[Harp-L] More grass

Hey David,

First, my deep respect for being able to play note perfect swinging
bluegrass music on a C chromatic in all the bluegrass keys - WOW!!!

You are so right about the "rub".  How much "grass" and how much "blue"
should be mixed into the recipe? Though I learned to play bluegrass and old
time while living in West Virginia I now live here in NYC, a jazz town. I
was once at a gig where we followed a jazz band and as it turned out their
guitar player also played bluegrass.  He made an interesting observation and
comparison about jazz and bluegrass, that is that they are both styles that
require virtuosity, the ability to play the "head" straight and be able to
improvise at blistering tempos while remaining totally relaxed. When I'm
playing "old time" (which I actually prefer to bluegrass due to its ensemble
nature) I play note for note with the fiddler, no riffing, no blues.  But
when I play with a bluegrass band I take my cues more from Bill Monroe than
from say Doyle Lawson who though I love doesn't weave much blues into his
grass.  Bill on the other had a ragged, jumpy, deeply bluesy approach - non
of that smooth grass that's become so popular. In my opinion to gain respect
in that world we as harp players have to spend the time in the woodshed,
learn those great old songs and fiddle tunes then when its time to solo,
play what's in your heart and tear it up!

Trip Henderson

Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:57:44 -0800
From: David Naiditch <davidnaiditch@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] BLUEgrass

And there's the rub.  The fact we have drudge up examples going back many
decades illustrate how the harmonica has failed to make any significant
inroads into bluegrass.  I remember buying the Flat & Scruggs/Doc
Watson/Charlie McCoy album and hoping the harmonica would finally be more
accepted by bluegrass musicians.  No such luck.  After decades of trying to
introduce blues into bluegrass, we need to consider adding more grass to our
harmonica playing—enjoy inhaling ;-)

Trip Henderson

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