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In recent decades, bluegrass music has increasingly reached a broader audience as major mainstream country music performers such as Dolly Parton and Patty Loveless recorded bluegrass albums.
Since the late 1990s, Ricky Skaggs, who began as a bluegrass musician and crossed over to mainstream country in the 1980s, returned to bluegrass with his band Kentucky Thunder. The Coen Brothers' movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou"?” (2000) and the resulting “Down from the Mountain” music tour and documentary have contributed mightily to expanding the audience for bluegrass music.
Meanwhile, bands such as the Rocky-Grass, Yonder Mountain String Band in the United States, and Druhá Tráva in the Czech Republic have attracted large audiences while pushing at the edges of progressive bluegrass in the college-jam band atmospheres, often called "jamgrass". A crossover of bluegrass and jazz styles can be heard in the music of Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Doc Watson and others. An interesting and rather peculiar crossover of bluegrass and heavy metal has been popularized by John 5; this blends bluegrass with heavy distortion and shred-like techniques, such as sweep arpeggios, tapping and string-skipping.
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