Acoustic Music, Bluegrass Music, Random DJB Thoughts
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How do those bluegrass guys (and gals) play so fast? The true story!

(NOTE from 2021: Since I wrote this post way back in 2008, the website referenced is no longer active. Nonetheless, since it saw some recent traffic, I decided to keep it here as I think you can get the gist of the report from this now-departed Onion-like online site.)

Thanks to a heads up from The Bluegrass Blog, I was introduced to the perfect post-convention antidote that puts all the postings from The Daily Kos (or insert your favorite right-wing blog) in perspective.

Want to know how all those bluegrass phenoms play so darn fast?  Steroids!  Check out this stunning revelation from the incredibly funny Bluegrass Intelligencer which reports on the government-funded study to uncover rampant performance enhancing drug use among all the major bluegrass bands, including Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (see photo at top).  As one “fan” put it,

“I mean, when you go to a festival and you see Cody Kilby playing those guitar solos with Kentucky Thunder, you know that it’s not naturally possible, yet everyone just looks the other way,” said Thom Thoreau, bluegrass fan.

The Intelligencer does include some balance in the story, however, by quoting another fan as saying that he actually thinks performance-detracting drugs are a bigger problem, noting that at many festivals the bands are either “drunk or high a lot of the time, especially in the second set.”

For those of you who like your humor along the lines of the Daily Show or The Onion and know a little about bluegrass and acoustic music (or just pop culture references) you’ll get a kick out of the Intelligencer.  The editor’s note under the headline about the Chris Thile/Dolly Parton Scandal which says,

“It has recently been called to our attention that no part of this article is even barely true”

applies to every single article.  (So a disclaimer — Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder DO NOT to my knowledge use performance enhancing drugs!)  Enjoy, get a few laughs, and then read your political blogs with more of a sense of humor. 

More to come…



I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


    • Thanks. It’s an old post…not even sure the newsletter it references is still around. But it was fun at the time.

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