Yup. This Happened

I was unaware until recently of the creeping musical imperialism of the Bluegrass hordes.

Viz, this:

Apparently it’s become a thing now, in a very subcultural kind of way, to test the proposition that one can mountainize any piece of music whatever. So, while I know that the tune involved is as hoary as last week’s cod, I’ve got one more for you. I guaran-damn-tee y’all have never seen a horse dance like this:

Got my Valentine’s Day musical choice coming up later. I bet you can guess where it’ll land.

You may consider this your elevenses open thread

67 replies
  1. 1

    Happy Valentine’s Day fellow jackals and hyenas. I made you a post with a cute kitteh and puppeh in it. Its a bit mushy, must be the chocolate and the sugar..

    ETA: Why are they are all wearing silly hats?

  2. 2
    Steve from Antioch says:

    Check out the Cleverly’s version of All the Single Ladies,

    And, to have your mind fully blown, check out Gangstagrass and other groups melding hip hop and bluegrass.

  3. 3
    dedc79 says:

    Here’s a decent bluegrass take on an Arcade Fire song via The A.V. Club

  4. 4
    jon says:


    Like the original, too.

  5. 5
    Belafon says:

    So, what is being covered in the first video (can’t watch at work)?

  6. 6
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Belafon: “Walk Like An Egyptian”

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    On a similar note, I have a friend who can take any song with vocals and turn it into a pitch perfect lounge singer act version. Kind of like a parody of a lounge singer parodying Sinatra.
    It’s a little freaky how so far there has been no song I can think of that’s immune to this treatment.

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    Global pop culture FTW!

  9. 9
    jl says:

    Hey, well, that’s music for you.

    Just like the popular notion of what folk blues is, is very old school folk blues that bounced to high class East Coast nightclubs and got popped up, and then back to various parts of the south.

    Or some of the most popular classical tunes are Mozart and Beethoven having a little fun with Turkish military band music. And modern decadent composers riffed off ragtime and jazz.

    I guess you could make the same comment back when a lot country music got ‘bluesed up’. Heck, where did that come from?

    Musicians miscegenate musically, and have always done so. That is why they are suspicious people. But then, there is Ted Nugent, so always a few exceptions.

    Anyway, it sounds good. Thanks.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Okay, it is a bit dated, but a favorite tale of romance and discovery.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    Actually Vanilla Ice used Old Man Whickutt’s version of his Ice Ice Baby for his shoe Vanilla Ice goes Amish. I find it better than the original

  12. 12
    Apocalypse Tom says:

    Sweet Child O’Mine, New Orleans Style.

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    I love this one.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    @Corner Stone

    If he can do it in tempo and in its entirety, props to him. It’s a tough challenge.

    “Ave Maria”

    (Have for some reason always pictured a Pythonesque sketch of the heads of a piper band exploding one by one as they tried to play that same thing on the bagpipes.)

  15. 15
    Tom_23 says:

    Look up Punch Brothers. who do a whole bunch of Radiohead (and other famous bands)
    Here is 2+2=5


  16. 16
    Served says:

    Hell, it’s popular on Pop radio now too:

    A Swedish DJ has managed to successfully mesh Bluegrass with dance music:


    http://youtu.be/6Cp6mKbRTQY – This one actually features Dan Tyminski (of Oh Brother Where Art Thou? fame)

  17. 17
  18. 18
    KG says:

    I listen to the bluegrass station on Sirius every so often. It’s a nice change of pace.

    On an unrelated note, for reasons I don’t understand, I was just looking at 2016 GOP presidential polls. Hewitt seems to think it’s all about Cruz, so if we know anything, it won’t be Cruz. And looking at the polling, it seems to be Paul, Cruz, Christie, Jeb, and Huckabee in some order. Rubio and Paul do well nationally, but not in any individual states other than favorite son status. I am at a loss, this is the best they got?

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Stan of the Sawgrass says:

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Acey-Ducey, the bluegrass AC-DC tribute band? I can’t cite a full source, but I heard it on NPR a couple a’ years ago (sorry, DougJ.)

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @NotMax: None of them stay true to tempo. That’s the schtick of the lounge act.

  22. 22
    realbtl says:

    Thanks, great cover.

  23. 23
    Ash Can says:


    Vanilla Ice goes Amish

    Oh come on. You made that up.

    ::goes to Teh Google::

    “The DIY Network series Vanilla Ice Goes Amish follows rock-star home improvement expert Vanilla Ice as he travels to the largest Amish settlement in the US …”

    OK, that turned out even wackier than I thought. Thanks, ET, for directing me toward my chuckle of the day!

