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New on Friday Nights: The Best of Pickin'

Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash.com

Twenty years ago, traditional Bluegrass music was all the rage after the movie soundtrack O Brother Where Art Thou crashed the Grammys—walking away with Album of the Year and stunning the music establishment. The haunting image of Ralph Stanley belting out “O Death” during the ceremony remains an undeniable televised music moment—he would later that evening win his first Grammy. Suddenly, traditional mountain music was front and center.

But for some, there had always been a deep appreciation for the genre. Rock and Pop had their stars—Jagger, McCartney, and Bowie. Bluegrass had Monroe, Flatt, and Scruggs.

A chance meeting years ago with Harold Smith of the legendary regional band East Virginia on Cathy Lewis’ Hearsay program led to the launch of Pickin’ on WHRV on Sunday nights, where it continues to anchor the folk lineup that evening. I quickly learned what a devoted following there is for the music. Pickin’ is deeply rooted in traditional Bluegrass—featuring those first and second-generation stars who helped to define the genre.

Over the years, I’ve been asked why not expand and include the new artists who are reshaping the music? There’s a passion for these new bands. And while there was always a deep appreciation for musicians who are dedicated to Bluegrass, we held firm in featuring the artists who molded the music with what some term “The High Lonesome Sound.”

A few months ago, there came an opportunity to expand Pickin’ for two additional hours on Friday nights. Now those newer artists and the more progressive sound of the music have a home on WHRV. Tune in and hear how the music continues to evolve and redefine itself for a new generation of Bluegrass fans. Bands like Greensky, Infamous String Dusters, Leftover Salmon and others are now being added to the list of performers who are a distinct part of the genre. We will also feature some of those first-generation artists who launched the original American art form of Bluegrass.

Both traditional and progressive Bluegrass can be heard on The Best of Pickin’—Friday nights at 11 on WHRV.