Bluegrass-On-The-Tube Celebrates 3 Years!

Every day we get a different bluegrass video sent to our inbox from Carl Carlson, as he sends to thousands of others around the world.  This month Carl’s website and subscription service celebrate their third anniversary and already the site has become an international gathering place for bluegrass fans and researchers who use Bluegrass-On-The-Tube as a search engine to find what they need.   From the Abrams Brothers and Acoustic Blue to Andrea Zonn and everyone in between, Carl’s library  of bluegrass videos captures “The Best of the Best!”   We asked Carl to tell us about the site and how it got started.  .  .  .

Pssst... Here's a little secret. Bluegrass On The Tube is NOT for everyone.

Image634724060605932000Bluegrass On The Tube is a web site that has been around since early 2009. It just celebrated it's 3rd anniversary of service to bluegrass fans and "friends" of bluegrass fans. So how did it come into existence and why does it continue to grow year after year?

In the beginning...

The site was the idea of a guy who knew very little about bluegrass music. His name is Carl Carlson. He was introduced to the genre by his wife who "dragged" him to a local bluegrass jam session on a cold winter night in 2009. In truth, it was one of the most pleasurable experiences of his life.

What he observed, as part of the audience, is that bluegrass music is infectious. It is impossible to sit still without some part of your body keeping time with the tunes. More importantly, he noticed that the pickers pretty much ignored the audience, primarily because they were having so much fun among themselves just playing the music. Having an audience was simply a bonus.

Carl was hooked. He wanted to know more. That started a research project that led to YouTube and ultimately to the creation of Bluegrass On The Tube.

YouTube.... good news and bad news

YouTube is hands down the most widely used video resource on the planet. It has something for everyone. The problem is, trying to find things can be a hassle, since it mixes the "good stuff" with "all stuff". Searching for Bill Monroe music might also deliver a video of ‘uncle Joe’ playing one of Bill Monroe's songs on the piano. It is a good source, just not very efficient.

So what is Bluegrass On The Tube all about?

The web site was created to pull out of YouTube the "best of the best" bluegrass artists and music. It provides an easy to use, searchable library of bluegrass artists and the highest quality examples of their work available, all into one location.

In addition, there is a subscription service that delivers a daily email containing a video selection from the library for one of the artists. It's easy to sign up. It's easy to unsubscribe. No spam, ever.

There's never a charge. It's all free.

The daily selections usually include not only music, but also background information about the artist. (Remember, Carl wanted to learn about bluegrass. He thought others might appreciate the information as well.)

How do artists get added to the library?

It all started with lists of traditional bluegrass artists and groups, made up of the Hall of Famers from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), as well as SPBGMA, EBMA (Europe), and others.

Added to the list are the annual nominees and winners of various music awards given by each of these same organizations.

Added to that are playlists sent in by multiple bluegrass radio stations from around the world. (Bluegrass is truly international)

So what is Bluegrass Music?

The answer depends on your tastes.

The "traditional bluegrass" fan will say, "If an artist looks like Bill Monroe, and walks like Bill Monroe, and sounds like Bill Monroe, then it is bluegrass".

What about the "pioneers"? These are folks to came before Bill, but who were influential in shaping the sound that ultimately became known as bluegrass.

What about "newgrass"? These are artists (also recognized by IBMA and SPBGMA) who have done what artists in every discipline have done forever... taken a genre and added their own unique style to it.

"Bluegrass gospel"? Family values and religion have always been central themes in bluegrass music.

All are represented in the library.

Bluegrass On The Tube does not feature one style over another. Instead it attempts make sure every bluegrass fan, whatever their tastes, finds their favorite artists in the library, and maybe some groups they haven't discovered yet.

All "word of mouth"...

If you have heard of Bluegrass On The Tube before, it was probably because a friend mentioned it to you, or you saw a comment on a blog, or a link from one of the 140+ bluegrass organization web sites from somewhere in the world.

The growth in popularity of the site has all been viral. Folks come, look and stay because they like what they see. And, because music is meant to be shared and enjoyed in groups, they tend to tell their friends about it, and they tell their friends, and so it goes. The site is currently enjoyed by fans from virtually every continent on the globe.

Bluegrass On The Tube is NOT for everyone... just bluegrass fans and "friends" of bluegrass fans.


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