Thread: Josh Graves, the finest Dobro player ever

Billastro - 10/10/2017 at 02:18 PM

Two shows:



mikesolo - 10/11/2017 at 01:36 AM

I think Curtis Lowe was the finest picker, but I will check this guy out.

[Edited on 10/11/2017 by mikesolo]

aiq - 10/11/2017 at 04:43 PM

Josh Graves>Mike Aldridge>Jerry Douglas

Billastro - 10/12/2017 at 04:05 PM

Josh Graves>Mike Aldridge>Jerry Douglas
Followed closely by Rob Ickes. f=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507824279&sr=8-1&keywords=three+bells+mik e+auldridge

Nothing but Dobro.


Billastro - 10/12/2017 at 04:07 PM

Josh Graves>Mike Aldridge>Jerry Douglas
Check this out: (includes Marty Stuart and Vassar Clements).


aiq - 10/13/2017 at 03:11 PM

Good stuff!

DerekFromCincinnati - 10/29/2017 at 06:26 PM

An insightful I wrote on Uncle Josh Graves five years ago; s-biography-gives-insight-into-ways-of-earl-scruggs/article_6093915d-1ac5-5 00b-87e9-ca10ed53d5ad.html

In the new autobiography, “Bluegrass Bluesman: A Memoir – Josh Graves” (University of Illinois Press), culled from eight days of interviews with the late bluegrass dobro player, Uncle Josh Graves, in 1994, the legendary musician provides interesting insight into the ways of his long-time boss, Earl Scruggs.

Both Graves and Scruggs are in the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame. Graves died in 2006, and North Carolina’s native son, Scruggs, died earlier this year. For almost two decades, Graves worked for Scruggs in the influential Flatt and Scruggs band during the group’s best years. While this new memoir finds Graves telling many wonderful tales from his youth in Tennessee and about his life in the music business, sprinkled throughout the book is a narrative that tells the inside story of how Scruggs went about his business.

Graves is an important musician because of his advancement of the use of the resonator guitar in bluegrass music, especially when he took Scruggs’ three-finger roll method of picking the banjo and applied it to his instrument. Scruggs taught Graves his three-finger roll while in Lexington, Ky., in the late 1940s, when Graves was playing with Esco Hankins’ band.

Graves was later hired by Flatt and Scruggs as a bass player, but eventually switched to the dobro. But that also meant that you had two members of the same group utilizing the same three-finger roll, and Scruggs did not like his band members to step on each other’s toes.

“Earl would put the pressure on me, and sometimes our rolls would clash, so I’d go another way,” Graves says in the book. “He was teaching me then, and I can still feel those eyes on me if I did it wrong. He wouldn’t say nothing – just look at me. I had to figure a way to get around that banjo. Listen to those records, and you’ll know that we never played over each other.”

According to Graves, Scruggs had a specific philosophy when it came to the musicians taking a solo.

“He said, ‘Now, when it comes your turn to play, you play,’” Graves says, quoting Scruggs. “‘Do your backup soft, so you can hear the singer and the harmony.’ If you’re not careful, it can sound like five people talking. You don’t know what the heck anyone’s doing. Scruggs said, ‘Play the melody on the first part of your solo, then I don’t give a damn if you cut it all to pieces.’”

Scruggs also knew how he wanted his band to act and how he wanted the band to run. In those days, Flatt and Scruggs would perform a concert while using only one microphone, and that meant that the choreography had to be worked out.

“Scruggs was the best teacher that’s ever been or ever will be,” Graves says. “He was like a football coach. They said we looked like the Notre Dame football team. Scruggs was the quarterback, and I was the running back. I knew exactly where to go, because he told me where to go. He’d hand the ball off to me and I’d go through that hole. If you didn’t get out of there, you got stepped on.”

For more information on “Bluegrass Bluesman: A Memoir – Josh Graves,” visit

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