Author Topic: Bluegrass & Old Time Music  (Read 901 times)

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Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #80 on: May 14, 2020, 02:59:17 PM »
In fact, I'm listening to this album right now. It really deserves all the praise I've read about it. Not only are the tunes fine, but the playing is outstanding. It's the kind of album that is a solid addition to a collection of Bluegrass; another brick in the wall... :)

8)

Yep.  I was reminded of it recently when a fiddle/mandolin player friend of mine posted it on Facebook. 

The Coon Creek Girls: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YABQQXFohC4

Nice.  You keep finding music I've never heard or heard of!  Keep 'em comin'.

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Offline Philoctetes

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #81 on: May 14, 2020, 04:48:47 PM »
Nice.  You keep finding music I've never heard or heard of!  Keep 'em comin'.

 8)

Same to you. I'm loving this thread.

Jerry Mckinley Holland singing Mark 16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QmkgYmqelw
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #82 on: May 14, 2020, 04:57:19 PM »
I've always liked Tony Rice, not only because he sings and plays guitar about as good as can be done in Bluegrass.  But he has also chosen to perform songs outside the genre but when adapted by his bands sound like great Bluegrass songs.  He also happens to like a songwriter that has been one of my own favorites, Gordon Lightfoot.  He even devoted an entire album to Lightfoot material.  But the record Cold on the Shoulder includes two Lightfoot originals, as well as "I Think It is Going to Rain", a fantastic song by Randy Newman, and there's traditional Bluegrass songs as well as a Lester Flatt song, just a really nice group of songs done by some of the best musicians around.



    "Cold on the Shoulder" (Gordon Lightfoot) – 2:33
    "Wayfaring Stranger" (Traditional) – 5:21
    "John Hardy" (Traditional) – 3:27
    "Fare Thee Well" (Traditional) – 3:19
    "Bitter Green" (Gordon Lightfoot) – 2:43
    "Mule Skinner Blues" (Jimmie Rodgers) – 4:20
    "Song for Life" (Rodney Crowell) – 2:58
    "Why Don't You Tell Me So" (Lester Flatt) – 3:09
    "If You Only Knew" (Larry Rice) – 2:14
    "Likes of Me" (Jerry Reed) – 2:58
    "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" (Randy Newman) – 2:39

    Tony Rice – guitar, vocals
    Sam Bush – mandolin
    Vassar Clements – fiddle
    J. D. Crowe – banjo, background vocals
    Jerry Douglas – dobro
    Béla Fleck – banjo
    Bobby Hicks – fiddle
    Larry Rice – mandolin, background vocals
    Kate Wolf – background vocals
    Todd Phillips – bass

Nice lineup (songs & players both). I've been looking for an album where he was the 'leader' so to speak. I've got a friend who is always talking about what a great guitar player he is, but you know, the music has to be right for me too. I'm also a Lightfoot fan, BTW. Back when I was a player, I mostly played folk music, and he was one of my idols. Plus, I'm always encouraged by any album that has songs written by 'Traditional'. I know you know what I mean... ;)

8)
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Offline Philoctetes

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #83 on: May 14, 2020, 05:12:09 PM »
Otha Turner - Complete Original Recordings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAxmtRLOePk
"That wouldn't be believable. Well, not if you don't believe it" (Trick, 1999).

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Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #84 on: May 14, 2020, 06:35:26 PM »
Otha Turner - Complete Original Recordings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAxmtRLOePk

That is very cool, the fife and drum playing from Mississippi is a link to Africa.  This might be better for the Acoustic Blues thread, since it is part of the African American musical tradition of Mississippi.  I read that Othar Turner was the last person who knew this music and was able to pass it on to his granddaughter and protégé Shardé Thomas, before Turner died.  So maybe it will live on for another generation.

Martin Scorsese produced a ten part documentary of the Blues and used some of Turner's drum/fife music in his movie The Gangs of New York.  Scorsese is a serious Blues fan.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 06:41:06 PM by Old San Antone »

Offline Philoctetes

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #85 on: May 14, 2020, 06:49:11 PM »
That is very cool, the fife and drum playing from Mississippi is a link to Africa.  This might be better for the Acoustic Blues thread, since it is part of the African American musical tradition of Mississippi.  I read that Othar Turner was the last person who knew this music and was able to pass it on to his granddaughter and protégé Shardé Thomas, before Turner died.  So maybe it will live on for another generation.

Martin Scorsese produced a ten part documentary of the Blues and used some of Turner's drum/fife music in his movie The Gangs of New York.  Scorsese is a serious Blues fan.

Whoops. I'll pay better attention next time, but, yes, he passed on the tradition, and his granddaughter is just as good, I feel.