  24. 24
    🎂 Martin says:

    It’s all Steve Martin’s fault.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @KG: Sen Cruz is currently the best friend the Democratic party has in Congress.
    My own personal rankings this far out are:
    Tie between Romney and Jeb, then Christie, rounding out with Rand Paul as the outsiders outside chance.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Amir Khalid says:

    Who knows, some Emmett might yet show up with the Piece of Resistance and become the greatest of the Master Builders, leading the Legos Republican Party to victory over Lord Business President Obama.

  29. 29
    bemused says:

    On another unrelated note, I’m not on certain email chains so I didn’t realize that the rightwing has been disputing the very high US infant mortality as skewed because as a wingnut wrote in a local paper the lower imr in those other countries, most use a different standard. Wingnut wrote, “a baby has to live 24 hours before ruled an infant death. Anything before that is an extended abortion. Here a baby born dead is an infant death”.

    Knowing the sources, I’m sure the rightwing skewing has been strong but what’s the real story on differing infant mortality reporting? Anyone know?

  30. 30
    raven says:

    @DougJ: Speaking of Richard Thompson, for Valetimes Day

    A Heart Needs a Home

    with Linda

    eta actually it’s Linda with Richard

  31. 31
    The Other Chuck says:

    @bemused: Burden of proof is for librulz.

  32. 32
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @bemused: I’d love to know the answer to that, too. I’ve been hearing that for years.

  33. 33
    bemused says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Always. I’m just curious how they spun this into our imr ain’t so bad.

  34. 34
    WaterGirl says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Sounds to me like your valentine kinda likes you, at least just a little bit!

    I noticed that she has a link to the recently started blog by Cole’s former student. I am reading that, too. I am in my 50s, so I am a lot older than she is, but it’s kind of nice to be reminded of how bold and brave we can be when we’re young and life is an adventure just ahead of us, always just a bit out of sight.

  35. 35
    Linnaeus says:

    Can’t leave out The Gourds’ cover of Gin and Juice.

  36. 36
    bemused says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Years? Boy, am I ever out of the looney loop. I thought I had heard just about every theory they had but clearly the depths of derp is deeper than I realized.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    Better without the lyrics?

    You Belong With Me

  38. 38
    Anna in PDX says:

    I love bluegrass. One of my favorite bluegrass covers is the Austin Louge Lizards doing Pink Floyd.


  39. 39
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    … the creeping musical imperialism of the Bluegrass hordes…

    Hell, 20 years ago, we referred to them as ‘the bluegrass nazis’….

  40. 40
    cleek says:

    once at Merlefest, i saw a bluegrass supergroup do all of Zeppelin II


    and, i had the bright idea a few months back to gather up my musician friends and do a bluegrass version of Pink Floyd’s “Fearless”. but there’s already a band out there doing it.


    i’ve also seen a bluegrass version of Britney’s “Toxic” (Nickel Creek) and Psychograss does a bluegrass cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone From The Sun”

  41. 41
    cleek says:

    here’s David Lee Roth doing “Jump” with a bluegrass band:

    which is certainly cooler than the bluegrass VH tribute record: Strummin With The Devil:

  42. 42
    Kay says:


    I am at a loss, this is the best they got?

    It doesn’t mean anything until the governors get it. That’s why Christie was so devastating to them. They want to run a governor against Clinton. It’s really the only advantage they have over her. I think they’ll be loathe to give it up. I’d knock out the Senators, and Paul Ryan, right now. They’ll be great for fundraising and their own careers, but they actually have to WIN some swing states.

    “DC is broken, commonsense conservatives, blah blah blah”

    I think Scott Walker is a terrible candidate, so I bet immediately after the midterms all political media and pundits start promoting Kasich, in much the same manner that they promoted Christie!

    They really, really need a governor. Without that, they have nothing.

  43. 43
    cleek says:

    and Gillian Welch doing Radiohead’s “Black Star” is a classic of the genre:


  44. 44
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    raven says:

    @cleek: Yos should like this Going to California they did here in town a while back. (With John Paul Jones)

  46. 46
    cleek says:

    indeed, that was epic. i actually saw them a few nights prior to that.


  47. 47
    raven says:

    @cleek: Great!!!

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @cleek: I’m sure you are aware of this heartbreaker

    Throw Me a Rope

  49. 49
    raven says:

    @cleek: The time before this tour they played the Melting Point but also in one of the (now gone) indy record stores. I guess Gillian had some hassle with the record label and stopped recording under her name.

    eta I guess the recording thing is a long while ago

  50. 50
    cleek says:

    oh yeah, i love that one. those minor-key CSN-style harmonies are awesome.

    and that was from 2004? wow. that song wasn’t released until 2011. (sounds exactly the same!)

