VARIOUS ARTISTS 'The Appalachian Tradition'

VARIOUS ARTISTS 'The Appalachian Tradition'

  • $13.50


We don’t know who or what the “Great American Music Company” is, but it is evidently responsible for this hodge-podge of an album that can’t decide whether it wants to be Old-Time or Bluegrass. No problem, just try to be all things to all people and cash in on the interest in Appalachia and the “O Brother Where Art Thou” craze (gee fellas, you’re a few years too late on that one). The album hype assures us that this is “A great collection for loyal Appalachian and Bluegrass fans and beginners too!” Well, to be fair, there is some fine music here, by some great artists, for example OH MOLLY DEAR by B.F. Shelton, MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW (Emry Arthur), WILL THE WEAVER (Parker & Woolbright) and good cuts by Wade Mainer, Green Bailey, Byron Parker and Roy Hall. In the Bluegrass category, there are some pretty obscure tracks by Toby Stroud (JESSE JAMES), John Reedy (SOMEBODY TOUCED ME, Jim Eanes and Frank Wakefield with Marvin Cobb—good stuff. There’s a Ralph Stanley cut with Ricky Skaggs, and one each by Doc Watson and Bill Monroe. The Monroe song is listed on the disc and in the notes as “I SAW THE LIGHT” when it is actually CAN’T YOU HEAR ME CALLING—a rather weak live performance with a strained, unidentified lead vocal: an insult to Monroe and an inexcusable error. There’s also a solo fiddle version of CRIPPLE CREEK that is attributed to Erik Darling, an urban banjo player from Hootenanny Days—I am not very familiar with his work, but I would be very surprised if it is him playing the fiddle here. And the writer of the notes wants us to believe that Wade Mainer’s RAMSHACKLE SHACK was later “adapted” by George Jones and The Tams! (He confuses the song with SPARKLING BLUE (BROWN) EYES, which starts out with the verse “There’s a ramshackle shack in old Caroline”. And were the Kossoy Sisters really part of the “O Brother” soundtrack or movie? To sum up, there is a lot of good music here, and with 18 tracks for just $ 10.00 it’s a bargain. We just wonder why a label like this would not get someone with more savvy about the music to make the selections and write the notes, or at least do a little proof reading, as there are plenty of very knowledgeable folks out there today. (Oh well, it was quite interesting to check things out and find that the Tams (a very popular “Beach music” group) did actually perform or record SPARKLING BROWN EYES—which they probably learned from the popular 1950s version by Webb Pierce)

Artists:

  • EMRY ARTHUR
  • MARVIN COBB, FRANK WAKEFIELD & THE CHAIN MOUNTAIN BOYS
  • BYRON PARKER & HIS MOUNTAINEERS
  • B.F. SHELTON
  • WADE MAINER & THE SONS OF THE MOUNTAINEERS
  • DOC WATSON
  • ERIK DARLING
  • JERRY & SKY
  • RAPLH STANLEY FEATURING RICKY SKAGGS
  • THE KOSSOY SISTERS
  • JOHN REEDY & HIS STONE MOUNTAIN BOYS
  • TOBY STROUD & THE BLUE MOUNTAIN BOYS
  • BILL MONROE
  • ETTA BAKER
  • JIM EANES & HIS SHENANDOAH VALLEY BOYS
  • ROY HALL & HIS BLUE RIDGE ENTERTAINERS
  • GREEN BAILEY
  • PARKER & WOOLBRIGHT

Track Listing:

  • I AM THE MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW
  • NEW COMPTON RACES
  • CARROLL COUNTY BLUES
  • OH MOLLY DEAR
  • RAMSHACKLE SHACK
  • LITTLE STREAM OF WHISKEY
  • CRIPPLE CREEK
  • ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL
  • SHOUTING ON THE HILLS OF GLORY
  • BOWLING GREEN
  • SOMEBODY TOUCHED ME
  • JESSE JAMES
  • I SAW THE LIGHT
  • JOHN HENRY
  • DOWN AMONG THE BUDDED ROSES
  • WABASH CANNON BALL
  • THE FATE OF ELLEN SMITH
  • WILL THE WEAVER