironic tone in Breakfast Special’s music was “rooted in a defense mechanism” to the “hostile environment” of New York City in the 1970s, in contrast to the laid-back Dawg music that developed in Edenic neighborhoods of the California Bay Area.
78. The word “taste” is from David Freeman, “Pete Wernick ‘Dr. Banjo Steps Out,’”
County Sales Newsletter
94
(June
1978
):
7
. Freeman directs his criticism toward Wernick and “others of his school” presumably in reference to the New York City experimental bluegrass musicians. “Subtlety” is from Bill Ellis, “Today’s Contemporary Postneohypernewgrass (File under New Acoustic Music),”
Appalachian Journal
12
, no.
4
(
1985
):
345
.
79. David Freeman,
“Peter Rowan ‘With the Red Hot Pickers,’”
County Sales Newsletter
133
(June–July
1984
):
6
.
80.
“Polished”
and “tasteful” from David Freeman, “Jerry Douglas ‘Fluxology,’”
County Sales Newsletter
101
(June–July
1979
):
5
. Freeman uses similar language elsewhere; see Freeman,
“Mike Auldridge,”
County Sales Newsletter
85
(January–February
1977
): 7; and Freeman,
“Seldom Scene ‘Act Four,’”
County Sales Newsletter
105
(March–April
1980
):
5
. The quote is from Freeman,
“Buddy Spicher ‘Platinum Fiddle,’”
County Sales Newsletter
137
(January–February
1985
):
6
.
81. See, for example, the klezmer and funk elements in “The Brothers Ben Chassid,” from
Breakfast Special;
the jazz fusion elements in “Jerzy the Peddler,” from Trischka’s
Bluegrass Light;
and the 1920s novelty pop song “Princess Poo-Poo-Ly Has Plenty Papaya” from bootleg recordings of Breakfast Special. Statman would go on to become a leading figure in the klezmer revival following his clarinet studies with the Ukrainian Jewish clarinetist David Tarris. Andy Statman,
Flatbush Waltz
, Rounder 116, 1980, LP, demonstrates the extent of his orientation toward “world music” and avant-garde sounds in the 1970s.
82. Even the rock-influenced songs of the 1970s New Grass Revival, such as “Pennies in My Pocket,” feature more southern indices than early bluegrass repertoire covered by the experimental musicians, such as “Pike County Breakdown” on Trischka’s Heartlands album.
83. Bluegrass fans sometimes use this language to describe the music of the Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek, and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. This criticism of something sounding “pop” is not about an artist “selling out” for commercial success; on the contrary, bluegrass fans and performers are remarkably frank and comfortable about the needs for performers to market and commodify their music. Rather, my experiences at bluegrass events indicate that disparagingly calling something “pop” or “modern” links it to the aesthetics and social values of nonbluegrass pop music and the community outsiders who listen to that music.
84. Statman, interview. Statman did eventually return to bluegrass with Andy Statman,
Andy’s Ramble
, Rounder 0244, 1994, CD. In recent years, he has recorded bluegrass repertoire in an open-ended improvisatory style with drums and bass accompaniment; see, for example, Andy Statman,
East Flatbush Blues
, Shefa 3001, 2006, CD.
85. For an example of this transition between the experimental bluegrass style and the smoother Dawg style, see Tony Trischka,
A Robot Plane Flies over Arkansas
, Rounder 171, 1983, LP. This album features supporting musicians from both the New York City and the West Coast scenes.
86. For the link between taste and articulation of class identity, see Bourdieu,
Distinction
. For the precarious balance of the archaic and the modern in Monroe’s music, see Cantwell,
Bluegrass Breakdown
, 60–90. If bluegrass’s polish represents its compatibility with mainstream aesthetic sensibilities, then a lack of polish may reflect incompetence, embarrassment, or retrogression. I recall a precocious fourteen-year-old banjo player at a jam session in Galax, Virginia, who, on receiving a request to play a first-generation bluegrass song, responded, “‘I don’t play none of that hollerin’ music!” His playfully pejorative use of the word “hollerin’” implies a critique of the older, less “polished” members of his community.
87. Rosenberg,
Bluegrass
,
29
.
88. Mark Y. Miyake,
“The Discourse of Race within the Bluegrass Music Community”
(PhD. diss.,
Indiana University
,
2009
),
141
,
221
.
89. In Ronström’s terms, the former approached it as a traditional music, “with commitments to honor a specific local past,” whereas the latter approached it as a heritage music, “without much obligation, nostalgia, or grief” (“Traditional Music,” 53).
90. Terry McManus, email message to the author, November 5, 2015. The verb pick, as opposed to play, is the preferred term within the bluegrass community and connotes a competency in a southern linguistic and cultural idiom.
91. Fleischer,
“No Generation,”
7
8
; Rosenberg, Bluegrass,
207
.
92. Bluegrass historian Thomas Adler told me that “in [his] opinion,” one of the factors working against Breakfast Special at southern bluegrass festivals was an “Anti-New-York-City Bias (against ‘northerners,’ ‘Yankees,’ and Jews)” (email message to the author, November 4,
2015
).
