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Bluegrass Covers Rock

by Jim Allen  |  May 1, 2014


Don't try to put bluegrass in a box and close the lid -- the mountain sounds of a fiddle, banjo and mandolin picking up a storm aren't exclusive to material from the trad grass playbook. As far back as the '60s and the dawn of "progressive bluegrass" acts like The Dillards and The Country Gentlemen, tunes from the rock realm have been getting grassed up. Once the horse was out of the barn, the border between bluegrass and rock 'n' roll remained a blur, whether Hayseed Dixie were pumping out back-porch versions of AC/DC hits or Psychograss was making good on their name by turning Jimi Hendrix's psychedelic freakouts into full-blown bluegrass outings. Hell, sometimes even the rockers themselves have gotten into the act -- one of the more memorable culture clashes of its kind came when David Lee Roth joined in with John Jorgenson's band for a furious, fiddle-fueled take on the Van Halen hit "Jump."

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