Adventure 06: Beehives, Bluegrass and Beautiful Ignorance

The Osbourne Brothers: "Rocky Top", "Ruby"

This clip comes from another "must have" DVD… Bluegrass Country Soul. Back in the sixties, there was an explosion of bluegrass festivals- gatherings of fans and musicians in an open air venue to relax and enjoy music together. They were informal affairs. People would bring a picnic lunch and lawn chairs and sit in the sunshine enjoying the Dillards, the Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs or Roy Acuff. The performers even encouraged fans to bring along reel to reel tape recorders, and you can find hundreds of these incredible live recordings circulating in the mp3 trading newsgroups.

When I watch this clip, I'm transported to another time and another place. Those beehive hairdos would be hilarious in any other context, but here they seem right at home. A lot of hipsters look down their nose at "hicks" and "trailer trash", but I see great beauty in this stuff. My friend John K describes this old time country music as "beautiful ignorance: the high lonesome sound of an injured animal all alone in the woods, not knowing why he hurts or whether it will ever stop." My God! My heart stopped when he said that. Beautiful ignorance! What a beautiful way of putting it.