Not Grass

We went to the Ark last night to see a bluegrass, newgrass, acoustic, oh heck I don’t know what they were. They had a fiddle, a 10 string thing that looked like a baritone uke, an electric upright bass, a banjo and a guitar. Everything was plugged in. Papa said, “The only thing missing was the drum.”

So the band played some music on a stage that is in an acoustically good room, where you hardly need mics. They played it a high volume through mics with plugged in instruments. Each song seemed to go on and on, with no end or beginning. Each time I’d get ready to get up, they would play something that gave me hope. Well, twice they played something that gave me hope, but even the songs that were comfortable didn’t sound right. There was no rhythm, no drive, no reliable beat, it simply didn’t fit my definition of bluegrass. I like and listen to music other than bluegrass, but it is mostly acoustic, or old time, or old country. What we heard was none of those, either.

There is an audience for this music, they were there. The hooted, hollered and yelled. They sang along. And in that audience were Papa and I and a friend of ours who does sound for a number of bluegrass festivals. We are fans of bluegrass, we like the drive, the unplugged instruments, the beat, the harmonies. We didn’t hear any of that. We didn’t even hear the couple of songs from the group that are featured on satellite radio. What we did hear made the newest of the new Cherryholmes music seem “grassy”. Our friend was uncomfortable, and left before we did, saying, “I’ve got a long drive.”

It’s been a long time since we’ve walked out on a show, but we did this one. I finally went to the restroom, put on my coat and met Papa in the hall. There were a few others leaving as we did. I hope those that were there watching Cadillac Sky at the Ark enjoyed it, and heard what they expected. I just wish that this type of music wouldn’t be called bluegrass, since most of the people who like it wouldn’t care for the music, styles and performers normally heard at bluegrass festivals and shows.

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