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  • The Murder Chord and Bluegrass Fusion

    imageThe Murder Chord and Bluegrass Fusion

    I recently got a message from a musician with a band called Grandpa’s Cough Medicine (I was a little hurt that they rejected my band name idea, Grandpa’s Immunosuppressant Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicine, but I got over it). He suggested that I write something about the “cross-pollination” of music, audiences, and if space permitted, clover and ragweed.

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    • I thought you were messing with us yet again. But sho'nuf, they do exist and they are a talented trio of musicians - http://outlawbluegrass.com/band/
    • You know me; I'm always deadly serious (so to speak). By the way, a friend and I were discussing the flat 5 chord, and I was saying that if that really caused homicidal tendencies, a lot of bebop fans would have been killing people in NYC in the late 40s and 50s.
    • Your column made me think instantly of the Charles River Valley Boys' LP "Beatle Country" back in the 1960s. To this day I think it was cheeky, clever, brave and very musical.

      Real Beatles fans, oddly enough especially bass players, go absolutely nuts over substituting a C major chord for a C minor playing "What Goes On" in the key of G. Talk about homicidal chords. Purists...

      There's tons of music from Uncle Dave Macon to Roscoe Parrish to 1950s top 40 country to Richard & Linda Thompson to Warren Zevon that can make great bluegrass. Just play it and sing it like bluegrass!!

      Looking forward to your follow up.
    • I was definitely planning to mention "Beatle Country" next week. Speaking of chord substitutions, I heard a bluegrass band turn Keith Whitley's "I'm No Stranger To the Rain" into a 3-chord song, which took some doing!
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