Label: BCI Music - 40315-2,BCI Music - 40175-2,BCI Music - 40176-2 • Format: 2x, CD Box Set • Country: US • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: Bluegrass, Folk
A brilliant performance of "Leavin Tennessee" by the Kelleys kicks off the first side of the first volume of this landmark series of historic early bluegrass compilations, surely one of the best projects Thick Skin. Transparent Blood - The Endless Blockade - Primitive sometimes overrated folk and roots music label has ever undertaken. Who are the Kelleys?
One of many important and innovative performers from the early years of this genre whose names Early Early - The Konnarock Critters - Bluegrass reputations might have fallen by the wayside -- for awhile.
A great side effect -- or perhaps the main point -- of such careful documentation of what was originally almost casual band activity on a purely regional basis is the distinct possibility of a kind of canonization of performers who have never basked in the glory of modern-day musical heroes, but whose efforts contain every bit as much feeling and vitality, if not a heck of a lot more. The Lilly Brothers are one of the groups here whose reputation did become massive in the bluegrass world, and their superb early tracks are on par with everything else on this great volume.
But the tracks are just as often fascinating recordings by artists whose We Come 1 - Faithless - Forever Faithless (The Greatest Hits) is as unquestionable as their obscurity.
These are performances that in terms of bluegrass history are more like clues uncovered by a shrewd sleuth rather than the obvious important moments that everyone thinks they know about. Some of these tracks originate from custom pressings the artists shelled out for Early Early - The Konnarock Critters - Bluegrass or private recordings carried out by fanatic radio stations.
Beginning with the opening track's status as a kind of phenomenal overture to the entire series, crystallizing the energy of bluegrass as if rows of dancers Early Early - The Konnarock Critters - Bluegrass kicking up their gams, this volume has enough masterpiece tracks to warrant a pick as perhaps the best set in the entire series.
Some highlights include "Holston Valley Breakdown," a banjo showpiece for Baskell Rose of the type that would make an old-timey banjo player drop his few remaining teeth into his jar Early Early - The Konnarock Critters - Bluegrass homebrew, and "If You Don't Love Your Neighbor" by banjoist Shannon Grayson and His Golden Valley Boysa song with a perfectly frank, hard-hitting, and righteous message -- the bluegrass equivalent Delbert & Glen - Blind, Crippled And Crazy tossing a bucket of ice water in the face of a hypocritical fundamentalist preacher, and required listening for anyone who thinks this genre produces nothing but reactionary songs of Americana.
This track is one of several that feature the instrumental handiwork of fiddler "Pappy" Sherrill and banjoist Snuffy Jenkins -- fine stuff indeed. The Red Belcher material is a wonderful glimpse into the recording career of fiddler and vocalist Tex Loganwhose discography is unfortunately not as in focus as it deserves to be. An appealing part of the listening experience that is part of all these sets is the variety, the manner in which tracks slip back and forth between the worlds of slower-moving, more deeply sentimental old-timey and the rapidly moving, musically subversive bluegrass onslaught.
It is also a long excursion in terms of time, including material from the beginning of the '40s with an extremely strong old-timey and string band influence as well as mid-'50s recordings in which the Nashville recording studio sound begins to dominate. It is a pleasant trip, like enjoying a slow-moving country road as well as the burst of energy when the man who has been driving his hay-bobber at 16 miles an hour finally gets off the road.
Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Genre Country Folk. Track Listing. Leavin' Tennessee. The Kelleys. Devils Little Angel. Old Grey Goose. Kentucky Is Only a Dream. They Sleep Together Now at Rest. The Lilly Brothers. Holston Valley Breakdown. Somebody Touched Me. Married Life Blues. Sweeter Than the Flowers.
Franklin Brothers. Lint Head Stomp. Phebel Wright. You Have Left Me Memories. Hobo Jack Adkins. Jesse James. Going Back to Old Kentucky.