David Grisman, perhaps better known by the nickname “Dawg” given him by the late Jerry Garcia, is more than just one of the finest mandolin players of this or any generation, he’s also a true student of bluegrass music. Over his storied career that has seen him play alongside notables like Garcia in the legendary Old And In The Way he has also performed and recorded with Red AllenPeter RowanStephane Grappelli, the Grateful Dead, John Hartford, Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Earl Scruggs, James Taylor and Doc Watson after his tutelage from the late, great Ralph Rinzler.

Over the weekend, Grisman and his band The Bluegrass Experience performed at the Clear Creek RapidGrass Bluegrass Festival. Dawg took the opportunity to take the fans in the audience to school, recounting a brief history of the beginnings of bluegrass, from the early recordings that made tiny regional acts into recording stars to Bill Monroe and his backing band, The Bluegrass Boys, from who, an entire genre of music was named.

Our own Rex Thomson was on hand and filmed a trio of songs and their scholarly introductions that we’re pleased to share with you. Enjoy!

“The Gold Watch and Chain” by The Carter Family

“I’m Rolling On” by The Monroe Brothers

“Will You Be Loving Another Man” by Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys