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The Best Musicians Do Not Guarantee a Great Project

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Bluegrass RecipesWe have seen it on the silver screen when top actors in an expensive production end up making a very lackluster movie. The film just falls flat. All the ingredients were there but the recipe was way off. We see the same thing in bluegrass music. Some collaborations may bring top caliber instrumentalists together but, if the recipe and the seasoning are not good for the bluegrass palate, then things can end up bland at best. Surprisingly, it does happen.

Just because you have the best bluegrass musicians to make a bluegrass album, one ingredient that is essential is to make sure and include some bluegrass music. This should be obvious but for some reason, it slips by the producer occasionally. Even some of the best in the industry collaborate on a project, things can and do go wrong.

One type of situation where this may be pronounced is solo albums. An artist gathers a bunch of great other artists to assist them in a solo presentation. It only takes one artist that doesn't mesh well with the rest to impact the entire project. While all artists are excellent masters of their instrument, their individual styles may not blend well on this particular project.

Another area is when we have a non-bluegrass artist cutting a bluegrass album. It is rare that this ever works. The majority are just the artist's own style performing with bluegrass instruments. Just because all the instruments are there does not mean you have bluegrass music. Over the years there have been numerous attempts by country artists trying to put together a bluegrass album. While one or two songs may come close, the majority fail hit the mark. As a result, these are the albums that pop up for a week or two and then fade away into obscurity and are never mentioned again.

The bluegrass albums that endure the test of time and are found in continuous airplay year after year after year are those where the entire band has it all together and it functions as a fine Swiss watch. The here today and forgotten tomorrow bands are the ones where the recipe was missing some critical element. These are things that one easily can point out. You hear it when it works. One doesn't necessarily hear what is missing when it is lacking.

The songs and the songwriter certainly have a lot to do with the success of any project but, the band must make the song work. Just as many a great film had a great story under it, many a great song fails to endure because of the arrangement and presentation. And, the mix of artists for that particular song.

Some of the more successful albums have a producer that is in tune with this concept. These are albums where you may find a different instrumentalist on some tracks. That is done to make the particular track work. A great producer recognizes these nuances and also knows which artists can add the right flavor to the song to make it an outstanding song.

If you're contemplating putting together a collaboration project, select the artists that complement the songs and enhance the beauty of the music. Listen to some of the albums that didn't work so that you can ensure that yours will. It isn't as easy as it sounds.

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