Zach’s List of Country Stars with Bluegrass Crossovers [VIDEOS]
One of my favorite kinds of musical genres is bluegrass. Ever since I was a kid, I loved the sound of a banjo, mandolin, Dobro and fiddle. And, when you put them all together–it's magic. Country music is also one of my favorite musical genres. So, what I wanted to do was combine my two favorite styles of music. And, this is what I have come up with–here is my list of country stars who have made bluegrass crossovers, whether it be a song here and there or bluegrass album. There's Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley, Patty Loveless and more who have made Zach's List of Country Stars with Bluegrass Crossovers.
Yes, she's sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Country Music,” but she had a try at bluegrass music, too. When you think of females in country music, at the top of the list has to be Dolly. And, in addition to her very, very successful career in country music, “she recorded a series of bluegrass-inspired albums, beginning with The Grass Is Blue (1999), winning a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, and Little Sparrow (2001), with its cover of Collective Soul's “Shine” winning a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The third, Halos & Horns (2002) included a bluegrass version of the Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway to Heaven,” according to Wikipedia.
Dierks has unforgettable country hits like “Home,” “Sideways,” and my personal favorite “What Was I Thinkin'.” But, back in 2010 he released his first, and only so far, bluegrass crossover album called “Up on the Ridge.” I will say, Dierks doesn't have that traditional bluegrass voice that we hear in bluegrass legends like Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Del McCoury. He's missing that high-pitched, nasally sound. But, I always appreciate a bluegrass album nonetheless, and this one is pretty good! The song below is from the 2010 album and has that traditional bluegrass sound many are used to–it's called Rovin' Gambler.
Beginning in the mid 80s, Patty Loveless hit the country scene and released her first album in 1986. From there she continued to sing country music. Then, in 2001, she released her first bluegrass album called “Mountain Soul,” which is one of my favorite bluegrass albums. From there, she released “Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas” in 2002 and “Mountain Soul II” in 2009, with country albums released in between.
Although Ricky Skaggs first began playing bluegrass music in his younger years, he became known as a country artist in the 80s. According to RickySkaggs.com, “with the release of Waitin' for the Sun to Shine in 1981, Skaggs reached the top of the country charts and remained there throughout most of the 1980s, resulting in a total of 12 #1 hits. In 1982, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the youngest to ever be inducted at that time. As his popularity soared, he garnered eight awards from the Country Music Association (CMA), including “Entertainer of the Year” in 1985, four Grammy Awards, and dozens of other honors.” Then, in the latter part of the 90s, it came full circle, and Ricky become known for his bluegrass music with the release of “Bluegrass Rules” in 1997. And, from there, as they say, it's bluegrass history.
Vince started playing bluegrass music as a teenager in the band “Bluegrass Revues,” but would be later known for his country hits like “When I Call Your Name” and “I Still Believe in You.” He released an album in 2006 called “These Days” that had some bluegrass songs on it. Vince definitely has that high-pitched voice that is perfect for bluegrass.
Beginning on the country scene in the early 80s, Keith Whitley had a sting of country classics like “Don't Close Your Eyes,” “When You Say Nothing At All” and “Homecoming '63.” But, as a kid, Whitley was definitely rooted in bluegrass music. “As teenagers, Whitley (15) and Skaggs (16) were discovered by Ralph Stanley while they were singing Stanley Brothers' songs as an opening act for the Clinch Mountain Boys. The two soon joined Ralph's band. Whitley also played with J.D. Crowe & the New South in the mid-seventies. During this period, he established himself as one of the most versatile and talented lead singers in bluegrass. His singing was heavily influenced by Carter Stanley and Lefty Frizzell,” according to Wikipedia.
And, who can forget Alison Krauss? Technically, she shouldn't be on this list as she has always been in bluegrass music. But, she did have some successful country music crossovers. On her own, she sang the country crossover “When You Say Nothing at All,” the song originally made famous by Keith Whitley, and she had huge country music success singing the duet with Brad Paisley “Whisky Lullaby.”