All our Christian music videos can be found at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF01B4264276D2990 (scroll down to bottom of playlist past our radio shows). Larry Wessels, director of Christian Answers of Austin, Texas/ Christian Debater (YouTube channel: CANSWERSTV at http://www.youtube.com/user/CAnswersTV, see websites: http://www.BIBLEQUERY.ORG, http://www.HISTORYCART.COM & http://www.MUSLIMHOPE.COM), was formerly director of Dayspring Evangelism back during most of the 1980s and early 1990s before starting "Christian Answers" in 1994. During Larry's more than quarter of a century of Christian ministry and television outreach, this "Bluegrass" video is the only music video that he has ever produced until 2010 when his daughter Marlena Wessels recorded her first Christian song called "Jesus Is" (to see her music video please type "MARLENA WESSELS" in the YOUTUBE search box). Marlena's song still plays on local Christian radio stations in Austin, Texas.
The years have passed but the music never gets old. Hear members of the Central Texas Bluegrass Association as they employ their guitars, banjos, big bass, fiddles, and harmonicas to play favorite Christian bluegrass Gospel songs. Psalm 98:4-5 says, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp: with the harp, and the voice of a psalm." Gospel songs recorded here include: "Old Country Church, "I'm Using My Bible For a Road Map," "Willie Roy," "Back to the Cross," "A Few More ...," Where the Soul of Man Never Dies," "This World is Not My Home," "I Can Almost Hear My Mother," "I'll Fly Away," I Saw the Light," and "Somebody Touched Me."
Unlike mainstream country music, bluegrass is traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments. The fiddle, five-string banjo, guitar, mandolin, and upright bass (string bass) are often joined by the resonator guitar (also referred to as a Dobro®) and harmonica. This instrumentation originated in rural dance bands and is the basis on which the earliest bluegrass bands were formed.
The guitar is now most commonly played with a style referred to as flatpicking, unlike the style of seminal bluegrass guitarist Lester Flatt, who used a thumb and finger pick. Banjo players often use the three-finger picking style made popular by Earl Scruggs. Fiddlers will frequently play in thirds and fifths, producing a sound that is characteristic to the bluegrass style. The bassist will almost always play pizzicato, occasionally adopting the "slap-style" to accentuate the beat. A bluegrass bass line is generally a rhythmic alternation between the tonic and dominant of each chord, with occasional walking bass excursions.
Instrumentation has been an ongoing topic of debate. Traditional bluegrass performers believe the "correct" instrumentation is that used by Bill Monroe's band, the Blue Grass Boys (mandolin, played by Monroe, fiddle, guitar, banjo and bass). Departures from the traditional instrumentation have included accordion, harmonica, piano, autoharp, drums, electric guitar, and electric versions of other common bluegrass instruments, resulting in what has been referred to as "newgrass."
Aside from specific instrumentation, a distinguishing characteristic of bluegrass is vocal harmony featuring two, three, or four parts, often with a dissonant or modal sound in the highest voice (see modal frame), a style described as the "high, lonesome sound." Commonly, the ordering and layering of vocal harmony is called the 'stack'. A standard stack has a baritone voice at the bottom, the lead in the middle (singing the main melody) and a tenor at the top; although stacks can be altered, especially where a female voice is included. Alison Krauss and Union Station provide a good example of a different harmony stack with a baritone and tenor with a high lead, an octave above the standard melody line, sung by the female vocalist.
"Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise Him with the psaltery & harp. Praise Him with the timbrel & dance: praise Him with stringed instruments & organs. Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." (Psalm 150)