After I was forced (though my school’s lovely “Hall Jamz” program, where music is blasted — we have no audio controls in our classrooms — over our P.A. system during passing periods) to listen to some bland, terrible contemporary country (it’s my pet theory that, since current country seems to have no particular musical style, the only markers of the genre are (1) singing with a twangy voice and (2) singing about particular motifs — NASCAR, church, family, partying with one’s rowdy friends, and country music itself), I decided to play for my students some actual country — Flatt and Scruggs.
Somehow, there was a question about whether anyone has every rapped over bluegrass music, and a search led me to the Gangstagrass song above. I then felt the need to reveal to students the stylings of Cowboy Troy, whom I once heard in a small-town-festival concert rhyme “yeehaw” with “mee-maw.”
Later, at home, I found some wonderful (and when I say “wonderful,” I’m not sure I’m not using that word somewhat ironically, but anyway, they’re entertaining) covers of pop songs done in a bluegrass idiom:
1. The Cleverlys, “Forget You”
2. Hayseed Dixie, “Walk This Way”
3. Tommy Miller, “Umbrella”
4. Honeywagon, “Billy Jean”
P.S.: I mean no disrespect to these musicians, who are clearly very talented, but it’s hard to hear any banjo song in a completely serious context.