Whether it’s down in the mines, on the farm, or on the railroad line, some of bluegrass music’s best songs celebrate (or bellyache) about working life. Makes sense for a genre with such blue collar roots! Some songs on this list dive deep into the deeper meanings and cultures of working in trades in the south and west, while others like Balsam Range’s “Blue Collar Dreams” and Town Mountain’s “Up the Ladder” feature subtle anti-capitalist undertones. Enjoy this playlist of hard workin’ bluegrass!
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.