Is The Dead South's 'In Hell I'll Be In Good Company' bluegrass or not? | - Music Crowns

Is The Dead South’s ‘In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company’ bluegrass or not?

The Dead South are a four-piece acoustic ensemble from Regina, Saskatchewan, with a classic folk sound.

Boasting gritty vocals, aggressive guitar strumming, mandolin chops, banjo licks and a steady kick drum to fuse it all together, The Dead South are delivering a unique sound. Having been recognised for their raw talented, the group have been featured in a number of magazines, newspapers and other publications across the province. In addition to their extensive editorial coverage, The Dead South have also graced the radio, featuring on stations such as 104.9FM The Wolf, CBC Radio 2 and CBC Radio 1 in Saskatchewan.

The Dead South have recently been causing a stir online with their song ‘In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company’. Labelled as bluegrass, a form of American roots music related to the country genre, the song has been causing many fans to question the authenticity of the bluegrass affiliation. With influences of Irish, Scottish, and later, African American, the lines begin to blur.

James Cooke

James has worked on the production side of the music industry for many years gaining releases on a number of record labels around the globe. Alongside James’ personal music projects he has trained as an illustrator, designer and a creative marketer. Taking on the role of marketing/editorial assistant at Music Crowns, James spends his days covering new and underground music creating content for our audiences through well thought out reviews and features.

49 Comments
  1. I have no problem with this being labeled “bluegrass”. If the music coming out today they call “country” gets that label, this isn’t much of a stretch.

  2. Bluegrass is a state of mind. This type of bluegrass is not for the purest. “In Hell I’ll be Good Company” has the right sound and look of a great band. I’ve not heard of The Dead South before. I will be looking for more of their music. Thank you for opening my eyes.

  3. 1st….loved the tune/music, gonna look for more from them.
    But the question, is it bluegrass?
    I say, what WOULD make it bluegrass, it has a banjo and railroad tracks?
    I”m getting a message that time has unfortunately eroded our understanding of what bluegrass is, and it’s soooo much more than what instrument may, or not, being used.
    I grew up in a blugrass environment, and I’m only a mild fan of it. I witnessed the MAJIC that is blugrasss. And this isn’t bluegrass, and I hope for my children’s generation, they know what it is.
    I wish I could share my memories of watching live bluegrass families practicing their craft. They are a special genre of our music culture.

  4. Wow I think The Dead South are truly amazing.Please tour the UK especially South and West Wales.My sister promotes Bluegrass music as a hobby and she would love you to play at THE BOOMSWINGER BLUEGRASS events in the future I am certain.Boomswinger has it’s own facebook page.I am going to share your video with her and other Welsh fans in the hope that you travel across the pond in the not too distant future.Good Luck and Travel Hopefully.Jan Carlyon

  5. I clicked on the link expecting a thorough review of the song and facets that both epitomize and stray away from what the music industry generally considers Bluegrass. What I got was a summary that essentially says, “this band good, this song good, this song controversial, bt dubs, this song pull from different genres.” Really, y’all? C’mon, now.

  6. Love this video and the style! Come to Atlanta and we’ll be in line for tickets. God live you Canadians!

  7. Why does everyone feel the need to label everything? Labels just cause separation, judgement and ego based opinion amongst people. They’re amazing artists with their own unique sound.. love them!

  8. Great originality here for sure on this catchy song and brilliant video.

    Bluegrass? No. Lacking the song structure and instrumentation (namely fiddle and guitar), among other things perhaps. It’s great original Americana, I’d say.

    Factors like “Its good”, “Its acoustic”, “There’s a banjo”, “Its in the countryside” “It’s not Country”, and “Country is misnamed” don’t make something Bluegrass.

  9. I would say that it expands the definition of Bluegrass just slightly. For me it is Bluegrass and a very interesting piece. I love the song!

  10. Love the song, would love to see the lyrics written out… it’s a bit slow for what I would call bluegrass, not enough mando… just my opinion, but very engaging. Would love to hear more from Dead South.

