Mere months ago, I told you that Bud and I have the same taste in music. Since then, Bud has been branching out. We still have a lot of musical tastes in common - there is still a lot of overlap - but the more we listen to the radio, the more we check out videos on Yahoo, the more we sample clips from iTunes, the more I'm discovering that Bud has a musical sensibility that's all his own.
Increasingly, he approaches me with iPod in hand and asks me to download a song for him - a song that I didn't know he liked; a song that doesn't particularly grab me. They tend to be testosterone-laden country songs with lyrics like "All my friends say I started shootin' doubles when you walked in..." And, then, on the flip side, there are other songs - lovely songs by artists he enjoys - that he rejects outright. He despises Keith Urban's "Everybody" so much that he made me cross out the song title on the CD case and on the disc itself before he'd listen to any of the other songs. (I asked him why he didn't like it. His reply: "It makes me strain.") I'm afraid this all might serve as irrefutable evidence that my sweet little boy is turning into a GUY, but that's a post for another time.
It's actually exciting to me that Bud is forging his own musical identity, and I want to help him follow his passions and explore the best of what the musical world has to offer. But lately, in addition to his good-old-boy country rocking, he's been tuning in to a genre that I know absolutely nothing about:
I first noticed that Bud was spending a lot of time listening to the Dierks Bentley album tracks that are heavily influenced by bluegrass. Then one day we were surfing iTunes together and he discovered the album Pickin' on Dierks Bentley: A Bluegrass Tribute. We listened to the 30-second clips and I told Bud he could choose a couple to download, but he was insistent: he needed to have them all. He loves them.
Yesterday, when he talked me into downloading Brooks and Dunn's "Play Something Country" for him, he caught a glimpse of the Pickin' on Brooks and Dunn tribute that's available on iTunes. I surfed away quickly enough to distract him, but I know it's only a matter of time before he discovers the whole (seemingly infinite) Pickin' On series.
Now, I don't want to be critical of the folks behind the Pickin' On empire, but they credit themselves only as "Various Artists." As I've said, I'm no bluegrass expert, but my hunch is that Pickin' On is not the very best that bluegrass has to offer.
I just don't know what is.
I put out the call to Bud's dad, who tends to know a lot about a lot of different kinds of music, and I'm casting a wide net out here to the blogosphere. Perhaps one of my regular readers is also a bluegrass aficionado. Or perhaps if I use the word "bluegrass" enough in this post - in phrases like "you just HAVE to hear this great bluegrass artist" or "this is the greatest bluegrass musician of all time," my Google hit will be high enough that some bluegrass junkies will surf on in and give me some tips.
So, bluegrass fans, tell me, please: My son and I are looking for the best in bluegrass. Where do we begin?