Tag Archives: Appalachia

Alaska band stokes Appalachian tradition

Think hard-driving rhythms, fast-paced improvisations, and high-pitched vocals that wind up and down the melody like an inquisitive strand of kudzu.

Photo courtesy of the Great Alaska Bluegrass Band, The Great Alaska Bluegrass Band, with Brooke Munro, left, Scott Burton, Andrew Heist and Jeremy “Junior” Kane, celebrated the release of their new album, Semi-Bluegrass, at The Alaskan Bar in Juneau.

This article first appeared in The Juneau Empire on May 26, 2011

 

by Amy Condra

There is something brave about bluegrass, about the honesty of a group of musicians who stand up on a stage, before a crowd, with nothing but their instruments and a story to tell.

And when it’s done right, a good bluegrass tune will make your pulse quicken and your blood rise up; it’ll be like a ride down a wild, rushing, twisting river.

What makes bluegrass different from, say, a standard country song?

Think hard-driving rhythms, fast-paced improvisations, and high-pitched vocals that wind up and down the melody like an inquisitive strand of kudzu.

“People ask me, does it have to be so fast? Well it does for us to get the point across that we’re bluegrass music,” said Jeremy “Junior” Kane, vocalist and banjo-player for The Great Alaska Bluegrass Band (TGABB). “Without the high tenor, the mandolin, the banjo, then it’s bluegrass style… but it’s not bluegrass.”

And traditional bluegrass, the way it was played back when it began, is what TGABB wants to epitomize, says Kane.

Continue reading Alaska band stokes Appalachian tradition