Category Archives: Bluegrass

July 18: Ricky Skaggs was born in 1954

ricky scaggs


July 18: Ricky Skaggs was born in 1954

I can’t control the wind but I can adjust the sail.
~Ricky Skaggs

I hate negative songs; I won’t sing them. It doesn’t matter if it’s sold 2 million more albums.
~Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs has often said that he is “just trying to make a living” playing the music he loves.  But it’s clear that his passion for it puts him in the position to bring his lively, distinctively American form of music out of isolation and into the ears and hearts of audiences across the country and around the world.  Ricky Skaggs is always forging ahead with cross-cultural, genre-bending musical ideas and inspirations.
~Bio (

Get Up John:

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The Best Songs: Man of Constant Sorrow


The Best Songs: Man of Constant Sorrow

Oh, six long years I’ve been in trouble,
No pleasure here on earth I found.
While in this world, I’m bound to ramble,
I have no friends to help me out.

Man of Constant Sorrow” (also known as “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow“) is a traditional American folk song first recorded by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky. The song was originally recorded by Burnett as “Farewell Song” printed in a Richard Burnett songbook, about 1913. An early version was recorded by Emry Arthur in 1928.

Emry Arthur – Man of Constant Sorrow (1928):

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Video of the day: The Joy of Country music BBC documentary


This celebration of the history and aesthetic of country music tracks the evolution of the genre from the 1920s to the present, exploring country as both folk and pop music – a 20th century soundtrack to the lives of working-class Americans in the South, forever torn between their rural roots and a mostly urban future, between authenticity and showbiz.

Exploring many of the great stars of country from Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams to Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton, director Andy Humphries’s meditation on the power and pull of country blends brilliant archive and contributions from a broad cast that includes Dolly Parton, the Handsome Family, Laura Cantrell, Hank Williams III, Kd lang and many more.

If you have ever wondered about the sound of a train in the distance, the keening of a pedal steel guitar, the lure of rhinestone or the blue Kentucky hills, and if you want to know why twang matters, this is the documentary for you.

The film is a bit harsh when discussing the future of country music, but it is one of the better docus on the genre (the four part BBC series, The Lost Highway is still the benchmark).

– Hallgeir

Today: Carter Stanley passed away in 1966 47 years ago

Carter+Ralph Stanley

“That was Carter Stanley, the forgotten Stanley Brother, the one who died young without ever getting a decent payday, much less an armful of Grammys. In bluegrass circles, his star has never dimmed, and for good reason. Without Carter, there would have been no Stanley Brothers, perhaps the most revered brother act in country music history. Carter was the founding member and the driving force, while kid brother Ralph, at least in the early years, mostly tagged along for the ride.”

– The Washington Post (about the forgotten Stanley brother)

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