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Gems of Bluegrass

Series produced by Philip Nusbaum

Series image

short modules about bluegrass music

Each under 5-minutes, highly produced "Gems of Bluegrass" module discusses a key element of bluegrass music. Some Gems of Bluegrass relate to a particular bluegrass style or sub style, repertoire, commonplace bluegrass themes, playing techniques or study the work of a particular artist.

Each Gem of Bluegrass contains snips of music taken from CD, along with Phil Nusbaum's commentary. Phil is an experienced radio producer, bluegrass scholar and bluegrass performer.

Each Gem of Bluegrass also appears on the Bluegrass Review broadcast with the same number. (The Bluegrass Review is a one-hour bluegrass show available free of charge from PRX, or from Phil Nusbaum. For information on the show, see the Bluegrass Review listing on Phil Nusbaum's section of the PRX website or go to www.bluegrassreview.com.

Gems of Bluegrass fit well on established Bluegrass or folk shows, and can be used to forward promote the Bluegrass Review. Hide full description

Each under 5-minutes, highly produced "Gems of Bluegrass" module discusses a key element of bluegrass music. Some Gems of Bluegrass relate to a particular bluegrass style or sub style, repertoire, commonplace bluegrass themes, playing techniques or study the work of a particular artist. Each Gem of Bluegrass contains snips of music taken from CD, along with Phil Nusbaum's commentary. Phil is an experienced radio producer, bluegrass scholar and bluegrass performer. Each Gem of Bluegrass also appears on the Bluegrass Review broadcast with the same number. (The Bluegrass Review is a one-hour bluegrass show available free of charge from PRX, or from Phil Nusbaum. For information on the show, see the Bluegrass Review listing on Phil Nusbaum's section of the PRX website or go to... Show full description


354 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
What is traditional about bluegrass lyrics? The definition of tradition usually has to do with continuing something over time. Some bluegrass songs...

  • Added: Mar 13, 2017
  • Length: 07:47
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Who enjoys work? Old-time farmers? That was a work all the time existence on the family farm. It had its satisfactions such as working with nature ...

  • Added: Feb 09, 2017
  • Length: 07:18
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Back in the 1930 era, farm work engaged most members of the old time music audience, and it of course was hard work, and it could be 24/7. The sin...

  • Added: Feb 06, 2017
  • Length: 07:57
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Back in the 1930 era, farm work engaged most members of the old time music audience, and it of course was hard work, and it could be 24/7. The sin...

  • Added: Jan 31, 2017
  • Length: 07:57
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Some view traditional music styles as singular, insulated from other styles. And that has been true at certain times in certain places. But owing t...

  • Added: Jan 23, 2017
  • Length: 06:03
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Sitting on top of the world has been around a long time. The song was written by Walter Vinson and Sam Chatmon, members of the blues group, the Mis...

  • Added: Jan 10, 2017
  • Length: 05:55
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Old Joe Clark has been around forever seemingly. It’s used as a square dance tune, so that helps keep it around. That it crooked and difficult to l...

  • Added: Dec 31, 2016
  • Length: 07:21
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Old time music has the reputation of looking at it’s own history for inspiration. But it has also has a cutting edge. In general, cutting edges in ...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2016
  • Length: 05:15
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Much of the heated dialog among bluegrass fans concerns new approaches that are evolving. But when new approaches evolve, it does not mean that the...

  • Added: Nov 11, 2016
  • Length: 05:38
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Merle Haggard. His dates are 1937 to 2016. He was not a bluegrass performer, but he was loved by bluegrass artists and people. Now that he is gone,...

  • Added: Nov 05, 2016
  • Length: 06:41
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Fall is Beautiful, right? Well, we hear about it in bluegrass songs, but those beautiful falling leaves are usually meant to symbolize something el...

  • Added: Oct 18, 2016
  • Length: 06:12
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
All end of relationship songs involve personal tragedy but some have circumstances that really capture our attention. This was as true hundreds of ...

  • Added: Sep 24, 2016
  • Length: 06:00
Caption: Philip Nusbaum, Credit: Karen Van Norman
There’s a lot in bluegrass song lyrics. And yes, we know that many people use bluegrass music as the background to whatever else is going on, or ev...

  • Added: Sep 05, 2016
  • Length: 06:46
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Through electronic manipulation, many kinds of music bands can be recorded so that all of the instruments can be heard. Walls of sound have detract...

  • Added: Aug 20, 2016
  • Length: 06:55
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
In every style of music there’s a cutting edge and a musical history. In Bluegrass they both matter.

  • Added: Aug 06, 2016
  • Length: 05:14
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
The Cuckoo Bird is a very old song. It’s iconic recorded version is done solo, but in recent years, it’s evolved into a group song.

  • Added: Jul 20, 2016
  • Length: 06:31
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Frank Wakefield. He is one of the most compelling figures in the history of Bluegrass. He is over 80 now, but sees no reason to quit performing and...

  • Added: Jul 12, 2016
  • Length: 04:54
Caption: Phil w/ 2013 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
By the turn of the twenty-first century, Ralph Stanley had become synonymous with traditional bluegrass. After world war two in the late 1940s, Ral...

  • Added: Jun 30, 2016
  • Length: 05:56
Caption: Phil w/ 2013 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
Bluegrass is the season everybody waits for, so there must be a lot of songs about it, right? Well, no. But it’s still the bluegrass season .

  • Added: Jun 26, 2016
  • Length: 06:01
Caption: Phil w/ 2013 Zeitfunk , Credit:  Karen Van Norman
The piece shows that despite that bluegrass is considered a singular styles, it actually stems from a variety of cultural traditions.

  • Added: Jun 16, 2016
  • Length: 08:34