If you'd asked me to talk about bluegrass 10 or 12 years ago, chances are I'd have told you a story about my Aunt Velma, sittin' on the porch of her house trailer in Marianna, Arkansas, slapping her substantial knees in tune to Uncle Bobby's banjo stylings. But I'd like to think that I'm more worldly these days and could admit to the public at large that bluegrass isn't just for hayseeds and hillbillies. In fact, if you've ever found yourself singing along to the Dixie Chicks, you're down with bluegrass yourself. Granted, it's a little watered down in all the production and lip gloss, but it's there. I would argue that all good country music (and good excludes the likes of Tim McGraw and the abominable Faith Hill) has some elements of the twangy, highly technical instrumentation and vocal harmonizing characteristic of bluegrass. A lot of folk music also owes a great debt to the joyful strains of bluegrass pioneered by Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys or Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers. In celebration of this traditionally American form of music, The Frisco Bluegrass Festival brings together a wide variety of bluegrass acts, including Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Beatlegras, who interpret everyone's favorite Beatles' songs with fiddles and banjos. If your heart soars when George Clooney lays into "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" during O Brother, Where Art Thou?, you really should be at the Second Annual Frisco Bluegrass Festival, starting 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Pizza Hut Park (Dallas North Tollway at Main Street). Tickets start at $27.50 for general admission, and kiddos under 12 get in free. Visit friscobluegrass.com/Tickets.html for more information.
Sun., Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m., 2007