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Bob Cherry

The New Millenium - When Technology Replaced Talent

Modern Recording StudioToday, one cannot possibly record a typical album without tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, gadgets, pedals, auto-tune and a myriad of other technologies. Mixing boards consisting of various filters, equalizers, 128 or more channels all feeding digital recorders with the same number of channels. Artists and musicians can be recording each of their respective parts individually -- often in different recording studios and even hundreds of miles apart. That is the evolution of the music that has taken place during the past quarter century.

Bluegrass and the Younger Generation

Fiddlin’ Carson PetersGo to a Bluegrass festival today and observe the audience. It is comprised of people from all walks of life. It is also comprised of people of all age groups. This is encouraging and is probably the result of the new young talent which keeps the Bluegrass blood flowing. This generation of Bluegrass musicians are bringing with them a new generation of listeners.

Cybergrass Celebrates 24 Years of Bluegrass on the Net

CybergrassOn Friday, September 9th, Cybergrass - The Internet's Bluegrass Music News Magazine will celebrate 24 years of promoting bluegrass music on the world wide web. What started out as a learning and research project has evolved into one of the most popular bluegrass web sites in the world. Cybergrass, the world's oldest and highly respected bluegrass music web site, changed over to a new format a few years ago. The site continues to grow even with all the thousands of other bluegrass sites on the web. What a wonderful way to celebrate almost a quarter century of bluegrass information on the web!

I Wrote a Song Once But, I'm Not a Songwriter

SongwritingI view songwriters as those special gifted people who just have a wonderful way with expressing abstract concepts into concrete words. There are those who just excel at it while others struggle. Songwriting is that magical world where a few stand in the clouds, way above us mortals who enjoy and savor their works.

Is Broadcast Radio Fading Away -- Again?

Listening to Old Time RadioI'm a lot like the many of the electronic generation today -- load up the MP3 player, CD Changer, and the Media Server and let MY music play MY way -- without any commercials and annoying talk. I just don't know what the future of radio is. From my point of view (very limited and myopic!) it doesn't look too good for the future of radio. From having been in broadcast radio in the '70s and watching it through the years, I seriously doubt that audience numbers are anywhere close to what they have been in the past. We saw AM radio become an unnecessary commodity when FM and FM-Stereo came along. Now, I believe we're seeing FM also going the way of the dinosaur as digital music takes hold on very small, high-capacity, ligh-weight portable devices that consumers program with their own music tastes and can change as those tastes change. Here is my 20:20 hindsight and my prediction of the future of radio.

World of Bluegrass is Over

The EndBy Bob Cherry
World of Bluegrass is over, all the folks headed home
Tired from excitement, jams and the hallways they roamed
Their instruments all packed snug in their cases
Their memories full of good times and happy smiling faces

The Best Musicians Do Not Guarantee a Great Project

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.

Bluegrass Music Across the Great Urban-Rural Divide

Bluegrass Music Across the Great Urban-Rural DivideBluegrass Music is facing a unique challenge. Here is a genre that was spawned in the Appalachian Mountains of poor immigrants who worked the mines, mills, factories and fields of the region. People existing through the Great Depression. The primary form of entertainment was entertaining themselves with music played on the front porches of the cabins in the hills and hollows. Stringed instruments comprising guitars, banjos an occasional mandolin and such. This is the true roots of bluegrass and old-time music. Based on hard work, family, church and rural living.

We've Lost that Loving Feeling: What Happened to the Music?

Mountain MusicEmmylou Harris pointed out years ago that the soul is lost in today's music. We've lost that front porch or livingroom essence of the music. Today, it is polished, spit-shined, buffed and massaged into what the band/producer perceives as perfection. In the process, we've lost the soul. Why do Charlie Poole, Hylo Brown, Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers, Appalachian and Hillbilly bands endure today more so than many of the top bands in the last 20 years? Because they have that extra piece that isn't comprised of notes or recording techniques. Some of the finest music didn't have the luxury of fancy recording studios, expensive microphones, exotic digital "effects" systems, etc. What they did have is a dimension that has been lost as artists strive for the perfection. They don't realize that their perfection is what hurts their sound.

High Security in a User Friendly Internet World

Insecure WebWhat prompted this article is that my registration on some bluegrass related email and websites has been compromised. I have received various emails that certainly confirm this. If you operate a web site or use a newsletter distribution service, you probably only give it a casual thought about security. What are they going to steal? Why would anybody want to mess with us -- we're too small? What's the worst that can happen? And, other questions. Have you asked about your liability exposure if your assets are compromised? Do you regularly check your logs looking for requests that don't seem right and then, making decisions based on your findings? Probably not.

Orthophonic Joy is a Real Joy

Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions RevisitedOne of the most exciting projects in recording has been released, Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited. Produced by multi-Grammy award winning Carl Jackson, this may be the best recording project of the year. Based on the music of the famed "Bristol Sessions" in 1927 where "Record Man" Ralph Peer created the "Big Bang of Country Music" when he brought his Victor Talking Machines equipment to Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia to record the music of the region. That was 88 years ago and is still significant. Johnny Cash once said that the Bristol Sessions are the single most important event in the history of country music. What Carl Jackson has done is to breathe new life into the Appalachian music of generations ago.

What's the Bluegrass Music Lyrics Grade Level Score?

Bluegrass Lyric Grade LevelIn the recent couple of weeks there have been postings around the internet relating to the education level of pop lyrics, pop country lyrics and other music. One such article (http://bit.ly/1d2NfiG) indicates that Pop Country is in the 3rd Grade elementary school realm. I know it wasn't all this way but then, country music has changed a lot over the past couple of decades.

Who is in Charge of Your Band's PR?

No U-TurnWe have a band, also referred to as the artist, their management, the record label and the press/media agent and maybe some others. All send Public Relations (PR) and promotional material to various organizations for publication or broadcast. It is great to have all these people working to promote the artist. But, what happens if they get out of sync? What happens if they don't communicate with each other? What happens when it all goes wrong?

Why I Don't Turn On the Radio Anymore

No PC RadioThis so-called "Modern Sensitivity," "Political Correctness," or, more accurately, Censorship is one of the reasons I never turn on a radio anymore. I haven't for years. My family also got rid of TV and its propaganda, high-volume ads and junk programming about ten years ago. I politely listen to the music I want to hear from my own collection of music. Thare are No commercials and No politically correct modern sensitivity censorship in my music. I am free to listen to any music I desire and, I do so in absolute freedom. From "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette" by Commander Cody & His Lost Planets Airmen to David Allen Coe's "Rodeo Song" to a whole lot of bluegrass about killing, moonshine, whiskey and more including "Copper Kettle" about joys brewing 'shine.

Simply Put, Simply Bluegrass is Simply Marvelous

 Simply BluegrassCountry Family Reunion has put together a special bluegrass music collection titled, Simply Bluegrass. The collection is a series of programs spread out over 4 DVDs plus a backstage presentation DVD. The series does an excellent job of raising awareness of today's bluegrass music and the artists that drive it. Simply put, Simply Bluegrass is Simply Marvelous.

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