Top 10 Bluegrass Bands – As picked by Honeywagon (Part 1)
Controversy. Intrigue. Excitement. Anticipation. Revelation. These five simple words summarize our first ever top 10 list. Supporters and deniers will all have something to talk about as we present the Top 10 Bluegrass Bands – as picked by Honeywagon. This list is in no way an admission of expertise, we like who we like. You think we left someone off? We wanna hear from you. You think we put someone on who doesn’t deserve it? We wanna hear from you. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here’s our list…
1) Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys. Bill Monroe is known as the father of bluegrass, nay, the creator of the entire genre. No one knew what to call this music Bill was making, music that combined country, blues, improvisation, and string band music. Boasting a roster of over well over 150 players over the course of the life of the band just about anyone who was anyone in the bluegrass world did his stint with the Blue Grass Boys. Check them out playing Uncle Pen HERE.
2) Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. Two things really set this band apart. First, Earl Scruggs basically invented three-finger banjo playing that is the driving force behind so much bluegrass even today. Second, they wrote and performed the theme to “The Beverly Hillbillies”, a song that brought bluegrass into the homes of millions of Americans and households worldwide. Listen to the “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” HERE.
3) Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Dr. Ralph Stanley is one of the most iconic and incredible voices in Bluegrass Music. He had his own style of banjo playing that evolved out of the ‘clawhammer’ technique. One listen to his voice will leave you wanting more. Dr. Ralph Stanley even won a Grammy in 2002 for Best Male Country Vocal performance for his rendition of “O Death” from the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou”. Listen to it HERE.
4) Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. One of the most virtuosic bluegrass groups working today these guys are simply burining! Skaggs’ singing and amazing mandolin playing is complimented by having a group of some of the finest pickers and singers in the world. Listen to them playing “Pig in a Pen” HERE
5) Alison Krauss and Union Station. With her almost other-worldly, crystal clear singing Alison Krauss could have been a star playing with anybody. It just so happened that she got an incredible band including Jerry Douglas (Dobro), Dan Tyminski (guitar), Ron Block (banjo), and Barry Bales (bass). Her multi-platinum success on the soundtrack of “O Brother Where Art Thou” helped usher in a new era of popularity in bluegrass. Listen to them playing “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn” and “Take Me For Longing” HERE.
If you want to check out #6 – #10 check back here soon. The rest of the list is coming in another blog post soon from your friends at Honeywagon!