  11. This is the dumbest article and comment section I’ve read in a long time. Bluegrass is a blend of all of the cultures that melded together to become the Appalachian people. By that definition, Bluegrass is Scots-Irish and Spanish and African. Bluegrass is fluid. Bluegrass are the Child ballads and the origins of rock-n-roll. Bluegrass blurs the line.

    This is absolutely Bluegrass.

  12. It’s not purist Bluegrass, but it is in the bluegrass/folk realm .I like it ! Would love to hear more music from the Band to make a true determination .

  13. New Grass Revival was outside the Bluegrass box back in the 70’s-80’s and they were fantastic. I like these guys, too.

  14. I have been playing Bluegrass for 30 years. I started out traditional, moved up to Ozark Mt. Dare Devils,Dirt Band, New Grass Revival ,and other folk/rock groups. Cleverly’s, Iron Horse,etc. are different however “still” bluegrass ( in my humble opinion) I really liked these guys !! I applaud them for their originality. Keep up the great work.

  15. Mark (no last name)
    Thanks,for lletting everyone know “this isnt bluegrass”. NOT !!!!!!
    I don’t know who made you the decider of this, but you arn’t, WTF who the hell do you think you are bub ?? No one ever made you the arbitrater of Blue Grass or anyone else for that matter.
    So if they play blue grass, which they do then thats that. Have a nice day and get off your pedestal loser.

  16. I’m from Kentucky and grew up listening to Bluegrass. Purely speaking, I think this is Americana, not Bluegrass. It would be like calling 19th century southern spirituals the Blues, or saying Def Leppard is Heavy Metal.

    100 years ago there were dozens of different types of roots music in the US that shared some characteristics and cross-pollinated and eventually formed recognizable genres like Jazz, Blues, Country, Bluegrass, and eventually, through further cross-pollination,R&B, Rock, Funk, Metal etc. A lot of these roots genres have disappeared though certain musicians like these guys, Mark Knopfler, Emmylou Harris, Willie Watson, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, OCMS and others are working to revive them and reinvigorate Americana generally.

    Bluegrass is a subset of Americana but has recognizable base attributes, such as the instruments, taking turns playing melodies, multi-part harmonization, and, generally, vocals with the high, lonesome sound. Blues and Country are other subsets and all three are relatively close to their “roots”. Mix those, BTW, and you get Rock & Roll (and, yes, with the heaviest emphasis on the Blues). I always thought it interesting and telling the Elvis’ first record with Sun had a speeded up blues song on one side, “That’s All Right”, and a rockin’ version of “Blue Moon of Kentucky” on the other.

  17. Soggy bottom boys meet Mumford and Sons. B e a utiful. Come to Oz! You can stayat my place!!

  18. i have always called the dead south “heavy metal bluegrass” , this really holds true for their live shows.

  19. It stays with you. That’s what Bluegrass does. It’s a rhythm that lives deep in your chest. Makes you feel good.

  20. This is wonderful, Very Pleasant sound.
    Just bought it on iTunes!
    I don’t care what you call it!

  21. LOL…”Bluegrass” for people who have no idea what Bluegrass music is.

    If this is “Bluegrass,” Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” is bluegrass because it has a mandolin.

    Novelty pop tune. Not for me, but if it moves your boat…

  22. Yea, works for me! Very talented and love this song so much I would love to have a copy. Look forward to hearing more songs from this group. I would buy their music.

  23. It sounded like Bluegrass to me! What more is needed besides rollicking banjo, a bass (I’d never seen a bass played that way before), a drum and maybe a banjo?!? I’m going to have to buy that record. Keep it up!!! I used to play classical guitar and piano ages ago and I’m not well versed enough in any of these newer styles to proclaim the Dead South’s music as definitively bluegrass but it sounded like it to me and made my scalp crawl, it was so good!!

  24. ROMP: Owensboro Bluegrass Music Festival, rompfest.com. International Bluegrass Museum located here. Check it out. Would love to see you here.

  25. I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again: these guys wouldn’t know what bluegrass is if Larry Sparks hit them on the side of the head with a G run. Now, go Google “Larry Sparks” to hear some real bluegrass.

  26. I don’t care what you call it. It’s great music and hope to hear more from them .Great job guys you keep on making music like this and you’ll be heard around the world..I’M YOUR HUCKLEBERRY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.