Musicologist has ear for future of bluegrass on &#...

Musicologist has ear for future of bluegrass on ‘MTSU On the Record’

The director of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music discussed bluegrass music’s present and future on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Greg Reish, director of MTSU's Center for Popular Music

Dr. Greg Reish

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Greg Reish first aired Feb. 12 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and You can listen to their conversation above.

Reish, a musician, musicologist and professor of music history in MTSU’s School of Music, is one of 25 people invited to take part in “Leadership Bluegrass,” a three-day annual program that shares information on how best to advance the bluegrass music industry.

The program is hosted by the International Bluegrass Music Association and will take place March 4-6 at Broadcast Music Inc. in Nashville.

“One of the things that’s so interesting to me about bluegrass music, that I always try and share with my students, is that it is simultaneously the most backward-looking and the most forward-looking of the American types of country music or string band music,” Reish said.

“It’s an evocation of the past, older songs and older styles and acoustic instruments and so on, but they are used in ways that draw on other kinds of contemporary music and reflect contemporary society even today, well into the 21st century.”

One of Reish’s colleagues at this year’s Leadership Bluegrass sessions will be Katie Hartford Hogue, partner in John Hartford Enterprises and Reish’s co-author, along with a former member of music legend John Hartford’s string band, of the 2018 book “John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes.”

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web The Center for Popular Music at MTSU, a part of the College of Media and Entertainment, is one of the nation’s largest and richest repositories of research materials related to American vernacular music. You can learn more about the center, its projects and special events at

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.