Modern bluegrass needs its own category: “Hipstergrass.”
The Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek, back in the 90’s, started the slide, and now every two-bit suspender-wearing degenerate is strumming a banjo, claiming to sing old time music, and wearing the thickest framed glasses he (or she) can find.
Their music is about how bad blacks were treated, or about the “fusion” of urban culture with the surrounding rural landscape. Sara Watkins, the girl from Nickel Creek, has joined up with Sarah Jarosz and formed a group called: “I’m With Her”, for example, an obvious nod towards Hillary. Other groups (like “The Dead South”) are explicit in their views and feature prominent diversity. In all, there’s a new melody resounding around Appalachia (whenever these clowns see fit to visit): Dear white boy…your culture no longer belongs to you.
If I were two ounces more musically inclined, I’d go to war with these people.
I have a cousin who is in the thick of all this. He’s a prominent blues musician and having been indoctrinated at the nearby college, he now tries to educate us backward whites on the history and importance of his chosen genre. Specifically, the blues (according to one of his presentations I attended), were developed as a way for blacks to secretly voice the frustration they felt, living under the unbearable yoke of white domination. It was a way for them to make sly jokes without being lynched by the Klan, which, apparently, was hiding just around every corner.
He’s often encouraged me to check out the “Carolina Chocolate Drops”, a rare band of negro “old time” musicians. My cousin’s entourage approves and have often suggested other “bluegrass” for me to check out. It’s always the same story. Always the same hipstergrass.
There’s a larger point to be made:
Many of these people are really good musicians. Unfortunately, they’ve become acolytes of the new religion. The very people who, in a Christian world, would be making the most beautiful music, are obsessed with praising the devil.
While the situation is bad, there might be hope.
See, these hipstergrass musicians are trying to be the poetic voice of their people, but it’s a major doctrine of their religion to give up any notion of having a “people”. As a result, their songs are nonsensical (in many cases), formulaic, and without spirit. They latch on to jews or blacks (who still have a people) or they sing about vacuous nothings. This can’t last forever. They’ll eventually lose interest whenever a new fad comes around and those with one foot still in that ol’ time religion, will have the field to themselves.
When that happens, we may no longer hear banjos on the radio, but front porches across the South will, once again, sound forth the music of Dixie.