Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where is All the Wedding Appropriate Bluegrass Music?

When M. and I first got engaged, I was determined to book a bluegrass band for our wedding.  That was my #3 request for our wedding (the 1st being smores for dessert & the 2nd us writing our own vows).  Time went on, I got price quotes for a bluegrass band and kind of quit that dream.  You see, the fact of the matter was, I signed a DJ for cheap and was kind of sick of signing contracts.  I just didn't want to worry about another piece of paper or group of people or payment.  So, that is the story of why I don't have a bluegrass band booked for the wedding.

My next plan was to have the DJ play bluegrass, it'll kind of be like the same thing, right?  So, I determined that our ceremony would be where the bluegrass would really shine, the cocktail hour & dinner would feature bluegrass and other slower tunes we love and the reception would be fairly bluegrass-free because not everyone loves getting down to bluegrass (although the Old Crow Medicine show that we went to last summer has been the only time I've ever seen M. dance for longer than 15 seconds, we clearly do get down to bluegrass).

Pictured is the is the Old Crow Medicine Show and I love them.

Once I made the decision as to where we were going to have bluegrass played, it was time to begin searching.  The task: wedding ceremony appropriate bluegrass . . . bluegrass that doesn't want to make you slap your knee, bluegrass with few words, preferably instrumental bluegrass, bluegrass without words about someone dying or leaving or love lost . . . folks, basically I took on a nearly impossible task!  I listened to Leftover Salmon, Younder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, Crooked Still, Old Crow Medicine Show, Avett Brothers (their song "January Wedding" is awesome and on my cocktail hour music, even thought we're marrying in September, not January) and found good music for before the ceremony, but none of the actual ceremony.  I did Google searches for wedding bluegrass music and had very little luck with finding anything.  I ended up becoming insanely annoyed at just how difficult this task turned out being!

Pictured is Railroad Earth, they're good fun too!

I did have a little bit of luck amongst all this strife though . . . one of my searches for irish wedding music (I thought it could be somewhat interchangeable with bluegrass or at least a decent substitution, I gave up that too), I did find the music I am walking down the aisle to.  It's bluegrassy and it's Irishy and it's really perfect for me & my dad.  It's by a group in the New England area called The Goodtime String Band and the song is called "Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór."  If you click on the link to the band, you can listen to the MP3 (it's listed as "Irish Weding Tune" to the far right and it's also the first MP3 link right there on that page).  It's gorgeous and in my opinion, is a great way to buck the traditional wedding music without being too far out there.

Pictured is the Goodtime String Band, they gave me hope that instrumental bluegrass wedding music could be found and I will forever thank them for it.  If only they played in Maryland, I might have be willing to sign another contract . . . Source

OK, now back to my other ceremony music . . . I did a post on a wedding forum, asking the girls if anyone knew of any good bluegrass ceremony music.  I got about 2 comments and one was extremely helpful, she recommended a series called "Pickin' On."  Here's the deal, it's a series that does bluegrass covers of popular music . . . Kind of similiar to the Vitamin String Quartet that I intoduced you to months & months ago.  Some of these covers have vocals, many do not and they have a variety of music that they cover, from the Rolling Stones to Jimmy Buffet and I think even Metallica.

So, one afternoon, I went over to BM JF's place, we pulled up Rhapsody and started playing tunes from the "Pickin' On" series.  We were determined to finalize my ceremony music and I wasn't going home until I did!  I think we spent about 2 hours playing music, at least 1 whole World Cup Soccer game (the one where the US lost), and thank you Jesus, we found what we wanted!

So, I now officially have the music that our moms are walking down the aisle to & the music that the bridesmaids will be walking down the aisle to.  You wanna know what it is?  The cover of Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey for the moms and a cover of the Dixie Chicks cover of Landslide.  I'll also most likely use a bunch of the "Pickin On" songs for before the ceremony.  I mean, they have a cover of the Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper," and that jam gets me majorly pumped up!  Oh wait, I don't think it's wedding appropriate . . . Sigh!

So, my biggest wedding planning obstacle has been checked off, done and done!  And now you all know the secret that I had a hard time finding the answer to . . . if you need wedding-appropriate instrumental bluegrass music and you don't know any bluegrass connoisseurs who can tell you, look up the "Pickin' On' series.  It's a lifesaver.  I promise.

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