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Check Out the Most Famous Country Music Artists in America

Country music, which mainly was recognized for the gospel or spiritual songs or American folk music, has diversified as the music industry progressed. Country music first acquired popularity in the 1940’s in places such as the Grand Ole Opry House, also known as the world-famous home of country music. It was one of the most popular radio genres in the United States. However, times have changed, and now, “country music” covers a wide range of styles and sub-genres. True, the United States has produced many well-known country performers who are still famous today. Cowboys singing and tapping their feet to these folk tunes come to mind when you think about country music. So, let’s take a look at some of the most well-known country music artists.

Dolly Parton

An American singer and writer, Dolly Rebecca Parton, is best recognised for her country music career. “Hello, I’m Dolly” was her first album, released in 1967, and it became a hit in the 1970s and 1980s. She has sold over 100 million recordings globally, including Dolly Records, which she founded. She has received 11 Grammy Awards along with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has also received several notable distinctions, including being one of just seven female performers to receive the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton was elected to the “Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999”. She’s written over 3,000 songs, all of which have become global pop hits.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Marie Underwood is a country music artist from the United States who came to fame after winning American Idol in 2005. Underwood became the first country singer to achieve the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her debut hit, “Inside Your Heaven.”

Some Hearts (2005), her first album, became the highest-selling debut solo female album in the history of country music. She has been awarded three Grammys, including Best New Artist. Underwood’s albums have sold more than 70 million copies around the world. She is also the top female artist of all time and the most outstanding female country artist.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was an American music artist who primarily sang about sadness, moral difficulty, and salvation. Cash was among the most thriving musicians, selling more than 90 million albums globally. His songs spanned genres, including country, rock and roll, and gospel. Because of his eclectic musical tastes, he was nominated for various country music, rock n roll and gospel categories. The 2005 film Walk the Line chronicled his musical career.

Willie Nelson

Willie Hugh Nelson is an American musician who became one of country music’s most well-known musicians because of the acclaimed and economic success with Shotgun Willie (1973), as well as Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978). Nelson combines a wide range of musical elements to produce his unique brand of country music, which is a mix of jazz, pop, blues, rock, and folk. For his solo rendition of “Always On My Mind,” he earned a Grammy in several categories.

What’s The Difference Between Bluegrass and Country Music?

Musical genres are often deceiving to foreign listeners but never to the natives. Though Bluegrass and Country music have been found similar to each other, they are vaguely different across thin lines. If you have heard both but never got around to differentiate them, let’s explore how they are actually different.

Musical genres

Instruments used

One of the biggest indicators depicting a vague difference in different musical genres is the instruments used, which is one major difference these both also have.

  • Bluegrass music uses manual instruments like acoustic guitars, acoustic bass guitars, fiddle, mandolin for plucking sound, banjo for sustaining notes, and loud resonating guitars.
  • On the other hand, Country music depends on electric and high-pitched instruments like electric bass guitars, pedal steel guitars, and drums.

Thus, the next time you visit a concert to get to hear a song, you can probably guess its type by the sound of the instruments themselves!

Musical specifications

The choice of instruments differentiates and elucidates the possible difference between the type and specifications of the music’s pitch, frequency, and notes. Along with the difference in musical notes, the Bluegrass instruments are mostly stringed, offering a similar tone, whereas the Country music is a mix of many, having some in the foreground and the rest for background or chorus.

Even though they are performing in a band, Bluegrass singers have solo performances to highlight instrumental solo pieces, whereas it isn’t common practice in Country music songs.

The setting of the songs

Country music might generally have pop music with dancing zeal revolving around a story or the main plot. The songs sung in a collective group have chorus parts and try to portray a theoretical scene. In contrast, the Bluegrass music is somewhat blue and depicts the retro setting without a pop song’s zeal. One can say it rather resembles the jazz culture with traditional acoustics. The singers don’t have a collective structure and instead focus on highlighting the instruments separately.

Evolution of the genre

Historically, Country music evolved around the 1920s with a twang and electric effect. The songs, as discussed, have ringing metallic music, whereas the Bluegrass type had low and comparatively traditional acoustics. Bluegrass came up around the 1940s, quite later, after Country music became popularised. But due to the earlier discussed sharp differences, it got an easy recognition as a subset.

To amaze you more, the Bluegrass singers often dress up in folk clothes, whereas the Country Singers have a trendy look with hats, boots, and chequered shirts.

