My wife sent
me a link to a YouTube video. I was instantly hooked.
This is a family
that plays bluegrass. That is not unique. But this band is.
I want to go
through what makes this venture work. Some things cannot be imitated.
is professionally produced, but anyone with training in lighting
and under $1,000 in equipment could have done it. That is the wonder
of electronics today.
Even if you
don't like bluegrass, watch this. I'll then go through what this
family has going for it.
They are musically
talented: way above average. The dobro work is very good. The arranger
placed it front and center, which was wise. Usually, the banjo is
the heart of bluegrass, with the lead singer playing guitar. Maybe
someone like Bill Monroe can make the mandolin work. But rare is
a dobro front and center. I do not recall ever seeing a bluegrass
lead singer also lead with the dobro. So, the arranger was willing
to try something very different. It works.
the parents are in the background. Momma has a head of hair like
Emmylou Harris does. Lucky her. But she just does the bass work.
The bass is always in the back. The father is a good enough guitarist
to provide rhythm, which is what the guitar is supposed to do.
They put the
kids up front. When the daughters are this pretty, marketing demands
is right: authentic bluegrass. A spectacular lead singer is rare:
Monroe's high-pitched wail or Alison Krauss' incomparable sound.
But the music is basically down-home music, ideal for families and
local performers. It is harmony-based, not solo-based.