Bluegrass Music from New York Honky Tonks

by | 27 Nov, 2008

I got the heads up on this story, written by Jennifer Miller, from a friend I met at a Jam Camp in the USA.

Weekly jam sessions at the Grisly Pear, led by Sheriff Bob Saidenberg, reveal a vibrant and egalitarian bluegrass scene in the Big Apple.

If it hadn’t been for Sheriff Uncle Bob, I never would have taken my banjo out of the case. Four months ago, I was a novice player in New York City. I assumed I wasn’t good enough to play with other people. But with time off before graduate school, I decided to take a chance.

I walked into a nightclub in Manhattan that was staging a bluegrass jam and froze. The musicians played at fiber-optic speeds. Their fingers flashed across the strings. What was I thinking…?

…Many people find the existence of a thriving bluegrass scene in New York surprising. Bluegrass is considered mountain music: the antithesis of hyperactive urban life. Yet not only is the music an urban phenomenon, but the inclusiveness and diversity of the bluegrass community in New York is among the most vibrant and unique in the country.

Read the full story from by Jennifer Miller