  51. 51
    Brian R. says:

    If you’re posting a Cleverlys video on Valentine’s Day, you really should go with their amazing cover of “Owner of a Lonely Heart”

  52. 52
    Brian R. says:

    Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs”

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @cleek: Hell I didn’t know till now they called it “They Way it Will Be”!

  54. 54

    @WaterGirl: Heh fortunately for me, she does like me. Feeling is more than mutual. She’s an amazing woman. :)

  55. 55
    Origuy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think it’s a shoop. Here’s the picture of the dispensary in Wikipedia. Same angle and lighting.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:


    Cute! I have found over the past 14 (!) years of first dating, then living together, then being married, that my need for material demonstrations of affection (i.e. presents, fancy dinners, etc.) has gone down as I feel more secure. I don’t need another book or DVD to prove that my spouse loves me. I’d rather have both of us save up for a trip together than get another tchotchke.

    Normally, we go out to brunch around (usually not on) Valentine’s Day because we don’t want to have to fight the crowds and go somewhere on a weeknight, but we can’t do that this year because my brother-in-law is flying in Sunday morning and will want brunch (what can I say, we’re a brunch family). And I’m okay with that. I’m making a beef and butternut squash tagine in the slow cooker, and we’re going to watch Unfaithfully Yours or maybe Trouble in Paradise and … that’s about it, because it’s been a long week and at least one of us will fall asleep by 9:00 pm. But because I get plenty of affection the other 364 days of the year, that will be all I need.

  57. 57

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks Mnem! I passed this along to her. :)

    I view Valentine’s night at restaurants the same as I do clubs on NYE. Amateur night. Since it’s so crowded, food and service quality goes down and they’re trying to maximize volume so they move you through quickly.

    We’re brunch people as well. Your menu for tonight sounds tasty. I just got a new pizza peel and stone so we’re going to do pizza at home. Enjoy!

  58. 58
    Paul in KY says:

    ROMP 2014 lineup was just announced. If you would like a low-key, camping style 3 day festival where you would see the best Bluegrass, then you need to google ROMP.

    It will be in late June in Owensboro, KY. Have some good BBQ in Owensboro.

    i went last year & loved it.

  59. 59
    Paul in KY says:

    @Tom_23: Punch Brothers headlined last year’s ROMP. Have also seen them at Bonnaroo. Highly recommend them for any Bluegrass lovers.

  60. 60
    Sevenless says:

    Pink Floyd seems to be quite the target for bluegrass re-imaginings. Luther Wright and the Wrongs released a complete remake of The Wall about a decade ago. Here’s their take on Comfortably Numb

  61. 61
    Citizen Alan says:

    Interesting. So the Cleverlys are basically the bluegrass equivalent to Postmodern Jukebox, which converts contemporary pop into jazz-based genres of the 30s, 40’s and 50’s.

  62. 62
    burnspbesq says:

    Resistance is fyoo-tile. Y’all gon’ be asssssssimilated.


    The Borg Mountain Boys

  63. 63
    MC Simon Milligan says:

    Saw these guys open for the Butthole Surfers yonks ago;


  64. 64
    Tbone says:


    We’re certainly no infamous stringdusters, but a bluegrass band I played in years ago used to do Fearless also. Great tune.

  65. 65
    skippy says:

    oh, kids, come on, don’t tell me you never heard of rebuild the wall, an entire bluegrass re-imagining of the wall (the complete album), by luther wright and the wrongs?

    also, not bluegrass, but i laughed my ass off misunderstanding that faith hill was not doing a parody with her country version of piece of my heart back in the 90’s…

  66. 66
    beckya57 says:

    A friend and I like to burn CDs for each other to introduce the other one to music we like that the other one hasn’t heard much. He’s a big roots music guy, especially blues and bluegrass. He knew from one of my CDs that I’m an avid David Bowie fan. So he made a CD of the bluegrass group The Gourds for me, and I’m driving down I-5 listening to it for the first time. Damned if I wasn’t suddenly listening to their version of “Ziggy Stardust.” I almost ran the car off the road. I returned the favor later: I play the ukulele and am a fan of Hawaiian and other uke music, so I burned a CD of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble for him, and included their cover of “After the Gold Rush” (he loves Neil Young).

  67. 67
    Tom_23 says:

    @Paul in KY: Thanks. It wasn’t the radio head cover but saw this when I had an inkling for some Beatles and was blown away. Also, too – the lead in is quite humorous. “Folks. it is time to talk to you about Amway. ”
    Then they nailed it.

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