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Musicians – Are You Living in the Past?

Maybe it’s time to broaden your horizons


by Dendy Jarrett



Dear Musician, 

Yes, I'm a rocker. I was raised on it, it's still around, and I like listening to it. Of course, it's not all I listen to; I was raised in the rural South, so bluegrass and folk also got into my DNA. Also, I appreciate a good jazz drummer as much as anyone else. But music is full of surprises, and every now and then I'm reminded why it's good to seek out those surprises...and even, more importantly, why you need to have an open mind when you find them.


A friend recently shared a Facebook post that got my attention. So, like every curious person who wanders into things on Facebook—I clicked.


What? Bluegrass Thrash Metal?!? I don’t even like thrash metal. I go out of my way not to listen to it (no offense to those in our audience who thrive on it, but it just isn’t my cup of tea). So imagine my surprise when I realized I was really enjoying what I was hearing!


Yep, it’s bluegrass done Thrash Metal style. And the album I heard is called Thrash Grass from the group The Native Howl, which consists of acoustic guitar, banjo, electric bass, and drums. (Yeah, I know drums don’t belong in bluegrass - but I’m a drummer, so I approve!)


I began  thinking that sometimes human beings pigeonhole themselves into one or two genres of music. Outside of that, they don’t care to listen to anything else. Sometimes, as musicians, we do the same.


Hearing The Native Howl was a classic reminder to me to keep an open mind. Be receptive to other styles and don’t overlook something just because you’ve judged the music by the cover.


Listening to different types of music keeps your musical mind stimulated, inspired, and (frankly) educated. I was talking about this the other day with Craig Anderton. He said that DJing has made his rock music better, doing rock music gave him an edge while DJing, and listening to Caribbean dance music freshened up both of them. And my kids are a constant reminder of this. too. I play them older music, and they ask if I’ll listen to their music. This keeps those ties that bind us tight.


So, go ahead and give some bluegrass Thrash Metal a listen. You may dig it, or you may not, but at least you gave it a try. And by doing so, you will be living in the present - and broadening your horizons.  - HC-


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Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.


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Balthazar Munoz  |  October 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm
Always great articles from DJ
Etienne Rambert  |  October 11, 2017 at 1:12 am
Really good. Thanks. 
jbakervt  |  October 09, 2017 at 2:10 pm
Great find! If you liked that and are open to trying more new hybrid music, you might like Yelawolf's new stuff:

Mandoist  |  October 09, 2017 at 1:24 pm
Playing, performing, and listening to the Present is best appreciated once we are learned of music Past. 
Players -- know your history. It's a solid foundation for music Present, which no musician should be without.
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