I'll have a look at the doc. Thanks.
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Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #86 on: May 21, 2020, 07:27:36 AM »
Norman Blake (born March 10, 1938) is a traditional American stringed instrument artist and songwriter.

I've been a fan of Norman Blake for years, love his playing and his choice of material.  The following is from his Wikipedia article.

After being discharged from the Army, Blake moved to Nashville and became a studio musician.  For ten years, he toured and recorded with country singer Johnny Cash and continued to play with Cash intermittently over the next thirty. He met his wife, Nancy Short, a cellist with a classical music background who was playing in a folk group. hey have released a number of records together, sometimes calling themselves the Rising Fawn Ensemble, often with a third member.

He was asked by Bob Dylan to play on the country-folk album Nashville Skyline, then became a member of the house band on Johnny Cash's TV show.  Kris Kristofferson, one of the guests, hired Blake to tour with him.  Blake recorded with folk singer Joan Baez and appeared on her hit song "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". In 1971, he became a member of the bluegrass group Aero-plain, led by multi-instrumentalist John Hartford with fiddler Vassar Clements, but the band didn't last long.

Blake also played dobro on the 1972 album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Most of the music that Norman Blake plays could be described as neo-traditionalist Americana folk and roots music (folk, bluegrass, country, blues), and many of the songs he plays are traditional, but he plays this acoustic type of music with a style, speed, and quality that has evolved and progressed in the modern age. Though probably best known for his fluid renditions of classic fiddle tunes transcribed for the guitar ("Fiddler's Dram/Whiskey Before Breakfast"), Blake has also written songs that have become bluegrass and folk standards, such as "Ginseng Sullivan", "Slow Train through Georgia", "Billy Gray", and "Church Street Blues".

Although known as one of the most prominent steel-string guitar flat-pickers, Blake is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Other instruments he plays include the mandolin, 6-string banjo, fiddle, dobro, banjo and viola.  He is known for his loose, right-hand guitar technique, which arose out of his mandolin technique. Also well known is his devotion to 12-fret guitars, including Martin 00s, 000s, D18s, D28s, and Gibsons, like his 1929 12-fret Nick Lucas special.

The Fields of November



    Norman Blake – guitar, fiddle, dobro, mandolin, vocals
    Charlie Collins – guitar, fiddle
    Robert Arthur "Tut" Taylor - dobro
    Nancy Short – cello

In his Allmusic review, critic Jim Smith called the album " a thoroughly relaxed affair that did much to establish the sound he would follow throughout the rest of his career, mixing wistful ballads with controlled instrumental material. He demonstrates his musical prowess by playing fiddle, mandolin, and dobro, as well as composing all of the album's songs.

Rising Fawn String Ensemble

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Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #87 on: May 23, 2020, 04:26:58 AM »
Bluegrass is such a powerful style representing authenticity and rural/country roots that inevitably artists who have made their careers in more commercial music will choose to unplug and make a "Bluegrass Sessions" recording.  To me, these are often their best work.  Merle Haggard did it, so did Steve Earle, EmmyLou Harris, Alan Jackson, and Jim Lauderdale has made several records, most impressively with Ralph Stanley, of Bluegrass inspired music.




Although these are not straight Bluegrass, two favorites of mine just because I'm such a Leon Russell fan were some he did with New Grass Revival (one of the most successful progressive Bluegrass bands).  And Dolly Parton went back to her roots in her late career albums The Grass is Blue and Little Sparrow, both excellent.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 04:32:08 AM by Old San Antone »

Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #88 on: May 23, 2020, 08:47:06 AM »
Crooked Still is an American band consisting of vocalist Aoife O'Donovan, banjo player Gregory Liszt, bassist Corey DiMario, cellist Tristan Clarridge and fiddler Brittany Haas. They are known for their high energy, technical skill, unusual instrumentation, and innovative acoustic style. The string band's style has been described as progressive bluegrass, folk-country, and Americana. O'Donovan states that the band is playing its "own sort of continuation" on the bluegrass tradition that began in the U.S. with Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin. (Wikipedia)

Their music is definitely coming out the old tradition but they are bringing in other influences and stylistic elements which give it a very unique sound.  Aoife O'Donovan is an very talented singer with a distinctive voice and style, and their choice of instruments is unusual but still within a "string band" acoustic.  I enjoy them a lot.  The only down side is their sporadic activity.  Tthey only seem come together every few years for a Crooked Still recording, but will surface semi-regularly in one-off singles.  I think they are overdue for a full-fledged new recording of their own music.

Their latest recording is Friends of Fall



But I think their most successful album is Shaken by a Low Sound, their second release.  With repertoire mostly consisting of traditional music the group sounded original with the combination of Aoife O'Donovan's vocals and the unusual banjo-cello-double bass line up.


Little Sadie

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Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #89 on: May 23, 2020, 08:49:31 AM »
Some great music from two of the best younger Bluegrass players carrying the tradition forward.

