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Donald Teplyske I have been a roots and bluegrass music writer for twenty years, having also hosted bluegrass radio and presented concerts. I currently write for Country Standard Time and Exclaim! while maintaining a blog at I'm proud to be a member of the Polaris Music Prize Jury. Please contact me at

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Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Donald Teplyske  |  October 20, 2020

Over the last several nights, as I've shut my brain down preparing for sleep, I've been reading the recently published list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Starting backward at 500, I read the entries a couple or four pages nightly. I finished the last 135 last night. After several evenings of reading, the last several pages were more skimmed than read, and ...

IBMA Awards, 2020- Donald's Recap

Donald Teplyske  |  October 7, 2020

WARNING: Contains less snark than normal. The International Bluegrass Music Association handed out its annual awards last week, and while I am significantly less invested in them than I once was—I haven't been a voting member in years, and outside of Dale Ann Bradley and The Special Consensus, I don't really care who gets the recognition; that would change if Chris Jones & the ...

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, 2020

Donald Teplyske  |  September 25, 2020

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, an annual three-day celebration of Americana roots music—including a little bluegrass—is one of my personal favourite events. Living far from San Francisco, I can't attend each year, but I have made the journey every tenth-year in a row...okay, I've been twice—in 2009 and 2019—so I wasn't scheduled to attend this coming October, as ...

IBMA, 2020 Hall of Fame: more of the same?

Donald Teplyske  |  June 26, 2020

The International Bluegrass Music Association announced its 2020 award nominees today. I'll comment on the individual nominees at some point, but it was interesting to see the Male Vocalist of the Year ballot was filled with an exciting cross-section of modern bluegrass, revealing the breadth of today's invigorating contemporary sounds: Ronnie Bowman, Del McCoury, Danny Paisley, Russell ...

Chicago Barn Dance Another winning album from Special Consensus

Donald Teplyske  |  May 14, 2020

Special Consensus "Chicago Barn Dance" Compass Records I trace the path my brothers laid before me Swapped a record for the oil on my shoes Now my eyes burn from the sting And a fiddle haunts my dreams And a lonely song is playing-it's called, the East Chicago Blues. -"East Chicago Blues," Robbie Fulks The southern dysphoria to northern states is ...

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