Friday, September 30, 2011

100 years ago this month...

...the mighty Bill Monroe was born. He invented bluegrass music in the 1940s, which was (and still is) a high-octane fusion of a variety of styles including the Scotch-Irish ballads of his rural Kentucky upbringing, the (often dark and quaint) old hymns of the wee country Baptist churches he attended on Sundays, and of the 'brother duets' tradition which he and his brother Charlie had made famous as The Monroe Brothers, with Charlie on guitar and Bill on mandolin. has posted this article and tribute online, along with an 8 minute audio clip. There's a brilliant 2.34 discussion about the Monroe Brothers, by Chris Thile and Michael Daves, further down the same page - click here to listen.

Bill Monroe often spoke of his Scotch-Irish cultural roots. I hope that this important musical centenary will be acknowledged on our side of the Atlantic in some way, by more than just this casual blog post.



Zdogk9 said...

I had the great good fortune to hear Bill Monroe with Kenny Baker on fiddle, oh my! and then the Balfa Brothers were on the same bill. Forty years gone and if I close my eyes I can still hear it.
Thanks Mark