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Americana Music Bluegrass Music Musicians

Bluegrass Unlimited/Billy Sheehan/MerleFest

A short but sweet blog.

While I am still on the fence regarding the Bluegrass Unlimited magazine’s format (https://luegra.design.blog/2020/11/05/the-new-bluegrass-unlimited-magazine-some-thoughts/), I truly appreciate the YouTube channel that the publication has established. Every few days they post a new video that is either a quick lesson on how to improve your playing on guitar, bass, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, or dobro, or it is a jam track. These consist of standard bluegrass instrumentals with a lead guitar handling the first verse, then followed by a few verses of just rhythm guitar, bass, and rhythm mandolin. Perfect for practicing your own lead work! Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxNYVomNcDI-5mrOy3KgoHA.

Another likeable YouTube channel is the one set up by bassist Billy Sheehan. While I’m not big on “bass guitar as lead instrument,” I do know that Billy is one of the top bass players out there, and if he says something about bass playing, YOU LISTEN! His channel has only been up for a few months, but the videos up are worth watching. There are a few performance videos, but there are also some great videos on what he does to work on his basses to make them play better. Like me, he likes to get his hands dirty by working on things like setting up his guitars, setting intonation, and adjusting parts for better playability. He’s personable, humble, and appreciative of his success. Definitely check out his channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/BassPlayerBilly.

MerleFest is back on for 2021! Although the festivals is usually slated for the month of April, this year it has been moved to September 16-19. Unfortunately, anyone planning to attend AmericanaFest will have to either choose between the two, or hope that his/her boss will give them two weeks vacation. The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is also on, with entries being accepted April 15-June 15. For more information, go to http://merfest.org/.

Chew on it and comment.