The personal website of Chris Coyier

A Quick and Useless History of Bluegrass

In the world of country/bluegrass, there was a time when Bill Monroe’s music was new and radical:

Then it started to sound typical. Then bands like The Country Gentlemen came along and, while they pay homage to bluegrass roots, were the new radical:

Bands like the Seldom Scene took it further (they had John Duffey in common):

Today, Seldom Scene kinda just sounds like “traditional bluegrass,” especially if you don’t listen to a lot of this stuff. I’d say the next major stretching of genre was bands like Yonder Mountain String Band who do some pretty out-there stuff but in most of their songs generally still sound like a bluegrass band.

Unless you are specifically trying to replicate it, I’m not sure there is “bluegrass” anymore. Bands like IIIrd Tyme Out are super good but are specifically trying to hang on to a sound of bluegrass from a time gone by.

Trampled by Turtles is similar:

Only time will tell, but I think the “right now” times will be looked at in the future as being defined by bands like the Punch Brothers: