Monday, June 18, 2007

Bluegrass does a body good

Isn't there already a post here like this? Yes. And there will be more. That is because, as a genre, bluegrass (including non-traditional bluegrass) frickin' rocks. As a grass, bluegrass is pretty cool too. Also as a state.

Speaking of the Bluegrass, there are some amazing bands and mp3 blogs that come from here (that does not include this one, obviously. yet). It's something we don't really get credit for, but it is high time we did. Music blogs are, in a way, permeated by the state of Kentucky. Yes, I do realize the irony of that statement; yet, 'tis true. Here, I'll prove it.

One of the biggest, best, and favoritest music blogs on the face of the planet is My Old Kentucky Blog, run by the down-to-earth Dodge. Although Dodge doesn't live in Kentucky currently, he did. Born and grown in Louisville, D-man originally created the blog as "an homage to Kentucky as well as music." Hence the name. Foregoing the pretense and elitism that plagues independent music reviewers, and simply offering up his genuine opinion on what he likes, Dodge has managed to build a large audience and become a frontrunner of the Era Bloggus Audio. You should also check out his Sirius radio show (along with fellow bloggers), and his always solid Cover Project features. Plus, who doesn't like Colonel Sanders photoshopped onto unsuspecting victims?

You Ain't No Picasso is run by Matt Jordan, UK student extraordinaire. Besides running an incredibly popular blog, Matt also works at Lexington's own independent record store, CD Central; DJing the UK college radio station WRFL; and finds time to photograph concerts for Pitchfork. YANP's tastes run a bit on the purer indie side of music. YANP is, I think, one of the major reasons Lexington gets some pretty awesome concerts (be sure not to miss the YANP Anniversary Concert at the Dame featuring Page France, Petticoat Petticoat, and Noisycrane 6/26/07), and why some local bands get great exposure. YANP does some great festival coverage, as well as local concert reviews. Be sure not to miss them.

Another UK student, Nathaniel Gravely is one-half of the stellar I Guess I'm Floating team. A huge blog, with a layout as sweet as their content, IGIF is my defacto blog for up to the minute announcements. Between the two of them, Nathaniel and Connor pretty much cover the entire spectrum. I don't know which one of them creates the banners for their posts, but they make me pretty jealous. They've got some of the best round-up posts out there. Plus, you know, pretty good taste in music.

See? I told you so. I'm sure there are many more blogs from the Commonwealth out there, but these are the "Heavy Hitters." Now, onto bluegrass music (well, kinda).


My good friend Corey Winton turned me on the the Avett Brothers (AY-vet). They are a North Carolina band formed by, well, the Avett brothers--Scott and Seth. After their punk-rock band fell apart, they changed directions completely and delved into alt-country and bluegrass. In 2002 they added double bassist Bob Crawford, during the recording of their first album, Country Was. Since then they have been releasing entire albums every year except 2005, most recently Emotionalism in 2007. Although not bluegrass in the traditional sense, there is no mistaking its influence on their sound. These guys are playing the Dame here in Lexington on 7/26/07, so mark your calendar and show up. To give you a taste here is a video of them playing "Paranoia In Bb Major" on Conan.

[mp3] Avett Brothers - Talk On Indolence

Another band that has been making waves recently is Blitzen Trapper, a seven piece group from Seattle. Adamantly independent, they've self-released all three of their albums. Their most recent offering, Wild Mountain Nation, is featured on Pitchfork and was highly recommended by MOKB. They've really started to pull the strings together and tighten up their sound on this album. "Wild Mountain Nation" is pure Southern rock with a heavy dose of Steve Miller Band. I seriously cannot stop listening to this song. The fact that they can so easily master and blend these genres is astounding.

[mp3] Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation

Rocky Votolato is a folk singer/songwriter who released his fifth studio album this year, The Brag and Cuss. I really haven't gotten to listen to him as much as I would like, but what little I have heard has greatly impressed me. His music evokes images of backporches and rocking chairs.

[mp3] Rocky Votolato - Postcard from Kentucky

Next on the agenda: music and concerts in the Bluegrass.


Autopsy IV said...

check out Old Crow Medicine Show

Autopsy IV said...


i should have scrolled down.

Dodge said...

hey, i just saw this...thanks for the kind words!