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Live at Mechanics Hall

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Re-live a special bluegrass moment from 1963

    Playing Time – 42:24 -- From the archives of Acoustic Disc comes a Bill Monroe concert recorded live by David Grisman at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Ma. on 11/16/63 featuring Blue Grass Boys Bill Keith, Del McCoury, Joe Stuart, Bessie Lee, Bea Lilly (one track) and Melissa Monroe (two tracks). After a one-minute rendition of “Watermelon Hangin’ on that Vine,” one can sense the electricity in the air during Monroe’s introductions of his band members. While the concert certainly featured many of Monroe’s classic warhorses (e.g. Uncle Pen, Rawhide, Mule Skinner Blues, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Footprints in the Snow), there are some interesting offerings at this concert. One is Keith’s jaw-dropping performance of “Devil’s Dream.” Another novelty is to hear Bill’s 27-year-old daughter Melissa sing “Love’s Gonna Live Here” and “Dreaming of a Little Cabin.” Bill Monroe introduces “John Henry” as his new single, and he adds an extra verse so that nimble-fingered Bill Keith gets a couple breaks in the song. The Father of Bluegrass always included “hymn time” in the program, and he chose Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light” for this show. Mitchell “Bea” Lilly is introduced and a sterling duet of “What Would You Give in Exchange?” is a real crowd-pleaser. Responding to a request, the band serves up a high-stepping “Blue Ridge Mountain Blues,” a song that they had recorded but didn’t perform frequently. Back in 1963, Bill Monroe would have been 53 years old. A seasoned performer with an excellent band, he was at one of the many pinnacles in his career. David Grisman and Acoustic Disc are to be commended for allowing us to re-live a special moment in time when Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys took the stage in Worcester, Ma. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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