Molly Tuttle and Billy Strings: "Sittin On Top Of The World" (Grey Fox 2019)

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Offline Philoctetes

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #90 on: May 23, 2020, 09:26:06 AM »
Extremely interesting take on The Hammons Family:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtX8AHK_RUA

The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZjLU-iJRnA

Gid Tanner And His Skillet Lickers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQYswNgQtFo
"That wouldn't be believable. Well, not if you don't believe it" (Trick, 1999).

"You'd like me to be dumb and nothing more. Maybe you think that, but I don't. But that's how it should be" (Undertow, 2009).

Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #91 on: May 23, 2020, 09:35:31 AM »
That Roan Mountain Hilltoppers clip is great.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #92 on: May 23, 2020, 10:10:10 AM »
BOY - I completely missed this new thread on 'Bluegrass & Old Time Music' - a big fan myself since moving from Michigan to Winston Salem, NC in 1971; we've been in the state ever since and have 'soaked up' a lot of the traditional and historic music of the region - my 'bluegrass' collection probably numbers about a 150 CDs (many shown in the previous posts) (and not to mention a lot of overlap in my 'country collection') - wife and I do a LOT of regional travel in North Carolina and adjacent states - visited Bristol TN/VA a few years back - the Peer recording building is no longer standing but there is a huge mural and a performing stage on or near the site (pic below - also an excellent book on Peer for those interested).

Wife is not a BIG fan of bluegrass so we often do not see live shows, but our last one was in Greensboro w/ Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (have several of their CDs and also a couple of Steve Martin) - could go 'on & on' about the last 40+ years here, but let me peruse my recordings - did a re-listen a few years back but not much lately.  Dave :)

 

 

Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #93 on: May 23, 2020, 10:25:45 AM »
BOY - I completely missed this new thread on 'Bluegrass & Old Time Music' - a big fan myself since moving from Michigan to Winston Salem, NC in 1971; we've been in the state ever since and have 'soaked up' a lot of the traditional and historic music of the region - my 'bluegrass' collection probably numbers about a 150 CDs (many shown in the previous posts) (and not to mention a lot of overlap in my 'country collection') - wife and I do a LOT of regional travel in North Carolina and adjacent states - visited Bristol TN/VA a few years back - the Peer recording building is no longer standing but there is a huge mural and a performing stage on or near the site (pic below - also an excellent book on Peer for those interested).

Wife is not a BIG fan of bluegrass so we often do not see live shows, but our last one was in Greensboro w/ Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (have several of their CDs and also a couple of Steve Martin) - could go 'on & on' about the last 40+ years here, but let me peruse my recordings - did a re-listen a few years back but not much lately.  Dave :)

 

 

Great post, Dave!  I think pretty early in this thread I wrote about the Bristol Sessions box and The Carter Family - that's the real music.  My entry point was back in the late '60s when I listened to the Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music - blew my mind.



Thanks for checking in, and please keep coming back and let us know what you hear in North Carolina - one of the great places for this music.  So many fantastic players came from your neck of the woods - must be something in the water.

8)

Offline Old San Antone

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Re: Bluegrass & Old Time Music
« Reply #94 on: Today at 03:22:22 AM »
Quote
The original concept of the Grascals occurred when the four core members, Terry Eldredge, Jamie Johnson, Jimmy Mattingly, and Dave Talbot, asked Terry Smith and Danny Roberts to join a new group they were wanting to start. They played one of their first shows at the Station Inn in February 2004 with special guest Bobby Osborne. An interesting fact to mention is that the band believed that this wouldn't really go anywhere, almost as a side job to add a little money for their families.

The Grascals began recording their first album in 2004, which would simply be a self-titled album on Rounder Records. This album featured such songs as "Me and John and Paul" written by Harley Allen, "Where Corn Don't Grow" and another popular cover song, "Viva Las Vegas," which featured Dolly Parton. During the recording, Dolly Parton showed interest in wanting to play with the Grascals. The band soon became Dolly's opening act, as well as her bluegrass band. Performing at Dollywood and the Grand Ole Opry, the band and Dolly played a cover version of Elvis's song, "Viva Las Vegas." The first album made it on to the Billboard charts, as well as many country and bluegrass charts. Also on the album cover, Dolly is quoted saying, "One of the greatest albums I've ever heard." (Wikipedia)

The band is still together, albeit with only two of the original members, but their last recording in 2019 remains squarely in the straight Bluegrass camp.  I must have heard several members of this band since for more than a decade most of the founding members were the regular band, The Sidemen, who played every Monday night at the Station Inn.  I would go often; Ronnie McCoury also played with them.  Good days.

Their first -



Their latest -



 8)
« Last Edit: Today at 03:31:13 AM by Old San Antone »