Very Interesting. Going where the grass is bluer By VIRGINIA SORRELLS and NICHOLAS VROMAN Special to The Japan Times It's a story you could write a song about. It's sometime in the 1960s or '70s. A teenager in Tokyo slips a borrowed cassette into a player and is transfixed by what he hears: the sound of guitars, banjos and mandolins; the call of mountains far, far away. He saves his money and flies to the United States, gets on a Greyhound bus and makes a pilgrimage to legendary folk festivals. He hears bluegrass music live for the first time and it changes the course of his musical life. City and Eastern: Mandolin player and luthier Takeshi Iwamoto performs at a bluegrass jam session at Tokyo club Moon Stomp, where banjo player Tatsuya "KT" Kuwabara (below) is also a regular. VIRGINIA SORRELLS PHOTOS This is a typical story for many of the older generation of Japanese bluegrass players. Now, a new generation of fans can easily find nearly the entire history of recorded bluegrass on the Internet and in collectors' corners of specialty CD shops. To experience the music live, they can visit the many tiny but energetic music clubs in the basements and upper floors of buildings in Tokyo areas as diverse as Koenji, long a counterculture haven, and Ginza, which is better known for high-priced glamour than the high and lonesome sound of bluegrass. Osaka and Yokohama also boast small but lively communities of fans and players. - more at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fm20090313a1.html This article was mentioned in The Bluegrass Blog( www.thebluegrassblog.com/going-where-the-grass-is-bluer ).