Joe Diffie, Patty Loveless, Dolly Parton Go Bluegrass
Jessica Phillips | October 1, 2009
Rock acts go country, and country acts go...bluegrass?
Country music seems to have become a pasture for artists who are no longer making big hit songs in the pop/rock charts (for example, Jessica Simpson, Jon Bon Jovi
, and Darius Rucker
). Of course, some artists (like Rucker) have had more credibility and success than others. So where do country music artists that are no longer making big hits on the country charts turn for more radio and sales success? Bluegrass music.
Last night's International Bluegrass Music Association at the Nashville Convention Center showcased artists like David Peterson and Joe Diffie. Peterson's set was more country than bluegrass, and admittedly so. "Bluegrass music is an artform. Most bluegrass musicians I know love all kinds of music, so thank you for letting me bring my country music here," Peterson said.
As for Diffie, it's hard to imagine the same guy who sang '90s country hits like "Third Rock From the Sun," "Is It Cold In Here," and "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)" singing bluegrass. Diffie is set to release a currently untitled bluegrass album next year on Rounder Records.
Another '90s country darling, Patty Loveless, has always had some Kentucky twang in her voice that fits well in the bluegrass world. She released Mountain Soul in 2001 and just released the follow-up, Mountain Soul II this week.
"18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses" singer Kathy Mattea is hosting this years International Bluegrass Music Association Awards show, after releasing a well-received bluegrass album.
And of course, who can forget Dolly Parton, who took Collective Soul's "Shine" and make it a country/bluegrass gem? She released The Grass is Blue and Little Sparrow, which are the most bluegrass she's ever sounded.
Vince Gill also released a bluegrass record as part of his These Days four-disc collection.
Whenever I am missing my favorite country artists, I look to see them moonlighting in the bluegrass world.