Hooked on Bluegrass

Jimmy Sunnebrandt

How I got hooked on bluegrass? Well, I did not have a choice. I was raised in this music because of my father. So the story is more about him. He heard this music for the first time when he was eight years old. He had an old radio (shortwave). On that radio, he found some special music that he really enjoyed. It took him six years before he discovered just what he was listening to, which was bluegrass. He also discovered who in bluegrass inspired him the most. Flatt and Scruggs. Then, a couple of years later he found a Flatt and Scruggs record at an old shop in Prince William. From then on, he was totally hooked on bluegrass, and country music as well. So, growing up I listened to people like Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, and The Stanley Brothers. As far as I can remember, growing up I just loved the sound of the Stanley Brothers. I did not know English at all; it was just the feeling I got from their music.

My dad bought me a fiddle when I was five years old. You had to be six years old to attend the music school so I had to wait until then to enroll. I started attending when I was six, and continued for nine years.

When I was growing up, my dad always had various instruments around including bass, mandolins, and guitars. My dad started a festival in Sweden twenty-five years ago in Torsaker Sweden. When I was young we would travel to the United States and watch for bands to bring to Sweden. Dan Crary and Byron Berline came to Sweden to my dad’s festival to play, and while there, stayed at my home. I have some cool memories when I was young of seeing Byron playing the fiddle. I refused to go to bed at night when they had jam sessions, and would fall asleep under the kitchen table.

I have played varies kinds of music throughout my life, but I always come back to bluegrass.

(posted 10/18/2010)

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