Bluegrass and Country

Conclusion

Though many listeners often claim Bluegrass and Country American music are quite similar, they have many fine differences perceptible only by the keen listeners. To sum up, the instruments used are different, which ultimately changes the musical pitch and chords, which portray varied musical sets and backgrounds.

Even more, these genres have regional differences, which also bring about a change in their lyrical and musical formation. Thus, country music being old may be prevalent around the region, but Bluegrass music, which emerged later as its subset, is still broadly different from it.

Best Bluegrass County Songs of All Time

Bluegrass music is one of the popular genres of native American music consisting of jazz and pop cultured notes of stringed instruments. Seemingly similar to country music, this genre is usually referred to as its subset. Check out here some of the famous songs and albums of all time that were actually bluegrass music!

Early songs:

Starting from the 1940s, bluegrass music gained a lot of popularity through radio and solo recordings. The early music composers and singers formed the early bands to propagate the music worldwide.

  • Molly and Tenbrokes –Composed and performed by Stanley Brothers, this album is one of the earliest recorded songs released in 1982. It was the most popular song of the Stanley Series, which comprised 16 songs performed around 1960, prominent with banjo and guitar notes.
  • East Tennessee Blues- This song was performed in 1926 by the earliest bluegrass artists, Bill Monroe and Doc Watson. It was regarded as the all-time favorite of many bluegrass lovers as its major part has fiddle notes. Years later, other artists like Tommy Jackson and Sierra Hull also performed this song with their variations.
  • Appalachian Coal Mine-This album dates back to 2007, performed by several renowned bluegrass artists, including the Stanley Brothers, covering the coal miner’s history of Virginia’s region. It was released as a composed album available for sale as CDs and DVDs. The album primarily highlighted the lung hazards and the breathing problems of Appalachian coal miners.

Featured in movies:

Apart from the singles and albums, bluegrass music also gained good recognition across the western world by contributing prominently to various movies.

  • Dueling Banjos-Recorded in 1972 by the artist Steve Mandell and Eric Weissberg, this piece has noticeable notes of guitar and banjo. It was also featured in the 1972s adventure drama, Deliverance.
  • The broken circle breakdown album- 2012’s Dutch movie, The broken circle breakdown is a drama set around the band with the same name to promote bluegrass music and the artists’ lives. The movie has a soundtrack collection of more than 10 songs, all of which were performed by the acting artists themselves.
  • 2001 Maniac’s album– Released in 2005, the American horror comedy film, 2001 Maniacs also has a lot of bluegrass music to match the movie’s drama.
  • Brother, Where Art Thou? –With the same name of the soundtrack and the movie, this 2000’s bluegrass song was composed and performed by Mike Compton, one of the guided followers of Bill Monroe. The soundtrack has prominent notes of stringed mandolin.

Latest songs:

Bluegrass music

Bluegrass music has received worldwide fame and recognition after the post-World War 2’s reconstruction and the bluegrass festival of the 1960s. Current artists like Billy Strings, Rhonda Vincent, Sturgill Simpson, and Larry Sparks are now famous for modern bluegrass music, still following the classic native principles.

With the development of online resources, these artists got quick recognition and hugely positive response. Along with this popularity, the bluegrass music genre also hosts annual programs for nominations and award distributions, highlighting the best artists.

Find More About the History and Artists of Bluegrass Music

Bluegrass music is one of the native American musical genres fondly cherished worldwide. Even though pop music and remixes now prevail in the media and music industry, Bluegrass has always been famous for live concerts and solo recordings. The art is not ancient but certainly has a good history and evolution worth exploring. Let’s discuss further how this genre came about.

Bluegrass Music

How and when did it come up?

Bluegrass, the term actually refers to a botanical plant called meadow grass found in Kentucky and northern America. Since the music developed around this region near the Appalachian Mountains, the name came about as Bluegrass music. The music was influenced by various communities around the Atlantic Ocean, along with native American music.

Reportedly, migrants and settlers from Scotland, Ireland, and the blue music singers among African-Americans contributed together to bring out this regional music.

Though the music was regionally common, there wasn’t any exposure to spread it worldwide. In 1939, the Monroe Brothers’ band of Bluegrass music performed for a radio program called Grand Oly Opry, which evidently introduced the genre to the world. Back then, their band recalled their music as the hillbilly music of old towns, which later got named Bluegrass due to its origin.

