Thursday, December 3, 2009

Peter Rowan on Bill Monroe as father figure

...bluegrass remains his touchstone no matter what musical road he's walking. It's only recently, however, that he's come to terms with Monroe's imposingly pervasive influence, a paternal role that the bandleader was loathe to let Rowan forget.

"Not long before Bill died in 1996, I was playing at Wintergrass in Washington with Old and in the Way, and he sneaks up on stage, gives me a full body block and knocks me away from the mike," Rowan recalls with a laugh. "He says, 'I taught him everything he knows! I taught him how to play. I taught him how to take a bath!' That's the way Bill was.
"For years I struggled with bluegrass being Bill Monroe's music, and for years I did my own thing based on my song-writing, based on all these influences, like Tex-Mex, reggae and rock. But I think I feel that by fertilizing this idiom, I have a role to play in this music."

Full article.

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