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RENO & SMILEY 'Don Reno & Red Smiley And The Tennessee Cut-Ups 1959-1963' GUSTO-2209-4CD

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Here at last is a set of recordings that we thought might never be issued. Years ago the I.M.G. company (formerly the King and Starday labels) issued two wonderful 4-CD boxed sets --one of the Stanley Brothers, the other of Reno & Smiley's early King recordings. At the time, IMG promised follow up sets to complete the label's holdings on both of these major Bluegrass acts, and they did follow up with a superb 2nd Stanley set. But rumor was that plans for a second Reno & Smiley box were abandoned. So it was a delightful surprise to see this collection pop up after all. It picks up in 1959 where the first set left off. This means that it includes such old LPs as Wanted, Banjo Special, Country Singing & Instrumentals, a couple of gospel LPs and their Songs of the Civil War album. While most of their classic recordings are to be found on the first box, this set has plenty of top-notch material and music as well --even though there are some weak spots, like the Civil War songs that were written by a historian A.J. Russo (these were written as poems and just don't make it musically). There are a lot of Reno instrumentals here, including some that became quite popular with banjo pickers everywhere at the time: FOLLOW THE LEADER, THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE, BELLS OF ST. MARY'S and STEEL GUITAR RAG, etc. And there are a good number of lovely gospel songs and hymns, most done in the two-guitar style. The 4-CD set (87 tracks) comes with a nice 32-page booklet of notes by Gary Reid. An excellent & long-awaited set.

Track list:
1-1 I Need The Prayers
1-2 In The Garden
1-3 The Arm Of God
1-4 Jesus Will Save Your Soul
1-5 I Feel Like Traveling On
1-6 The Lord's Last Supper
1-7 Little Country Preacher
1-8 He Will Set Your Fields On Fire
1-9 Whispering Hope
1-10 Mother's Only Sleeping
1-11 I'll Meet You In The Morning
1-12 The Bells Of Saint. Mary's
1-13 Steel Guitar Rag
1-14 Tennessee Stomp
1-15 Pick And Hold
1-16 Down On The Farm
1-17 Love, Please Come Home
1-18 Bringin' In The Georgia Mail
1-19 Please Remember That I Love You
1-20 Unfaithful One
2-1 Lee's March
2-2 Follow The Leader
2-3 Double Eagle
2-4 Carry Me Back To Old Virginia
2-5 Washington And Lee Swing
2-6 Goodbye Liza Jane
2-7 Flop Eared Mule
2-8 The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
2-9 Ho-Dancin' Bully Of The Town
2-10 Buffalo Gal
2-11 Speedin' (John Hardy)
2-12 Sweet Thing
2-13 I'm Just A Used To Be To You
2-14 That Moon Is No Stopping Place For Me
2-15 Higher
2-16 Jimmy Caught The Dickens (Pushing Ernest In The Tub)
2-17 Just Doing Rock And Roll
2-18 Gettysburg Recalled
2-19 Stonewall Brigade
2-20 V.M.I.'s Gallant Hour
2-21 Battle Of Atlanta
2-22 Antietam
2-23 Shilo
2-24 Jeb's Black Horse Brigade
2-25 Virginia's Heritage
3-1 Confederate Flag
3-2 The First Shot
3-3 Lee's Command
3-4 Appomattox
3-5 Out Behind The Barn
3-6 Ten Paces
3-7 Corrine, Corrina
3-8 Signed, Sealed And Delivered
3-9 Row Your Boat (alternate version)
3-10 Row Your Boat
3-11 Just About Then
3-12 Greenback Dollar
3-13 Little Red School House
3-14 Garden In The Sky
3-15 I'm Jealous Of You
3-16 Excuse Me (I've Got A Heartache
3-17 Honky Tonk Heaven (previously unreleased)
3-18 Make Believe Heaven
3-19 Only In A Dreamworld
3-20 Kansas City Railroad Blues
3-21 I'll See It Happen To You
3-22 Grandfather's Clock
3-24 Back And White Rag
3-25 Dill Pickles
4-1 The Old Rugged Cross
4-2 River Of Jordon
4-3 Amazing Grace
4-4 Echoes From The Burning Bush
4-5 Jesus Savior, Pilot Me
4-6 Precious Memories
4-7 In The Sweet By An Bye
4-8 Mansion In The Sky
4-9 Rock Of Ages
4-10 What A Friend We Have In Jesus
4-11 Farther Along
4-12 Where We'll Never Grow Old
4-13 Seeing Nellie Home
4-14 Keep Your Skillet Good And Greasy
4-15 Pretty Polly
4-16 Weeping Willow Tree
4-17 Cripple Creek
4-18 Lady Of Spain