Famous Bluegrass Players

Bluegrass is a genre of American music. It was created in the 1940s. Over the years, many artists dedicated to this genre have appeared. Here are some of the most famous bluegrass players and musicians.

famous bluegrass players - fiddle strings pictured

Bill Monroe

Bill Monroe was an American musician born in 1911 and died in 1996. He was known as “the father of bluegrass” since he was the creator of this musical genre. The name came from his band “Blue Grass Boys,” a group of musicians hailing from Kentucky. His musical career lasted 60 years in which he played the role of instrumentalist playing guitar and mandolin. Bill was a renowned singer, songwriter, and overall character.

Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs was born in 1924 and died in 2012. He played the banjo and the guitar and was a renowned composer because he improved the technique of three-finger banjo solo. That technique was called Scruggs style. Scruggs became famous when he joined the Blue Grass Boys group led by Bill Monroe. Years later, he formed The Foggy Mountain Boys together with Lester Flatt.

Lester Flatt

Lester Flatt was a noted musician for his participation as a bluegrass singer and guitarist born in 1914 and died in 1979. He was known for participating in the Foggy Mountain Boys duo along with Earl Scruggs. Lester not only sang and played the guitar but was also an excellent mandolinist. He collaborated in the band of Bill Monroe and had several decades as a soloist.

Doc Watson

Doc Watson was born in 1923 and died in 2012. He was characterized as a successful guitarist, singer, and composer not only of bluegrass but also of blues, country, folk, and gospel music. Doc was recognized for his style of playing the guitar through the Flatpicking and fingerpicking technique. He won awards, including several Grammy and National Medal of Arts.

John Hartford

John Hartford was a musician specializing in bluegrass, folk, and country. He was born in 1837 and died in 2001, and during his artistic life, he stood out for his dominance with the violin and bass. Also, Hartford played the mandolin and guitar and did songwriting work. His most famous song is called “Gentle on My Mind,” which allowed him to win 3 Grammy Awards.

Jimmy Martin

Jimmy Martin was born in 1927 and died in 2005, and throughout his career, he was known as the King of Bluegrass. During most of his artistic life, he worked as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. In addition, he played the mandolin alternately.

Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs is an American musician born in 1954. He has been a singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist of bluegrass and country. His specialty is mandolin, but he also plays guitar, violin, and banjo. Since he was very young, Ricky managed to play with Bill Monroe as well as Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

Alison Krauss

Alison Krauss is the woman who has won the most Grammy awards. She was born in 1971 and is a musical multitasker. Krauss has stood out for being a producer, composer, and, above all, a singer and violinist for bluegrass, country, and gospel. She was also part of the Union Station group, and has her work has been featured in major motion pictures. Alison Krauss is one of the most famous bluegrass musicians currently active.

Sam Bush

Sam Bush is an excellent American mandolinist and singer born in 1952. He has dedicated himself to country music and is considered a creator of progressive bluegrass music. Apart from the mandolin, Sam plays the violin, banjo, and guitar. During his musical career, he won several awards, including a Grammy, Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist, and more. He’s also known for his involvement in the world-famous Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

Doyle Lawson

Doyle Lawson was born in 1944. Doyle is a mandolinist and singer who created the group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. His artistic life has revolved around the genres of gospel and bluegrass music. In addition to singing and playing the mandolin, Lawson is a music producer.

David Grisman

David Grisman has been an American musician who has been known for innovating in music. He specializes in playing the mandolin and being a composer and record producer. He tried to create a different musical style that people liked, developing the Dawg genre, which is a combination of jazz, folk, and bluegrass. In addition, he is known for founding the Acoustic Disc label. He remains one of the best-known bluegrass players.

Tony Rice

Tony Rice is an American musician born in 1951 and known for being jazz, newgrass, bluegrass, and progressive bluegrass musician. Tony is an acoustic guitarist, singer, and songwriter of these genres. During his artistic career, he has played together with J.D. Crowe and David Grisman. Rice has also worked as a soloist and is a famous bluegrass musician in his own right.

Chris Thile

Chris Thile is an American musician born in 1981 and specializes in performing bluegrass music. His primary instrument is the mandolin, but he also plays the banjo and the guitar. Thile is part of Nickel Creek, which is a famous bluegrass group.

Delano Floyd “Del” McCoury

Del McCoury is a veteran bluegrass musician born in 1939. Delano has been successful as the leader of the Del McCoury Band, playing guitar and singing. The group is formed by him and his two children, who play the mandolin and banjo. In addition to the guitar, he also plays the banjo. Delano participated in the prestigious bluegrass group of Bill Monroe in 1963.

Béla Fleck

Béla Fleck was born in 1958. He is recognized as one of the musicians with the best technical ability to play the banjo. He takes advantage of his talent in genres such as bluegrass, jazz, jazz fusion, and country. Apart from playing the banjo, Fleck is also an excellent singer and songwriter. His popularity is due to his participation in New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.

Rhonda Vincent

Rhonda Vincent is an artist born in 1962. Rhonda began to succeed in the genre bluegrass from the 1970s and remains a bluegrass superstar decades later. She is a singer and composer and can play the mandolin, guitar, and violin. Vincent has been nominated several times for the Grammy Award, winning one of them for Best Bluegrass Album.

James Dee “J.D.” Crowe

J.D. Crowe is a musician born in 1937 who plays the banjo in the genre of bluegrass and progressive bluegrass. Also, James plays the guitar and sings. He gained popularity during 1950 by joining Jimmy Martin. Crowe retired in 2015.

Norman Blake

Norman Blake is a talented American musician born in 1938. He plays several string instruments to interpret bluegrass, folk, and country music. Those instruments are the guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin, and viola. In addition to playing different instruments, Norman is also a singer and songwriter. While already well-known, Blake became one of the most famous bluegrass players after his music was featured in the film Brother Where Art Thou?.