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Bluegrass Tribute Bands & Albums

Updated on May 25, 2008

The Litmus Test For Music

I'd always claimed, with cultural pride, that any song could be played bluegrass style and still be great. It's a litmus test of music, for me. When the opportunity to buy Hayseed Dixie's "Kiss My Grass" for a dollar came my way, I couldn't resist - and from that album came my love of Bluegrass Tribute.I love the musicianship, and the homage of one musician to another; but most of all, I love the whimsy. 

Why Bluegrass As A Tribute Medium?

"Bluegrass music sings the tale of people stuck between heaven and hell, the farm and the city and love and hate."

blurb from Fade To Bluegrass - The Bluegrass Tribute to Metallica

How can someone hear a band like Metallica or AC/DC and think "bluegrass"? Well, the music isn't so different, really.

Both styles:

  • Require expert musicianship.
  • Evoke an intense emotional response.
  • Lyrically deal with death, pain, agony, mistrust, harsh realities, insanity, gore, and murder.
  • Have a bawdy sense of humor, particulary about sex.
  • Often touch on magic, dreams, or altered mental states.

About Hayseed Dixie, My First Bluegrass Tribute Experience

"From the fertile valley of Deer Lick Holler, deep in the heart of Appalachia, comes a sound that is old yet new. In an area completely isolated from outside cultural and musical influence, this band of acoustic musicians grew up playing the traditional music of their forefathers. Then, as fate would have it, one crisp fall afternoon, a stranger passed through the holler. Well, he almost made it through. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for appreciators of great music worldwide, the stranger crashed his car into a stately old oak tree at Devil's Elbow Curve. Sadly, the stranger expired, but his legacy lives on. For under the back seat of his car, the boys found some old black vinyl records as they went through his belongings looking for identification. All they had to listen to them on was an old Edison Victrola that only played at 78 R.P.M., but the boys all agreed it was some mighty fine country music. So, in memory of the stranger who had perished the boys set about learning these songs . . . "

from the liner notes of A Hillbilly Tribute To AC/DC

(bear in mind that story-telling is a revered Appalachian art)

Hayseed Dixie

Final Thoughts

Since the first bluegrass tribute album, the genre has kudzued with several "A Bluegrass Tribute To" series of various qualities. If you decide to give it a try, look for albums from bands that formed with the sole purpose of expressing homage to their favorite music (to listen to) through their favorite music to perform.

After all, it's for the love.

~~~

Y'all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

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    • profile image

      7thStone 5 years ago

      Just had to check out your lens ... I'm not typically a blue grass fan, but I LOVE Hayseed Dixie. I was really excited to find your lens! Nice job :)

    • Deeringboy LM profile image

      Deeringboy LM 9 years ago

      Great idea! I too like Hayseed Dixie. When I first found the tribute to AC/DC I couldn't believe it. I lent it to friends and they really enjoyed it also. I didn't know there was a tribute to Metallica. I'll be looking for it for sure. Thanx - Deeringboy