What is your Favorite Bluegrass Group?

What is your favorite current Bluegrass group?

Some groups, like the Isaacs and the Primitive Quartet, perform all-Gospel programs and travel the Southern Gospel circuit primarily, with occasional performances at Bluegrass events. But many leading artists on the Bluegrass circuit, like Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent, and the Grascals, of the recent Entertainers of the Year on the Bluegrass circuit also incorporate enough Gospel songs into their albums and live programs to build some following in Southern Gospel. There have even been a few people prominent in both genres, like Tim Surrett (Kingsmen, Isaacs, Kingsmen, and now Balsam Range) and John Bowman (Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, then Isaacs, now Boxcars). So, if you like Bluegrass at all, which group currently tops your list?

[polldaddy poll=5830171]


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22 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. As I’ve said before, I was way into bluegrass gospel before I knew much of anything about southern gospel. And I’m still a big fan, although my growing love for southern gospel has kind of overshadowed it.

    This was tough for me. I voted for my all-time favorite Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver even though they’re not at their peak in the last few years. I hope a new gospel recording from the current lineup will shoot them back to the top. Dailey & Vincent are probably the cream of the crop right now, at least among those who spend a lot of time on the gospel side of the fence.

    The Primitives and Rochesters are my all-time favorites among the “gospel-only” crowd.

    By the way, I saw that Mountain Home signed the Grascals. Congratulations, and I think that will work out very well for both sides.

    • Yes, I think it will work out well!

      I should have thought of the Rochesters, even though I’ve never heard any of their music. They do have a following. Anyhow, that’s why I put the “other” option in! 🙂

  2. The Isaacs are my favorite bluegrass group AND my family Southern gospel group for two reasons. Firstly, they are vocally the best family group touring today. Their harmonies rival any possible close competition and the tightness of their blends is mesmerizing. That is primarily the reason they are my favorite artists of both genres, SOGO and bluegrass.

    They are my favorite artists in the bluegrass genre specifically because of their unwavering commitment to Christ and his music. Summer of 2010, I attended an international bluegrass festival here in my home state of Kentucky, birthplace of bluegrass music. My wide and arrived at the festival just in time to hear the Isaacs’ set. (Think of it as the equivalent of paying for a ticket to one night of the NQC just to hear the Greater Vision perform, and then leaving.) I had already wondered in my mind what kind of seethe Isaacs would stage. I’ve heard them in churches a few times, as part of concerts my grandfather promoted on numerous occasions, and at other mega-concert events like CrabbFest and the NQC countless times. At those Christian events, naturally they would perform only Christian music. But what would they stage at a secular, bluegrass event? I am thankful to say their performance was entirely Christ-centered with only gospel songs performed. What a blessing.

    Our world needs more people that, in the midst if a secular world who doesn’t love them, they stand unabashed and unashamed. God bless the Isaacs.

  3. Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder for old time Bluegrass. His significant Gospel CD was “Soldier Of the Cross”.

    • Cool! I’m not sure I had known they were a current group, but I looked them up and it looks like they are.

      • Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder is definitely an active act.

  4. Gotta go with the Rochesters.

  5. Ok, that’s a tough one. I love Ricky Skaggs and don’t think there is a better or more talented group out there unless it is Del McCroury. As for the SoGo side, Vincent and Dailey is my fav and I do love Doyle Lawson secondly.

  6. 1. Little Roy Lewis & Lizzy Long
    2. Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers
    3. The Roys
    4. Lewis Tradition
    5. Chigger Hill Boys and Terri

  7. Looks like the Issacs might be running away, but I must cast a write-in vote for the Rochesters. Becky singing the hymn “Living by Faith” is fantastic.

  8. Definitely Rochesters.

  9. I’m kind of partial to Darin and Brooke Aldridge. 😉

    • Did you notice that “Every Scar” made it onto my top ten SG songs of the year? 🙂

  10. Primitive Quartet baby. Yea

  11. The Rochesters. Daniel, you should attend the Bluegrass showcase/awards show at the NQC.

    • I would have no objection to doing so, if only there were enough hours in the day to catch everything I want to catch! 🙂

  12. We voted for the Isaacs, naturally (pun intended!), but we also appreciate several other groups as well, such as the Triple L Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and those on the secular circuit who also record gospel music at times (we listen to only their gospel and instrumental music), like Alison Krauss and Ricky Skaggs. We enjoy several regional family bluegrass-gospel groups as well.

    But, as much as we love the bluegrass sound, we love Southern Gospel more. 🙂

    -TGF

  13. Voted for The Isaacs but, love all the artists mentioned!!! I always pick up anything Gospel by Ricky Skaggs,Third Tyme Out,allison kraus and Claire Lynch. A couple others that are strictly gospel bluegrass that i like are The Marksmen Quartet and The Principles and i always liked New Tradition with Daryl Mosely when the were a group.

  14. I think highly of the Isaacs, Primitive Quartet, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. It is my favorite style of gospel music. However, I don’t think you can always fit their music in a “bluegrass” category. It’s southern gospel with accoustic instrumentation. Don’t get me wrong any of these artist can rip off some grass with the best of them but it really is mostly southern style. Even more so now that Mr. Lawson has added the drum kit and has a much more “modern” sound. It’s a long way down the road from the highly acclaimed 1980 release “Rock My Soul.”

    • I think you could fairly say that of the Isaacs and the Primitives, but I would make the case that DL&Q would be considered bluegrass. Yes, every other album is all-Gospel, but the alternate albums aren’t. They’re also on the Bluegrass circuit, performing at most of the major Bluegrass festivals each year. That’s also where his fan base originally was, though he’s expanded in recent years to have a cross-genre appeal.

  15. I cast my vote for the Isaacs because in my opinion, they’re unparalleled. However, I enjoy all of the groups mentioned and hated that I only had one vote. 🙂

  16. They are very dedicated Christian group.