I have recently found an interview with David Grisman (Live on the Jake Feinberg Show) where he talked about the recording of the Bluegrass Album with Red Allen and Frank Wakefield in 1964. He later talks about his projects with Jerry Garcia.
This interview inspired me to look back to the early 1960s and how Bluegrass was like then.
The album was produced for Smithsonian Folkways Records. Grisman (born in 1945) was just 19 years old when he produced this record. Wakefield had a great influence to Grisman who says the he learned alle tha mandolin solos a played by Frank Wakefield.
Allen and Wakefield’s music ranges from strictly traditional songs like “Little Maggie” to pieces introduced by Bill Monroe to sacred material, all with their hallmark close harmonies and tight instrumental backing. Like Monroe and Roscoe Holcomb, Allen’s voice embodies the “high lonesome” sound.
Grisman had invited Red Allen and Frank Wakefield to play a concert at the Carnegie Hall before.
Bluegrass (1964) – Red Allen und Frank Wakefield
David Grisman especially was inspired by a song from the album “Mountain Music Bluegrass Style” – The White House Blues by Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys. They had to drive to New York to buy records like this. He says abou when he listened to this song for the very first time: “That changed my life”
Tunefox is a new web and app based learning tool for bluegrass instruments. I was asked by Bennett Sullivan to present tunefox in my blog.
Tunefox is primaily a web and app based learning tool for banjo, mandolin, guitar and bass. To use all the features of tunefox you need to subscribe.
As a subscriber you get access to the app or website with tutorials for many Bluegrass tunes. For each tune you can select between different levels of difficulty and between different playling styles. You can try the free tunes Cripple Creek and Worried Man Blues on the website.
To learn the tune you can play along the TABs, change the playback speed and shuffle the licks of the tune which can create many different solo versions for each tune.
You can also use the free beginner lessons, blog posts, youtube videos and other resources of tunefox without paying.
Tunefox is presented in the following introduction video:
Salt Creek Advanced Mandolin Solo
Tunefox will have it’s first Tunefox Camp with Mike Compton as mandolin instructor and other experienced Bluegrass instructors in May 2019. You can find detailed information about the tunefox camp on the tunefox website.
Valerie Smith and her Band Liberty Pike have played in Germany for several times. Valerie Smith has written several great Bluegrass songs, and she has played with many great Bluegrass musicians. Her discography lists currently 14 albums, the latest album “Small Town Heroes” will be published soon.
This year she played again at the IBMA convention.
I have compiled a Playlist with a selection of older and newer videos.