Bluegrass Review Jan 13-Jan 19, 2018 (second hour) #1703

Bluegrass lyrics frequently reside in small towns. Our show today opens with some songs about small towns. Some celebrate them, while others offer graphic depictions of them. You can view bluegrass singing and instrumental playing as lead lines with accompaniments. But what happens if you take away the accompaniment? You might get some interesting effects. Later on the broadcast, we present a musical conversation with Pacific northwest folk music curators Phil and Vivian Williams. Today, we talk about 1900-era old-time fiddling, at the time absorbing a lot of influence from pop music. Finally, we play a few examples of contemporary guitar-driven acoustic music.

Song Artist CD Label
Goin’ Home Today Carolina Blue Goin’ Home Today

Small Towns

Song Artist CD Label
Small Town Heroes Valerie Smith Small Town Heroes Bell Buckle
Boom Town Michael and Jennifer McLain Hit the Road and Go
A Bible and a Bus Ticket Home Wildfire Rented Room on Broadway Pinecastle

Gems of Bluegrass: Gem of Bluegrass: The Role of Accompaniment

Song Artist CD Label
Coo Coo Bird Clarence Ashley Greenback Dollar County
Swingin’ a Nine Pound Hammer Mac Martin & the Dixie Travelers 24 Bluegrass Favorites Rural Rhythm
Big Country Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Mike Marshall Uncommon Ritual Sony Classical
Lake Flora Tony Trischka Territory Smithsonian Folkways


Song Artist CD Label
Photographs Cricket Tell the Weather Tell the Story Right
Suspicious Minds Holly Norman Taking Care of Bluegrass


I’m Troubled Karl Shifflett Sho ‘Nuff Country Patuxent

Phil and Vivian Williams Interview: Pop Influence in 1890’s Northwest Traditional Fiddling

Whistling Rufus Gary Johnson Play Me Something Quick and Devilish Voyager
Nelly Bly Phil and Vivian Williams Pioneer Dance Tunes Voyager
Les Rats Quadrille Phil and Vivian Williams and Terry Wergeland The Haynes Family Manuscript Voyager
Sallie Water Phil and Vivian Williams and Terry Wergeland The Haynes Family Manuscript Voyager

Guitar Driven ‘Grass

Why Do You Treat Him Like You Do Jim Hurst Trio JHT-1
I Didn’t Think I Was Gonna Jordan Tice Horse Country Patuxent
She’s No Angel Northern Connection Patuxent
Shenandoah Valley Breakdown Northern Connection Shenendoah Breakdown Patuxent

Contact Phil
Phil Nusbaum’s CD The Dark Before the Storm is available at

Contact Phil and Vivian Williams:

Contact our supporters

Hoffman Guitars: (hand crafted Hoffman guitars, authorized Martin repairs)

Minnesota Bluegrass & Old Time Music Association, (a membership organization supporting bluegrass festivals, concerts, membership jams and other activities)

John Waddle Violins: (Dealer of international & domestic, new & old violins, bows, cases)

To Stream this show, go to


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