Jerry Douglas & Chris Thile- No Boundaries Here

Jerry Douglas (feat. Chris Thile) – We Hide & Seek

If you take the guitar, put a medal resonator on it, add some sound cones, raise the action real high, and then turn it sideways and play it with a metal bar and finger picks, you have a dobro.

It’s been used in a lot of different styles of music but, the best players are in bluegrass these days. The dobro was never considered a traditional bluegrass instrument until Flatt & Scruggs brought Josh Graves into the band. For years he was the undisputed hero of the bluegrass resonator guitar or dobro as it’s now commonly referred to. The “dobro” really is a brand name originally made by the Dopyera Brothers. Here’s a little bit more about the dobro:

“Dobro is a registered trademark now owned by Gibson Guitar Corporation and used for a particular design of resonator guitar.  

The name has a long and involved history, interwoven with that of the resonator guitar. Originally coined by the Dopyera brothers when they formed the Dobro Manufacturing Company, in time it came, in common language, to mean any resonator guitar, or specifically one with a single inverted resonator. This particular design was introduced by the Dopyeras’ new company, in competition to the already patented tricone and biscuit designs owned and produced by the National String Instrument Corporation.

The Dobro brand later also appeared on other instruments, notably electric lap-steel guitarsand solid-body electric guitars and on other resonator instruments such as Safari resonator mandolins. When Gibson acquired the trademark in 1994, the company announced that it would defend its right to Dobro’s exclusive use.” see more

The dobro in bluegrass music found another innovator in Mike Auldridge, dobroist of the group Seldom Scene. Mike was able to take the instrument to new heights with solos and backup that were distinctively different than Josh Graves.

And then along came a kid from Ohio by the name of Jerry Douglas. Jerry at a young age joined JD Crowe’s band “The New South” that also featured Tony Rice on guitar, Bobby Sloan on bass, and Ricky Scaggs on mandolin. And when Jerry first joined, he played very close to the stylings of Mike Auldridge who at that time was the most advanced player of that instrument.

But not for long, as Jerry developed a way of getting out single string scales, using the bar to move in directions that was revolutionary…. thus making his innovations the new high water mark for young musicians to reach.

Now in this video, Jerry Douglas is joined by Chris Thile performing “We Hide And Seek” at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in upstate New York. I was actually at that festival and the rain was a serious problem. But you couldn’t tell it was gloomy by what was happening on stage. This is what Jerry can do, and his playing doesn’t seem to have any boundaries.

I’d like to thank Bill Lawrence for suggesting over at out facebook page to post some dobro videos. Let me know if you like the dobro simply by typing in “Yes” below.


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