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LAURIE LEWIS & KATHY KALLICK 'Sing the Songs of Vern & Ray' SMM-1012-CD

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Someone had a great idea here, paying tribute to one of the most influential groups in the history of California's Bluegrass scene, and Laurie and Kathy have certainly pulled it off well with this superb recording. Vern Williams and Ray Park both came from the state of Arkansas, and they were the real thing: just as the Lilly Brothers & Don Stover created a real following for authentic Bluegrass in New England, so did Vern & Ray do the same thing in California. The Arkansas duo --who had a few songs out on the Starday label at one time, plus a rare but wonderful LP on Old Homestead, played hard-edged, raw, dynamic music, and here Laurie and Kathy demonstrate that they can do the same thing over 40 years later. They start with a great bunch of songs, including well done versions of CABIN ON A MOUNTAIN, THINKIN' OF HOME, THE TOUCH OF GOD'S HAND and MONTANA COWBOY, numbers they were known for not only in California but among serious Bluegrass fans everywhere. Whether the rest of the 18 songs & tunes were part of Vern & Ray's repertoire we can't say, but they were certainly the type of material that the duo excelled at, and Laurie and Kathy do them justice: COWBOY JACK, HOW MANY TIMES, IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER, LITTLE BIRDIE, MY CLINCH MOUNTAIN HOME, FLYING CLOUD, HAPPY I'LL BE, FIELD OF FLOWERS, DOWN AMONG THE BUDDED ROSES, etc. Helping with the accompaniment in the appropriate places are Tom Rozum (mandolin), Patrick Sauber (banjo), Keith Little and Sally Van Meter. A fine album --well recommended!

Track List:
1 Oh! Susanna 1:47
2 Cabin On A Mountain 2:55
3 Cowboy Jack 4:01
4 Little Birdie 3:39
5 If I Had My Life To Live Over Again 2:53
6 Happy I'll Be 2:35
7 Black-Eyed Susie 2:05
8 To Hell With The Land 3:27
9 Flying Cloud 2:36
10 Montana Cowboy 3:20
11 Down Among The Budded Roses 3:42
12 Thinkin' Of Home 2:56
13 Field Of Flowers 3:11
14 How Many Times 2:30
15 My Clinch Mountain Home 4:35
16 My Old Kentucky Home 3:04
17 Blue Grass Style 1:52
18 Touch Of God's Hand 2:40