March 2010

George Jones as Hillbilly R&B

There’re varying degrees of country music’s appreciation. Of course the radio ready, truck driving Americans that make up most of the factory workers in the States (none of that’s substantiated, but it was in my head) eat up whatever denim clad, beer drinker in a cowboy hat has to offer. And while there’s still a steady stream of grittier, lower profile country acts out there, it seems that there’re folks who reference something like ‘hardcore country’ when speaking on older acts. But distinguishing between Hank Williams and Hank Snow is occasionally problematic. Either way, what that oddly phrased, pseudo genre is attempting to relate is country’s place in relation to rock and roll and its development during the ‘50s and early ‘60s.

Nashville Bluegrass Band - Twenty Year Blues (Sugar Hill, 2004)

It’s rather difficult to differentiate between traditional bluegrass and what is commonly referred to as progressive. Such an antiquated genre leaves little room for growth or experimentation. Apart from Sam Bush, I’m gonna say that most progressive bluegrass stylings sound only slightly different than a traditional mode.

The Nashville Bluegrass Band are considered progressive and while they offer a good deal more style than most current bluegrass acts, I can’t commit myself to saying that its are beyond the norm – that band’s not moving the genre forward. The group is however putting out really fine recordings after more than two decades in the music business.