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Bluegrass Influences on Popular Music

Bluegrass is one of the most diverse genres in the world of music. Bluegrass has influenced many different styles including rock, country, pop and even hip-hop! This list explores the top five bluegrass influences on today’s music scene.

The genre of bluegrass was created in the southern Appalachian region of the United States. From its beginning, many genres have been influenced by it. The following are notable influences that are listened to today:

1) Alternative rock  – Some bands with alternative rock roots include Nickel Creek, Widespread Panic, State Radio and Old Crow Medicine Show. Each one of these bands carries the sound of bluegrass in their music. Nickel Creek, specifically, has a lot of folk elements in its songs. 

2) Country  – The country band Little Big Town got its start in the bluegrass genre. Although they have changed their style to fit mainstream audiences, they still retain some traditional bluegrass sounds in their popular songs. Other notable country artists include Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban and Sara Evans.

3) Folk  – The folk band Crooked Still draws its inspiration from bluegrass and old time music. They have released several albums including 2008’s “Shaken by a Low Sound” and 2011’s “Tomorrow Is Going to Be a Brighter Day.” They are very popular in the folk music scene.

4) Pop/R&B – The pop band Nickel Creek has incorporated bluegrass sounds into its albums for quite some time; their album “A Dotted Line” was released in 2014 and has many of those elements. Another well known bluegrass pop group is the Avett Brothers. They have incorporated bluegrass sounds into their folk-rock music.

5) Hip hop  – Recently, several artists have found themselves incorporating bluegrass into hip hop beats and instrumentals. Artists who do this include Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Big Krit and Wiz Khalifa. Each artist brings different elements of bluegrass to their songs.   

Bluegrass has influenced many different aspects of today’s music scene and continues to be a growing musical genre in the world of music.