Bluegrass gospel music is probably the oldest of the three categories of gospel and, according to music scholars, maintains the genre’s original transcendence of race and persuasion (Phillips, 167-68). Primarily relying on instruments such as the guitar, the fiddle, the banjo and mandolin and reminiscent of country music, bluegrass gospel is expressive of the American spirit itself, not to mention the nation’s collective heritage. It is both spiritual and secular, sung in churches and in clubs and sung by both black and white performers. Indeed, as Phillips contends, bluegrass gospel is a quintessentially American genre and the ancestor of other uniquely American musical genres, whether country and western, soul and blues or hillbilly and Old-Time music. While musically tended towards the upbeat, accompanying lyrics are invariably emotional, expressing a sincerity of feelings and human longings which audiences, irrespective of gender, race or religious persuasion, can identify and empathize with. Therefore, insofar as this category of gospel music is concerned, it can most accurately be defined as a traditional American musical genre which expresses both secular and spiritual concerns and emotions.