A distinct subset of country music

The early 1920s and 1930s emerged with American country music in and around Bristol city. During the same time, the pioneers of the Bluegrass music industry also came up with propaganda of recordings and concerts, popularising this genre too.

Though this Appalachian music is regarded as a subset of country music, it is broadly different in the terms of instruments used, musical setting, and the structure of the band and concert. The Bluegrass singers depend on manual string acoustics and highlight solo performances amidst the band songs, which aren’t common in other country music’s genres

Famous artists and developers

As the early music developers were from various regions, their musical instruments and traditions came along with them to contribute to the development of Bluegrass music. The famous banjo player Earl Scruggs, guitarist Lester Flatt, bass guitar player Howard Watts and the early Bluegrass Boys’ Band of Monroe brothers were the prominent pioneers to develop and spread the music.

According to the classification of instruments used, the Scots brought the violin-like fiddles, the Americans had always played stringed acoustic guitars, and the African-Americans brought the banjos. Currently, recent bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, Greensky Bluegrass, and Watchhouse are reigning over the Bluegrass music world, having concerts and online programs every year.

If you aren’t aware, there are also special Bluegrass Musical Awards dedicated to this genre every year!

Famous artists

How did it gain worldwide popularity?

After World War 2, Bluegrass musicians (the early players) developed different theme-based songs and performed them on radio and open-air concerts to gather public attention.

The post-war period around 1945 also witnessed a great boom and demand for the country’s native music like Bluegrass, which was evidently soothing for the war-affected people. The most widespread popularity Bluegrass music ever had was the Bluegrass Festival of 1965, which had spread its reach across the oceans.

Have A Look at the Country Music Festivals Guide

Do you have an insatiable desire for country music? If yes, attending various music festivals is something you should look forward to. People were unable to go out in 2020, making it a difficult time for everyone. Even if the year 2021 seemed better, events were still being cancelled. On the other hand, music festivals have already set a schedule for their fans to enjoy their time listening to their favourite bands and artists this year, in 2022. Here is a guide to help you get acquainted with the country music festival so you can make the most of your time there.

Country Music Festivals

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The festival will last for three weeks, from February 28 to March 20. This festival will feature several musicians, including George Strait and Cody Johnson. Tickets are now on sale, so don’t miss out on this year’s delightful country music!

C2C, Country To Country

Join us on this three-day tour through three locations for one of Europe’s major music festivals. Several performers, including Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, and Darius Rucker, have been chosen to lead the festival just for their fans.

Country Thunder Arizona

Looking for a country music festival to attend in the scorching heat of summer? Participate in this festival, which will take place from April 7 to April 10. Morgan Wallen, Riley Green, and 14 more notable performers will play at this four-day music festival. Want to learn more about the event? You can do so by visiting their festival’s official website.

Tortuga Music Festival

If you live in Florida, don’t miss this three-day music festival that will make your summer more enjoyable. The festival will occur in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from April 8 to 10. You may enjoy a cool drink while listening to your favourite country music performer on the beach, but make sure you buy your passes before they sell out!

Stagecoach Festival

Prepare to enjoy a broad mix of country, rock, and soul acts at California’s country music festival, including some debuts. This festival will take place at Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA, from April 29 to May 1, with different acts performing on separate days, including Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, and others.

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam

The festival will be held at Panama City Beach, Florida, from June 3 to 5. A mix of modern country stars and ’90s and early ’00s best-selling artists will be headlined by Florida Georgia Line, Old Dominion, and Brooks & Dunn. So come out and support the festival as they also celebrate their tenth year of heading the festival.

music Festival

Carolina Country music Festival

From June 9 to June 12, head to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and get ready to enjoy the melodies of musicians such as Keith Urban, Chase Rice, Chris Janson, and many others at this four-day music event.

CMA Music Festival

From June 9 to June 12, enjoy this three-day music event in Nashville, which has free concerts and hundreds of fan-friendly stalls. Also, don’t miss out on this event because it has the highest number of artists participating in other festivals.

Know About the Ten Great Places to Go To Bluegrass Festivals

Who doesn’t enjoy listening to music and seeing a variety of musicians perform at an event? To pique your interest, we’ve put up a list of the top ten bluegrass festivals you shouldn’t miss.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival

In October, this free festival is hosted at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to tribute to the late Warren Hellman. He was a music fan who managed to get hold of festival artists like Elvis Costello, Merle Haggard, and John Mellencamp. And the crowd is diverse enough so that you have a great time.

