Ralph Stanley : February 25, 1927 – June 23, 2016

The worlds of bluegrass, country and roots music lost one of its patriarchs this week:  Ralph Stanley died in his sleep at age 89 Thursday night. Among other things, Stanley was a master of a style of banjo playing which came to be called the "Stanley style", which differed from both the Scruggs style or strict claw-hammer … Continue reading Ralph Stanley : February 25, 1927 – June 23, 2016

Kris Kristofferson Turns 80 This Week

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson are the two remaining Highwaymen, with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings both gone.  Kris Kristofferson turned 80 yesterday and Willie is three years older.  Recently in this blog I posted about Merle Haggard on his 79th birthday just before learning of his death two hours later that same day.  Also, we … Continue reading Kris Kristofferson Turns 80 This Week

Philippe de Vitry : Early Music Innovator

Philippe de Vitry was a renowned poet, music theorist, composer, diplomat, and bishop. Along with Guillaume de Machaut (c. 1300–1377), he is emblematic of the French fourteenth century—a pivotal era in the history of Western music and poetry, and one in which he flourished as an influential public intellectual and early humanist. But while Machaut … Continue reading Philippe de Vitry : Early Music Innovator