Here’s a thread to offer your recommendations on good current Bluegrass bands. (I’m especially looking for up-and-coming bands here, but feel free to mention your favorite established acts.)
Also, is there a good bluegrass venue in your are you’d like to recommend to your fellow dopers?
I’ll start (it being my thread and all):
I’m in Atlanta, where you can hear live bluegrass every Thursday night at the Red Light Cafe.
Over the past year or so, I’ve heard three very good young bands I’d like to recommend to those who might get a chance to see them:
First up is King Wilkie, a band out of Charlottesville, Virginia, named after Bill Monroe’s horse. These fellows are my top pick, I think. Superior musicianship, and some really fine high harmonies. (Looks like they’ll be playing New York soon. I know we have some dopers up that way who are bluegrass fans, so catch 'em if you can.) I’ve seen them a couple of times and come away impressed. My only complaint is that they don’t seem to make it down my way very often.
Also high on my list are the Steep Canyon Rangers, from Asheville, NC. Luckily, these guys come through Atlanta quite often, and I try to catch them when they do. Some of the best young pickers around, and definitely worth a listen.
And finally I’ll mention a fine group I heard for the first time only this past Thursday: Chatham County Line, from Raleigh, NC. Fine musicians with a good sense of bluegrass tradition. These boys dressed up to play, and gathered tightly around a single microphone, just like the old-timers used to do it. Lead singer’s voice is reminiscent of Levon Helm, I thought. The band had lots of good original material. I recommend 'em. If I’m not mistaken, this group is fairly new to the scene, so get out and support them if you get a chance.
Anyone else have a band or venue they’d like to recommend? Is there an active bluegrass scene in your town?