Episode 84: Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band
Air date: 6.26.2013
Borne of the back woods of Appalachia, bluegrass became a distinct musical style when Bill Monroe combined elements of traditional Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English music with a uniquely American influence and took his show on the road for a career that spanned 60 years. Monroe played this style of music he'd largely invented until the time of his death in 1996. But there are other towering figures in the genre who are still performing in 2013 - currently an octogenarian, Ralph Stanley won a Grammy for his version of "O Death" from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack in 2002 and is still going strong. Younger generations of musicians have followed in Monroe and Stanley's footsteps - sometimes expanding bluegrass and sometimes sticking close to the traditionalist style. Los Angeles' Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band is a new ensemble that falls more into the latter camp of tried and true bluegrass instrumentation, but also pushes its boundaries just a little by reworking some classic rock songs to fit into a more conventional bluegrass framework. The results bring a fresh kind of familiarity to new fans that might not know standards like "Pretty Polly" but do know Neil Young songs. Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band has one EP available, a full performance schedule and they took first place in the California Bluegrass Association's "Great 48 Showcase Showdown" in 2012.
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Live in-studio performances:"For Anna & Sweet Blue-Eyed Darling" "Rocky Road Blues" "Lonesome Pines" "Old Joe Clark"
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