Hooked on Bluegrass

Dirk Powell

I had always heard my grandfather playing banjo, guitar, and the fiddle in Kentucky. I was playing piano at the age of eight. Then I started realizing my grandfather had this music he wanted to give me, and that it was being handed on. The heart and soul, informal style, and social aspect of that Eastern Kentucky old time and bluegrass music was different from what I had been playing.

I really got an interest in the music when I was around eleven or twelve years old. At that age, you are looking for something. Something to identify with and a way to express yourself. For me it was an incredible experience just to spend time with my grandfather. It meant a lot to my grandfather because I was the only one in the family that was interested in the music. It kind of brought both of us together. The music he played had been in the family for many generations, and to know I was interested was very important to him.

His music gave me a direction for my life, and for him, he knew that the music would live on through the next generation. There were not any particular artists that inspired my grandfather. He was inspired by the lineage from past generations, the songs he learned when he was a kid and throughout his life, and the stories that went with that music.

(posted 7/1/2010)

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