Graves Mountain Festival of Music

This classic Syrian event, held in a Virginia community, is held at a rural family-owned resort. Fishing, motorcycling, and hiking are all available to guests and concerts by well-known artists.

Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival

This is the world’s oldest festival in Morgantown, West Virginia, and was organized by the person who crafted the genre. This is the festival to be at if you want to learn about the genre’s origins.

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

The lengthy festival in Oakhill, New York, takes place in July for four days. Local and national acts and legends all play at this festival. This event mixes all genres in an exclusive atmosphere with a green environment.

Americana Music Festival

This festival takes place in Virginia City. Americana music covers not only bluegrass but also all styles around. Mountain and cowboy music and alternative country are all included. The festival is centred on ancient sites to create an archaic atmosphere.

Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival

If you happen to be in Kansas in September, you must attend this festival. You can bring any string instrument to the festival and compete with other musicians. If you’re lucky, someone might even invite you to join their band.

International Bluegrass Music Association Fan Fest

This three-day festival in Nashville takes place in an enclosed venue where people generally gather for meetings and business fairs. You may see around sixty shows at the festival, most of which are presented favouring charitable organizations. When you’re in Nashville in September, make plans to attend this one-of-a-kind event and help charity while having a good time.

Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration

This festival, which takes place in Rosine in October and features various bands, is a mid-sized event. Its goal is to keep Bill Monroe’s music alive, as well as the genres that inspired him. As a result, any Bill Monroe fan can come here and soak in the atmosphere.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

This is one of the most well-known festivals, which takes place over four days in June. The festival has many stages, allowing you to witness and enjoy the performances of multiple bands and artists at once.

Joe Val Bluegrass Music Festival

Don’t miss this music festival if you’re in Framingham. You may see mandolinist Joe Val greeting and teaching music to people of all generations. Because this is a family-oriented festival, you are welcome to bring your entire family and enjoy a pleasant gathering.

Mind-Blowing Facts About County Music You Never Knew

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The term “country music” generally reflects nostalgic vibes set in a countryside setting and peaceful weather. But you definitely know that the country music of America is exactly the opposite and has a very interesting history and evolution. Have you ever come across its amazing facts? Here are a few mind-blowing facts you must not have noticed to date, even though they were always around.

Country music actually started with acoustic instruments

Country and Bluegrass music are often confused for their style and setting but never when it comes to their instruments used. You might have always seen country singers with electric guitar or drums and Bluegrass singers with acoustic guitars, fiddles, or banjos to differentiate them both. But historically, country music has its roots in manual Bluegrass instruments using which the singers developed the music and notes.

The band and singers always prefer cowboy-like attire

Country instruments like drums and mouth organs became famous among the traveling soldiers and cowboys as they were portable and easy to use anytime. Since their bands started to spread the country music genre, the professional singers also started choosing the same attire. You can still find the bands often dressed in cowboy dresses, broad summer hats, dungarees, and high boots as the folks of the West.

The music can present any theme or storyline in jazz notes

One thing that defines country music is its musical setting which is pop and jazz style. Though the songs convey different stories and situations, from life, love, damage to self-motivation and courage, they all are usually set in the same musical notes. You can find that almost all songs are structured alike with a band and chorus, no matter what the core concept is.

County Music

Country music wasn’t a single genre

Have you ever heard of music melting pot? As the definition of melting pot indicates, country music is also a collective result of many existing genres. Thus, we can’t possibly call it a subgenre but a mixture instead. Apart from Native American music., it also has a great influence on Irish and Scottish music.

Bristol is the birthplace of country music

Like any other folk and native music, country music was also considered to be evolved in New Orleans or Tennessee. But it spread out and got recognition only after the radio and recordings got attention in mid-20th century. Back in 1927, one Ralph Peers, a famous American scout and music publisher, held several recording sessions of country music bands in an abandoned hat factory in Bristol city and published them. Since these albums got famous all around, spreading the fame of country music, Bristol became its official birthplace.

Country music never meant it was an ancient culture

Does country seem old and dull music to you? Well, America’s country music is exactly the opposite as it is neither old nor dull. This genre, though seemingly folk, emerged only around 1940, which didn’t even age a century. The music and instruments are also electric and fashionable, nothing like traditional ones. Its growing craze in modern society gave way to various fusion genres with different music worldwide that are now relatively popular.