Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys at Glenville State College. (Left to Right) Bobby Hicks, Charles Whitstein, Jesse McReynolds, Kent Blanton, Daniel Gridstaff, Luke McKnight and Donny Catron

Jesse McReynolds’ Grandson Takes Us Into The Heart of Bluegrass Music’s First Generation

In the fall of 2022, I explored the region of Southwest Virginia that has produced some of the most famous musicians to ever appear in the long lineage of American roots music.  The 1,435-mile-long highway known as Route 23 makes its way from Jacksonville, Florida, to Mackinaw City, Michigan. About halfway in-between those two destinations…

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This Issue

The Artists

Missy Raines


Ida 2

the artists

Jim and Jesse McReynolds, date is 1980. Jesse is playing the John Paganoni mandolin. // Photo courtesy of Joy McReynolds

Jim & Jesse

A Legacy of Consistent Excellence and Innovation With the passing of Jesse McReynolds and Bobby Osborne on June 23 and 27, 2023, at ages 91 and 93 respectively, most pioneers of the bluegrass sound have passed on and younger musicians are challenged to build on the musical foundation of artists like Bill Monroe, Flatt and…

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Jim and Jesse McReynolds, 1947 promo photo. Photo courtesy of Joy McReynolds

Jim and Jesse: Falling Leaves and Accolades

In the well-known song by Grandpa Jones, “Falling Leaves,” we’re told: “To your grave, there’s no use taking any gold. You cannot use it when it’s time for hands to fold. When you leave this earth for a better home someday, the only thing you’ll take is what you gave away.”       Jim…

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Ever Higher

Alan Munde Rises Above Convention with New Record “Excelsior” When Alan Munde was thinking of a name for his new collection of fifteen tunes building on his long-standing penchant for harmonic adventurousness and embrace of the melodic banjo style, he lit on one word: Excelsior. It’s a direct nod to a short Henry Wadsworth Longfellow…

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from the archives

Jim Eanes

Reprinted from Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine May 1987, Volume 21, Number 11 Among the musicians who pioneered in the development of bluegrass music, one of the most gifted and enduring was “Smilin’ ” Jim Eanes from Martinsville, Virginia. His contributions to the music are many, both in terms of fronting a very popular and successful band…

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