I never considered myself to be a bluegrass kind of person until I bought Dierks Bentley’s bluegrass project, Up On the Ridge on a complete whim of curiosity in 2010. Lo and behold, I completely fell in love with his sound, and ever since, I’ve started exploring music that’s bent toward or influenced by bluegrass.
Here are just a few of my favorite discoveries:
Song: “Paper Airplane”
Artist: Alison Krauss and Union Station
Album: Paper Airplane
This song definitely shows off Alison’s flawless control over her clear voice. I love the way the verses are more subdued, and then the chorus just bursts out with so much emotion. I also love all of the background accent riffs; they enhance the song perfectly.
Song: “Someone Like You”
Artist: Sierra Hull
Album: Someone Like You- Single
This is a cover of a song originally released by Adele, but I personally like this version better than Adele’s. Sierra’s more laid-back version lets you focus entirely on the vulnerable lyrics instead of being distracted by a busy background part. I know that David Nail also did a cover of this song, and I love his version as well, but this one wins as my favorite.
Song: “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
Artist: Dierks Bentley
Album: Up On the Ridge
This song is also a cover. It definitely contrasts with U2’s original version, but I absolutely love what they did with this song. Adding harmonies gave it so much depth, and of course I love the mandolin and banjo rich background. It’s such a down to earth arrangement. It’s so good that it’s almost haunting.
Song: “White Fences”
Album: The Reckoning
Okay, you caught me– NEEDTOBREATHE isn’t exactly bluegrass. But they do have a really awesome mandolin drive and some touches of banjo in this song. And mandolin and banjo are definitely bluegrass-esque, so we’ll just pretend… 🙂
Keep talkin’ twangy!