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MAC WISEMAN 'The Singles'

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When Mac Wiseman left the Dot label in 1962 after a brilliant recording career there, he made about 36 recordings for the Capitol label in the next 3 years, cuts that ranged from excellent to mediocre. The best of this material made it to a Capitol LP as "Bluegrass Favorites", (now in CD form as MME-70036, $ 13.99). Another album worth of good music remained "lost" in the Capitol vaults until recently issued as "The Lost Album" (MME-70038, $ 13.99). The rest of the songs (this CD) are really the leftovers, despite the fact that they were selected to be used as singles. As was typical with the major labels during most of the 60s and 70s, those in charge seemed terrified to let any pure Bluegrass slip out without watering it down or doctoring it up. So despite the presence of some top-notch musicians here (Chubby Wise & Buddy Spicher on fiddles, Joe Drumright on banjo and Benny Williams on mandolin) otherwise fine songs like GOIN' LIKE WILDFIRE and TIS SWEET TO BE REMEMBERED are impaired by the addition of choruses and/or percussion. FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW is the one really solid cut on an otherwise lackluster program of 11 songs.