I’ve been a musician and old-time & bluegrass lover for a long time. I’ve been to a lot of bluegrass festivals. You’ll meet a few strange folks, but by and large, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot of ethnic diversity. There are a lot of “confederate” flags (which, by the way, did you know that the popular “Bars and Stars” was never really the confederate flag?), Jesus worship, white people, and republicans. The political atmosphere even creeps onto the stage a lot of times, especially in the Southern festivals, where you’ll hear musicians talk about the great job Dub-Ya is doing. I can’t stand it when musicians get all political – even when it’s something I agree with (like what a bad job Dub-Ya is doing).
The older the performer, the stronger the chance it’s you’ll get a little republican flag-waving. I heard Jimmy Martin (the year before he died) do a 15-minute bit on George W Bush and talk about this personal letter he got from him and how he got it framed. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to hear Ralph Stanley put a video ad together for Barack:
I haven’t heard Ralph play in a while so I don’t know if he brings this to the stage or not, but I certainly don’t mind nice off-stage endorsements like this. Kinda blows my mind.
I live in Indiana (which thankfully just went blue for the first time since LBJ) and I have to put up with a lot of republican flag waving. That was really awesome.