Live bluegrass bounced back in 2021, with festivals and jams returning with the blessing of vaccination against COVID-19. This year also proved to be a renaissance for bluegrass in the studio too: Bela Fleck’s long-anticipated return to the bluegrass genre with My Bluegrass Heart was the most anticipated of the year. It is undoubtedly the best album to come out this year—but other legends from Larry Sparks to John Resichmann had hits this year too. Solo projects from some of the genre’s best up-and-comers, such as Rick Faris and Justin Moses, were accompanied by wonderful new music from old standbys including he Grascals and Balsam Range. Indie bluegrass was big too, with fantastic outputs from Songs From The Road Band and Meadow Mountain. Enjoy this playlist of the best bluegrass from 2021!
David Chernack is a fiddler, mandolinist, and guitarist from the Hudson Valley. Trained as a classical violist, David found out about bluegrass music in high school and despite his best efforts has been unable to kick the habit in adulthood. He picked up mandolin and guitar in college in Boston, where he studied environmental science and music. While not at his day job or pickin' 'grass, David also enjoys birdwatching and wrenching on cars.