What’s your vision of the future of bluegrass?
May 17, 2017
Not long after the last notes rang out over the grounds of Merlefest and the festival gates swung shut for the thirtieth year in a row, we received a thoughtful note at Sam Band HQ from Carolina comedian and actor Bob Serrone. In part, it read:
“The single greatest performance I have ever seen was Sam Bush Band at Merlefest for the 30th Anniversary celebration. It was great to know Sam played at the first Fest and to see how the festival had grown from a stage on a flatbed truck to the state of the art venue it is today...I felt I was transported back to 1987, backstage with Sam and others, and the conversation of ‘What will Bluegrass be like 30 years from now?’ was being discussed.
“Next thing I know I am transported to the ‘future’ and here is old Sam playing true-to-form Bluegrass on contemporary instruments complete with digital sound and a modern light show! Every note was Bluegrass but everything was surreal; futuristic. I was waiting for George Jetson to fly by in his car! The use of the drums, electric guitars combined with banjo, fiddle and mandolins were the perfect marriage of Bluegrass roots and modern technology that, I believe, would have left Jerry Garcia in awe!”
Thinking about Merlefest’s journey, from that first festival on the flatbed trailer to today’s multi-stage extravaganza, got us going...Sam has done his part to help shape the future of bluegrass and introduce new elements into those ancient tones. But where do you see the music heading in the next 30 years? What sort of innovations do you imagine just around the corner? And what elements do you think will always be a part of bluegrass as it continues to grow?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below...
Sam Bush Band by Jim Gavenus
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