13 April 2022

Happy birthday, Sam Bush!

Charles Samuel 'Sam' Bush was born seventy years ago today in Bowling Green, KY, and made a name for himself at the age of 17 with the LP Poor Richard's Almanac (1969), which stood out among bluegrass albums as an all-instrumental record with many original compositions, played by a trio rather than a full band, and at moderate tempo to allow a continuous flow of melodic variation. Two years later he was a founder member of the highly successful and influential New Grass Revival - a name which he explained as showing that the band was building upon innovations that had already been made in bluegrass by bands such as the Osborne Brothers, the Country Gentlemen, and the Dillards.

Sam Bush's 1937 Gibson F5 mandolin, 'Old Hoss', was the basis for a special Sam Bush signature model issued by Gibson in 1999, followed by a limited edition in 2009. He was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2020 as a member of New Grass Revival, and at the age of 70 is the pre-eminent 'senior rocker' of the bluegrass world. Happy birthday, Sam Bush!

© Richard Hawkins



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