Today, I sense a bit of panic within the community because people who love and live Bluegrass are suddenly hard pressed to define it. Well, as we all learned in our youth, the answer to any question is ,"Look it up." My dictionary says Bluegrass is: " a kind of country music influenced by jazz and blues and characterized by virtuosic playing of banjos and guitars and high-pitched, close-harmony vocals." Another definition is "... grown for fodder." While the first definition would satisfy most people , I believe the second might serve our group better. Why? Because one use of the word fodder means food, another is to feed and still another one is an excess of the expendable, i.e. "cannon fodder. Although I like to think we use our fodder as grist for the mill of discussion, others may seize a clump and fire it off in defense of a position and some people just eat as much as they can but can never get enough. Then we have this. A long time friend and some time band mate tells a humorous story which ends with a man saying "David, Bluegrass is a hard, driving music." Through the years when one of us might be a bit off track, the other could just drop that line out of the blue and all would be better. It got to the point where almost anything, from angry words to hurt feelings or even an awful showing on stage, could be set aside by someone striking mock serious and quoting that old saw. Didn't even have to have a Dave present; just the words would do it. The music has that power.
So there, Bluegrass is a hard, driving music that you can live, eat and use as a weapon. The IBMA shindig? Well that's like the flu season, or a Texino broadcast; you know it's coming, but you can't really judge how deadly it was until it's over. My advice ? Sea por favor tranquil mis amigos and smile when you see a big German Bass.
*note I don't know if this instrument is real or as a French person might say, " de de la tête"
It does exist in a story I have where the "double bass" is used to hide a small child or move other things around wartime Europe, and I have been inside and all through the instrument in such detail, I might as well have made the thing in real life.