Gems of Bluegrass

Series produced by Philip Nusbaum

Series image

short modules about bluegrass music

Each under 5-minutes, highly produced "Gems of Bluegrass" module discusses a key element of bluegrass music. Some Gems of Bluegrass relate to a particular bluegrass style or sub style, repertoire, commonplace bluegrass themes, playing techniques or study the work of a particular artist.

Each Gem of Bluegrass contains snips of music taken from CD, along with Phil Nusbaum's commentary. Phil is an experienced radio producer, bluegrass scholar and bluegrass performer.

Each Gem of Bluegrass also appears on the Bluegrass Review broadcast with the same number. (The Bluegrass Review is a one-hour bluegrass show available free of charge from PRX, or from Phil Nusbaum. For information on the show, see the Bluegrass Review listing on Phil Nusbaum's section of the PRX website or go to www.bluegrassreview.com.

Gems of Bluegrass fit well on established Bluegrass or folk shows, and can be used to forward promote the Bluegrass Review. Hide full description

Each under 5-minutes, highly produced "Gems of Bluegrass" module discusses a key element of bluegrass music. Some Gems of Bluegrass relate to a particular bluegrass style or sub style, repertoire, commonplace bluegrass themes, playing techniques or study the work of a particular artist. Each Gem of Bluegrass contains snips of music taken from CD, along with Phil Nusbaum's commentary. Phil is an experienced radio producer, bluegrass scholar and bluegrass performer. Each Gem of Bluegrass also appears on the Bluegrass Review broadcast with the same number. (The Bluegrass Review is a one-hour bluegrass show available free of charge from PRX, or from Phil Nusbaum. For information on the show, see the Bluegrass Review listing on Phil Nusbaum's section of the PRX website or go to... Show full description


363 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Bluegrass and old time musicians have musical values that they talk about sometimes. One major reference point is melody. Now in each case, the mel...

  • Added: Dec 20, 2015
  • Length: 05:20
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
The piece focuses on what it means when people call bluegrass "pure." For some reason, "pure" equals "good" in the eyes of many.

  • Added: Dec 20, 2015
  • Length: 10:19
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
Ever notice that when people praise a piece of bluegrass music, they often say that it is pure? What do they mean by that?

  • Added: Dec 06, 2015
  • Length: 10:19
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
What would Bluegrass music be like if its original home was New York City? It's a fun speculation that Phil Nusbaum provides. For regular users, p...

  • Added: Nov 17, 2015
  • Length: 06:31
Caption: Philip Nusbaum, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Everybody knows what bluegrass is, right? Well, if that’s true, why do bluegrass fans spend so much time trying to define it. Today’s Gem of Bluegr...

  • Added: Oct 31, 2015
  • Length: 07:30
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Old time music is a cover term for all of the styles handed down over the generations primarily through the oral tradition. Bill Monroe is credited...

  • Added: Oct 17, 2015
  • Length: 06:29
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
The mood of bluegrass is often blue, even when the musical accompaniment is lively. But sometimes, the blue musical accompaniment matches the mood ...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2015
  • Length: 07:19
Caption: Phil w/ 2013 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
What’s the spirit of bluegrass music? Is it fast instrumental playing? Well, flashy instrumental work does grab one’s attention. Is it in lead sing...

  • Added: Oct 07, 2015
  • Length: 04:57
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
One of the major roots of the bluegrass and old time music tree is the Celtic that came over with Scots and Irish settlers. The old and new world t...

  • Added: Sep 09, 2015
  • Length: 06:54
Caption: Phil w/2013 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Bluegrass Music emerged in the mid-1940s. In part, it was a modern country music that gave ample space to vocalists. But bluegrass embodied big inn...

Bought by RadioFreePalmer


  • Added: Aug 27, 2015
  • Length: 06:50
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
second of two fund raising editions

Bought by KALH and KUMD


  • Added: Aug 26, 2015
  • Length: 40:53
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Phil w/ 2013 Zeitfunk  Karen Van Norman, Credit: Karen Van Norman
When the story of the creation of bluegrass is told, usually it starts and ends with Bill Monroe. It’s a kind of big bang theory, and it is true th...

  • Added: Aug 19, 2015
  • Length: 05:30
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Bluegrass and old time music are often called poor folk’s music. And there’s a good case for that point of view. Most songs do not concern themselv...

  • Added: Jun 30, 2015
  • Length: 07:19
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
What’s patriotic about bluegrass music. Some of it is obvious. And some is just a little under the surface.

  • Added: Jun 11, 2015
  • Length: 06:52
Caption: Philip Nusbaum w/ 2012 Zeitfunk           , Credit: Karen Van Norman
Historically, bluegrass music is a an evolved type of old time string band. But although bluegrass follows the old time string band in history that...

  • Added: Jun 03, 2015
  • Length: 07:18
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk, Credit: Karen Van Norman
Those who have recorded The Cooi Coo Bird have contributed elements relating to their individual muses and cultural backgrounds. In the past few de...

  • Added: May 31, 2015
  • Length: 04:23
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
Old time and bluegrass music. Many fans consider them as distinct phenomena. But there is reason to consider both as part of the same musical tree.

  • Added: Apr 22, 2015
  • Length: 06:39
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
When you listen to old bluegrass and the singing styles popular in country music at the time, you can appreciate the early bluegrass as a combinati...

  • Added: Apr 03, 2015
  • Length: 07:51
Caption: Phil w/ 2012 Zeitfunk  , Credit: Karen Van Norman
In bluegrass songs, Fall symbolizes the end of a cycle. It’s because of the music’s rural background. Farmers harvest in fall. When dies the cycle ...

Bought by KZMU Moab Community Radio and WTJU


  • Added: Mar 20, 2015
  • Length: 05:28
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Philip Nusbaum, Credit: Karen Van Norman
When modern people talk about winter, the talk a lot about inconvenience. You know, you have to dress in layers. The daily commute takes twice as l...

  • Added: Feb 02, 2015
  • Length: 05:03