A recent study indicates there are over 18 million bluegrass consumers around the planet buying CD’s, attending concerts and spending money supporting the artists. The minute I read that I thought that’s wrong. No way is there that many fans following bluegrass. How’d they come up with that figure? I’ve been to concerts of some of the best BG performers around and watched them play to a few dozen believers. That’s just the nature of our music, feast and famine. Of course the big festivals can draw thousands but the general rule is if you want to get rich, don’t choose bluegrass as the vehicle. Were the survey accurate most bluegrass bands would be rolling in dough, riding in their own busses, own houses in luxury spots around the globe. Furthermore you would be able to see your favorite bands on morning TV shows singing their latest hits, on late night shows chatting happily about their kids and their latest “project.” Wouldn’t that be nice?
I’ for one would like to see this happen. I’d like to see the artists enjoy fame and fortune. But wait! If that happened would they become like the stars of other genre’s , isolated from their fans, surrounded by bodyguards, segregated, aloof, somewhat arrogant. I don’t want to see that happen. I like it the way it is now, where you can sit down and chat with your favorite band members just as though they were school buddies or neighbors, no pretensions, just regular folks, willing to teach you some licks or give you some insight about performing and traveling place to place, interesting stuff that you’ll never be able to experience your self. I guess I’m really torn because on the one hand I want the musicians to be successful but I wouldn’t want to lose the closeness and sharing and the community spirit of the present bluegrass community.