93. Gene Lowinger’s website includes photographs of the New York Ramblers at southern fiddlers’ conventions in the 1960s: http://www.genelowinger.com/index.php#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=3&p=2&a=0&at=0 (accessed November 9,
2016
), http://www.genelowinger.com/index.php#mi=2&pt=l&pi=10000&s=2&p=2&a=0&at=0 (accessed November 9,
2016
).
94. I asked Jody Stecher during our interview if he ever experienced any anti-Semitism when competing at southern fiddlers’ conventions in the 1960s. He said that he hadn’t. But then he told me about an episode in which a rural man surreptitiously pricked his elbow with a needle because he had heard that Jews would pop if pricked with a needle. Stecher told me that the same thing had happened to a friend of his in a similar context.
95. Rosenberg,
Bluegrass
, 291; Miyake, “The Discourse,” 178–88. For Bluegrass 45’s performance at Carlton Haney’s Labor Day Weekend Bluegrass Music Festival, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJmSmISL_no (accessed November 9,
2016
).
96. Glaser, interview.
97. Edwards, interview.
Bluegrass Unlimited
contributor Frank Godbey made this same point (email message to the author, November 4,
2015
).
98. Bartenstein, interview.
99. John Hartford was another newgrass musician who was embraced by southern listeners despite his affluent background. Bartenstein told me, “John Hartford carefully hid his class signifiers. … [S]o I think that unless you knew John’s bio, you didn’t know what his background was.”
100. Tolles, interview.
101. Mike Greenstein,
“Breakfast Special,”
Bluegrass Unlimited
, September
1977
,
21
.
102. Kosek, interview.
103. Trischka, interview.
104. Susan Hershey, interview by the author, October 9, 2015.
105. Kosek, interview. For more on
The Citizen Kafka Radio Show
, see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102211299 (accessed November 9,
2016
).
106. Michael, interview.
107. These songs appear on Nickel Creek,
Nickel Creek
, Sugar Hill 3909, 2000, CD.
108. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds.,
The Invention of Tradition
(
Cambridge
:
Cambridge University Press
,
1983
). Various contributors to
The Oxford Handbook of Music Revival
address this issue within the context of music revivals. In her chapter on Finnish folk music revivals, Juniper Hill makes a point that applies very well to New York City experimental bluegrass: “Decontextualization can provide many freedoms–freedom from original communal and cultural constraints, freedom to ignore certain aspects of the tradition that do not suit contemporary tastes or needs” (“Innovation and Cultural Activism through the Reimagined Pasts of Finnish Music Revivals,” in Bithell and Hill,
The Oxford Handbook of Music Revival
, 393–17, 394).
109. Bartenstein, interview.
110. Benjamin Filene,
Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music
(
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
2000
),
141
43
.
111. Stecher, interview.
112. Andy Statman, interview by the author, August 3,
2009
.
113.
“Brash”
is from John D. Rossbach,
“Tony Trischka Hill Country,”
Bluegrass Unlimited
, May
1986
, 48. “Anarch[istic]” is from Mitterhoff, interview.
114. Glaser, interview. Although many would reflexively disagree with Statman’s designation of Monroe as an avant-garde musician, it is worth recalling Monroe’s audacity in applying a jazz-derived model of improvised soloing to the instrumentation of a rural Appalachian dance band.
115. Statman in Trischka, “New Acoustic Music,” 20–21. Of course, a major difference between Monroe and the members of Breakfast Special was the former’s commitment to catering to the aesthetic preferences of southern white working-class audiences. Bithell and Hill make a similar point to Statman in their introductory chapter to
The Oxford Handbook of Music Revival:
“Innovation, if pursued according to certain criteria, may be argued to be just as traditional and authentic as faithful replications of historical pieces” (“An Introduction to Music Revival as Concept, Cultural Process, and Medium of Change,” 3–42, 23).
116. Ben Freed,
“Tony Trischka on Composing for Progressive Bluegrass Banjo,”
Banjo Newsletter
363
(January
2004
):
23
.
117. Cantwell,
Bluegrass Breakdown
, 76,
210
.
118. Fred Bartenstein pointed out to me that the early lineup of the Country Gentlemen was “bold and eclectic,” like the original Blue Grass Boys and Breakfast Special, and that only later versions of the band went on to serve as prototypes for later generations of bluegrass musicians (email message to the author, February 6,
2016
).
119. Glaser, interview.
120. See Risk’s discussion of eclectic fiddle camps and the Boston connection in Risk, “The Chop,” 437,
439
.
121. The Nashville studio scene has included former 1970s newgrass / progressive bluegrass / experimental bluegrass / Dawg musicians such as Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor, Russ Barenburg, Ricky Skaggs, and Sam Bush.
122. Eric Robertson, interview by the author, November 6, 2015.
123. Grant Gordy, interview by the author, August 17, 2015.
124. Much of what these artists play would not be labeled as bluegrass, but their idiosyncratic approaches to bluegrass repertoire exert a powerful influence on aspiring young bluegrass musicians. The band Psychograss, which included Trischka, guitarist David Grier, and David Grisman Quintet alumni Anger, Marshall, and Phillips, incorporated a degree of this “wild” approach as well.
125. See
“Steam Boat Whistle Blues”
on
Aereo-Plain
.

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