Bluegrass has been a staple music genre in America since before World War II. Birthed from the green hills of Appalachia, the genre has spread across the United States far and wide, and in a lot of cases, across the world.
Some might argue that the genre is beginning to die off with country music going away from its “grass roots,” traditional sound, and leaning more towards pop. But on the other hand, we’ve seen a rise in the genre, with artists like Sturgill Simpson, Billy Strings, Town Mountain, and more gaining notoriety. And speaking of notoriety, Luke Combs is working on a bluegrass record as well.
Hell, even Sam Hunt has talked about wanting to release bluegrass music at some point in his career. We’ve also seen Barry Gibb, one of the singers for the 70’s disco group The Bee Gees, sing bluegrass music with bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs.
And then there are these kids, the next generation of bluegrass pickers giving us hope for the future. Dubbed the Cotton Pickin’ Kids, they deliver a stellar version of the bluegrass classic, “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”
Also, pay attention to the kids going in on the banjo and dobro. They’re probably not even tall enough to ride the Ferris wheel at the county fair, but they can play some damn bluegrass music.
And speaking of the future of bluegrass… how about some Billy Strings?
One of the most talented pickers in all of music teamed up with Luke Combs recently for a new bluegrass collaboration.
Titled “The Great Divide,” the surprise collaboration is a plea for unity during these incredible tumultuous times we’re living in. In a world where the suffocating grip of tribalism reigns supreme, and even simple differences of opinion are met with violent opposition, “The Great Divide” brings an optimistic, yet admonishing call to end the madness.
It’s a message that we can all get behind right now, or at least, we should be able to (maybe that’s the problem).
“We’re all so far, so far apart now It’s as deep as it is wide We’re about to fall apart now If we can’t reach the other side We gotta find a way across the great divide.”
With a distinct bluegrass flavor, fantastic harmonies, a poignant message, and that signature Billy Strings guitar pickin’, “The Great Divide” is everything we could’ve hoped for from this unlikely duo, and more.
And make no mistake, this is a HUGE step towards bringing an incredible talent like Billy Strings (not to mention a little bluegrass) into the mainstream country world. There’s nobody in country music that’s bigger than Luke Combs right now. And for my money, few as talented as Billy.