Who’s Your Favorite Bluegrass Music Artist?

Whos Your Favorite Bluegrass Music Artist?

Who’s Your Favorite Bluegrass Music Artist?

Bill Monroe is everyone’s most loved bluegrass music artist but besides him, the opinions of both old-time and neophyte fans of bluegrass are much more divided when it comes to other artists. If you haven’t made your choice yet, here are a couple of bluegrass artists that deserve a spot in your favorite list.

Ralph Stanley

Stanley is best known in the bluegrass scene for his virtuosity in playing the banjo and his tenor voice. He first rose to popularity as part of the Stanley Brothers together with sibling Carter, who played the guitar. Their live performances started as early as the mid-1940’s for Virginia’s radio stations. Their works were released by the likes of Mercury Records, Rich-R-Tone, and Columbia Records.

Soon after, the duo act combined forces with the Clinch Mountain Boys. Their earlier works were largely mountain folk music but later on developed into classic bluegrass music. As their popularity increased, the Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys also began producing bluegrass gospel and other instrumental songs as well. The Stanley Brothers’ career only ended when Carter died in 1966.

Today, Ralph Stanley has been in the music business for more than six decades and with over 170 albums under his belt. Neophytes know him best for winning a Grammy for his rendition of “O Death” for the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou and which starred George Clooney.


Once upon a time, there was a young couple Jere and Sandy Lee Cherryholmes who had met each other in church. They married soon after and happily raised a brood of six in Bell, California, which was just a short distance away from the bright lights of LA. Then, Jere had worked as a carpenter while Sandy lovingly homeschooled their children. In 1999, Shelly, the couple’s eldest daughter, died due to fatal heart disorder. Upon hearing of a bluegrass festival near town, the couple decided to take the whole family to the event in hopes of finding a cathartic release for their grief. It was there that the Cherryholmes, one of America’s most beloved bluegrass bands, was born.

Alison Krauss and Union Station

Compared to her contemporaries in the bluegrass or even country music scene, Krauss certainly has achieved greater commercial success thanks to popular works such as “One of Us”. But this hasn’t stopped Krauss, together with her band, the Union Station, from staying active and performing in numerous bluegrass festivals and events.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

john ladd September 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

My favorite bluegrass band is Del McCoury Band. They ROCK!

Mary Ann September 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Alison Krauss, Chris Thile, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Del McCoury and so many more.

John Wren September 30, 2010 at 3:16 am

Bill Monroe was the best in my opinion. I’ve heard all the top ones but must vote him No.1.Likewise Kenny Baker is my favourite fiddle player.Close behind come Buddy Pendleton, Art Stamper and Tommy Jackson.

Brigitte Dayan September 30, 2010 at 3:24 am

My favorite blue grass artist is Vince Combs!

Sheila Tackett September 30, 2010 at 5:13 am

The best bluegrass group of all time was Jim & Jesse! They had a tight blend, Jesse is a smooth as silk singer and they had awesome songs and wonderful musicians. I’m proud to say that our son, Ryan Tackett was privileged to play the harmonica on stage with them, along with Mike Stevens,a few years ago.
Doyle Lawson has always had a great band.
We saw Cherryholmes in concert, yes they are awesome!

Mike September 30, 2010 at 5:38 am

My favorite blue grass artist is Rhonda Vincent.

Phillip Gaskinas September 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I love Ralph Stanley he is a true troubador. I have heard him live for the past few years. I love the way he carries on the true Bluegrass tradition.

theresa October 2, 2010 at 9:27 am

Ralph is the best!! I got to see him this summer and shake his hand!! You just have the utmost respect for a man like him. Rhonda vincent is pretty good too!!

Lucille Jones October 8, 2010 at 9:10 am

Ralph Stanley is my favorite older Blue Grass singer.Del MCoure, Larry Stephenson youngerone.

John Horst October 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm

I like Ralph Stanley, Stacy York, Joe Issacs, Roland White just for starters. Their are so many good ones, I don’t have room to list all the ones I enjoy.

Joey Lazio October 15, 2010 at 4:08 am

Ralph Stanley is bluegrass if you ask me. He is a true legend.

anglejax October 15, 2010 at 7:31 am

Even though I haven’t heard him play too much of the traditional bluegrass style, as he likes to add elements of other genres into his music, I’m going to have to go with Sam Bush on this one. He has done so much to make bluegrass popular with Generation X. He appeals to the younger crowd and that is what will make grass stay around for generations to come.

Truman October 15, 2010 at 8:44 am

I like Allison Krauss, Doyle Lawson, Triple L and Patty Loveless.

Phillip Gaskinas October 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

My favorite right now is Ralph Stanley Jr. He is one that’s going to have to be reckoned with.

Debi B October 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I love Ralph Stanley,but I will always have a soft spot for Gary Brewer

Dawn Bradbury October 15, 2010 at 9:04 pm

What about Mike Compton and Dave Grier? Matt Flinner? Dave Long?

Dawn Bradbury October 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm

ooh – I forgot Claire Lynch!

Mary Ann October 16, 2010 at 4:56 am

We’re so lucky here in Colorado to have one of the most beautiful sites for a bluegrass Festival. It’s in Lyons, CO about an hour from Denver and 20 minutes from Boulder. It sits on Planet Bluegrass Hdqters which is private property. Lyons is a lovely,small town with several good resteraunts,great camping,and the St.Vrain river runs through town. As a matter of fact you can see the stage and sit in the river. Tubing is also a favorite of festivarians. And the talent is top-notch. Alison Krause, Del McCoury, Sam Busch, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, The Punch Bros.-I could go on and on. And of course there are all the up and coming folks like “The Carolina Chocalate Drops” waiting for you to discover. You can google “Planet Bluegrass” for all the info. And no, I am not an employee just a fan. It’s always the highlight of my summer.

Jason Edwards October 16, 2010 at 6:32 am

How about Richard Bailey of the SteelDrivers? LOVE the original material he puts together on those records!

Bob Averill October 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

Those mentioned are all great, But I think Ralph Stanley II and his incorporation of true country music is a fantastic addition. Great voice!

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