Mar 29 2012

Earl Scruggs, 1924-2012

Earl Scruggs died yesterday.

I am not that knowledgeable about bluegrass music but love its sheer joyful sound. In this performance of Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Scruggs and friends (which was featured in the film Bonnie and Clyde), you get to see a range of virtuoso performances from a range of musicians, including Steve Martin and others whom I do not recognize. Anyone able to fill in the names of the others?



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  1. 1
    Lou Doench

    I’ll have to tune in to Music from the Hills of Home on WNKU this Sunday to hear my old friend Katie Laur talk about Mr. Scruggs.

  2. 2
    Mike C.

    I found the lineup attached to the same video on You Tube:

    Earl Scruggs, banjo – Glen Duncan, fiddle – Randy Scruggs, acoustic guitar – Steve Martin, 2nd banjo solo – Vince Gill, 1st electric guitar solo – Marty Stuart, mandolin – Gary Scruggs, harmonica – Albert Lee, 2nd electric guitar solo – Paul Shaffer, piano – Jerry Douglas, dobro – Leon Russell, organ – Glenn Worf, bass – Harry Stinson, drums

  3. 3

    I definitely recognize Paul Shaffer on piano; I think that’s Albert Lee on the red electric guitar and Leon Russel on organ.

  4. 4

    Great stuff! I got a couple of them:

    Leon Russell electric piano
    Paul Shaffer acoustic piano
    Vince Gill electric guitar (blonde)
    Albert Lee electric guitar (red)

    Talk about contrasting hairstyles between Leon & Paul!


  5. 5
    'Tis Himself

    Scruggs looked like he was having fun in that video.

  6. 6
    Jeff Hess

    Shalom Mano,

    I agree that joyful sound nails Bluegrass.

    One small note, Scruggs was born in 1924.



  7. 7
    Mano Singham

    Thanks for the correction, which I have made.

  8. 8

    The recent surge in popularity of bluegrass is due in no small part to jam bands like Phish, the String Cheese Incident and others incorporating it into their music. The jam band genre has also spawned a number of crossover bluegrass bands, like the Yonder Mountain String Band and Hot Buttered Rum. I’ve always found bluegrass fascinating, because it seems, on the surface, to be very simple music, but is in fact very complex and multi-layered.

  9. 9

    Great tune! As a guitarist, I love Vince Gill’s delay effect on his solo. Albert Lee is a monster guitarist.

    Steve Martin never fails to amaze. The guy can discuss collecting art, writes well, can pick a banjo with the best of them, and is an amazing actor. A true Renaissance man, and one of the few Hollywood stars I’d truly be interested in having lunch with.

    Paul Shaffer is, of course, the bandleader for David Letterman’s house band. I’ve watched this clip of these guys playing live repeatedly:

  10. 10

    And then there’s these kids:


    (The fun starts at about the 1 minute mark.)

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