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Thread: Prog Bands, Bluegrass Influences

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    Prog Bands, Bluegrass Influences

    I’m looking for names of progressive rock bands with bluegrass influences. This could mean bluegrass ensembles, which are made up of instruments such as banjo, fiddle, upright bass, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and percussion, but they play music in a rock or progressive rock style. Or it could mean more traditional rock instrumentation, possibly augmented by one or two bluegrass-type instruments, but they play music that is stylistically bluegrass melded with rock.
    Dan Maske

  2. #2
    Check this out...may be what you're looking for?

    Mark O'Connor – Stone From Which The Arch Was Made
    especially track 2 - Opus 29: Outside The Landscape https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oljnRGWNg8
    "Frozen flaking fish raw nerve...In a cup of silver liquid fire" - Jethro Tull

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Dreadnaught

    A couple more that I will post when they come off the tip of my tongue…..
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    “Remember, if it doesn't say "Cuneiform," it's not prog!” - THE Jed Levin

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Great, great, amazing group [New Grass Revival]. Most folks probably wouldn't know that there was even an entire subgenre of "deep" traditional US modern music called progressive bluegrass in approx. 1975-85, but indeed there actually was - and the NGR being one of its prime exponents. Dave Grisman's various projects certainly belonged as well, as do Peter Rowan's many different formations.

    Sometimes extremely virtuosic calling, theirs was amongst the most challenging and colourful folk music approach ever produced in modern America. Back on first beginning to collect vinyl in the very early 90s I got two of their records, Barren Country and the absolutely magnificent Too Late To Turn Back Now live album. Being a somewhat orthodox believer in the trope of "prog-rock" as a pinnacle of advanced achievement in popular music, I was simply crushed by the supreme musicality involved in a "country" act like NGR. What the hell did I know?

    Of course, Steve Morse and the Dregs were reasonably accomodated with the genre (having inspired it), as was Richard Thompson in the early 80s and a number of other high-profile "prog" names as well, like Kansas (R. Steinhardt was an outspoken NGR-admirer) and later on even Echolyn.

    The band Dreadnaught used to refer to NGR as an influence, as did Gov't Mule and Umphrey's.
    Those New Grass Revival records need to be heard all over. Ravishing group!

    Alec K. Redfearn & the Eyesores certainly reach for the bluegrass tackle on The Smothers Party and Sister Death (especially). As do Jack O' the Clock, particularly on the Repetitions Of the Old City records. Dreadnaught on The American Standard - an absolutely awesome work no matter what you read into it!

    Some of Ron Anderson's zany compositions for his PAK project tends in a bluegrass direction.

    The late and great Charles Vrtacek was an outspoken admirer of bluegrass musicians, as far as I recall from an interview from many years back. You can hear faint traces of it in his Forever Einstein catalog.

    Boud Deun were informed directly by the 'grass but still came across like a heavy/technical fusion bonanza-band.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post

    Boud Deun were informed directly by the 'grass but still came across like a heavy/technical fusion bonanza-band.
    Good catch! Seconded!

    Greg (violinist) came out of (and I believe went back to) the bluegrass world.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    “Remember, if it doesn't say "Cuneiform," it's not prog!” - THE Jed Levin

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

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    The Jon Stickley Trio, who just played Progday (and went over very well) is the band that immediately comes to mind for me. Their latest album is very good and definitely has some interesting chord progressions and compositions that have some progressive influences. As Jon Stickley said onstage: "usually we're the weird band at the bluegrass festival. Today, we're the bluegrass band at the weird festival"



    Neil

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    Fright Pig!
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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Punch Brothers straddle the line fairly often. They cover some modern music, radiohead for one, in a pretty convincing manner.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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  10. #10
    Phish is neither prog nor bluegrass but they have prog songs and bluegrass songs (sort of).

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    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Mark O'Connor's 1985 album Meanings Of is a great listen. Mark is a master of string instruments and this album features some great tunes and high energy playing. Rod Morgenstein plays drums on a couple tracks and the rest is all Mark on acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, violin, and bass.

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    The Steve Howe Album has a heavy bluegrass influence.

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    OP is asking for band names but I'll sneak in a song name: Speedway at Nazareth. Here's my definitive version:
    https://youtu.be/DEXR0ynNdFQ

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    Oh it's not prog...by the way. Oops :-)

  15. #15
    The "Strength in Numbers" album is a newgrass supergroup, that compositionally is close.
    David Grisman's album Mondo Mando is probably his closest fit to this thread.

  16. #16
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Prog more than Bluegrass:

    Stars In Battledress



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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    ^ Love that Stars in Battledress....beautiful.

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Dan....the new Bela Fleck album called My Bluegrass Heart is definitely traditional bluegrass at heart, but incredibly well-played and contains several moments with grooves in 5/8, 7/8, etc....so some progressive elements but still you can ultimately trace this back to Bill Monroe . It's a BEAUTIFUL album, and the cd version is two discs with a ton of music (more than the vinyl for sure). As an orchestra teacher, the fiddle solo by Stuart Duncan in this tune just blows my head apart:

    https://youtu.be/H84Ast4cZMo

  20. #20
    Probably hasn't been mentioned because he's too obvious, but Béla Fleck... obviously.

    Tony Furtado gets into prog territory sometimes. https://youtu.be/Xkc1kaUfv6U?t=1417 Start around 23:37 for an example.

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming, if you can.
    This has been my favorite, so far: https://youtu.be/SJ5fmTC3qMs

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    Quote Originally Posted by boilk View Post
    The Jon Stickley Trio, who just played Progday (and went over very well) is the band that immediately comes to mind for me. Their latest album is very good and definitely has some interesting chord progressions and compositions that have some progressive influences. As Jon Stickley said onstage: "usually we're the weird band at the bluegrass festival. Today, we're the bluegrass band at the weird festival"



    Neil
    I will 2nd Neil's comments. These guys were great at ProgDay and the "Scripting The Flip" album is really good.

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    Two artists from my neck of the woods that might fight what you are looking for would be Billy Strings and Green Sky Bluegrass. Both are definitely more bluegrass than prog, but they do have experimental tendencies that separate them from the bluegrass pack.

  24. #24
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    How could I forget Stash Wyslouch? The "Anton Webern" of bluegrass

    https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OL...L0nfMeNBfjf7Sk

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    Member proggy_jazzer's Avatar
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    This may be off-base from the OPs intentions, but I only recently became aware of Sam Amidon (through reading the new Bill Frisell bio), and he seems to me to be an artist who crosses several boundaries and at least touches on bluegrass and folk while exhibiting (IMO) progressive tendencies. Check this out:

    David
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