All-Star Bluegrass Celebration

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Initially broadcast as a PBS fundraising special, All-Star Bluegrass Celebration serves as an overview of bluegrass's rich and evolving history. The participating artists connect the genre's past, present, and future, beginning with such early pioneers as Ralph Stanley, with yet another stunning rendition of the chilling "O Death," and Earl Scruggs, who offers a fevered "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." In the realm of established mainstream beacons, the Del McCoury Band shine on three terrific numbers, including a dramatic rendering of Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," and two stirring gospel numbers, including "Crying Holy Unto the Lord," with Vince Gill. ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Initially broadcast as a PBS fundraising special, All-Star Bluegrass Celebration serves as an overview of bluegrass's rich and evolving history. The participating artists connect the genre's past, present, and future, beginning with such early pioneers as Ralph Stanley, with yet another stunning rendition of the chilling "O Death," and Earl Scruggs, who offers a fevered "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." In the realm of established mainstream beacons, the Del McCoury Band shine on three terrific numbers, including a dramatic rendering of Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," and two stirring gospel numbers, including "Crying Holy Unto the Lord," with Vince Gill. Host Ricky Skaggs and his redoubtable Kentucky Thunder outfit kick off the proceedings with a rousing "Shady Grave" and reappear periodically throughout the show, while Patty Loveless employs her resonant mountain warbling during three appearances, including a spirited set-to with Stanley on "Pretty Polly" and a toe-tapping celebration with Skaggs and Travis Tritt on a keening, banjo-fired tribute to the master, Bill Monroe, on the timeless "Uncle Pen." Although she's well established, Alison Krauss would seem to fall into the avant-garde category in this grouping, as an artist who fuses traditional bluegrass with, in her case, pop, to create one of the most memorable sound signatures in contemporary music. Alongside Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Krauss makes a single incandescent appearance here, with a terse, atmospheric rendering of "Let Me Touch You for Awhile." Progressive and traditional forms also define Nickel Creek, who offer up a metaphysical musing, "Seven Wonders," with the tenderness and nuance of a chamber piece. The all-star jams at the end are mere icing on a very rich and enriching cake.
All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
A pairing of bluegrass legends with a newer generation of bluegrass stars, the All-Star Bluegrass Celebration was recorded live on January 16, 2002, at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, for a PBS television production. Hosted by Ricky Skaggs, the program featured veterans like Del McCoury, Ralph Stanley, and Earl Scruggs paired with neo-bluegrass performers like Nickel Creek and Alison Krauss. Ralph Stanley steals the show with his signature a cappella version of "Oh Death" and Earl Scruggs is simply amazing on banjo, as always. Other highlights include Bruce Hornsby playing what can only be described as bluegrass piano on the traditional "Darlin' Cory" and the beautiful, wistful "Seven Wonders" by Nickel Creek. Truthfully, this show is best appreciated as a video presentation, where the reverence and respect these musicians share is easily seen. Listeners should be aware that the track listing on the CD cover doesn't correspond to the running order on the disc itself, which is mildly irritating. All the songs are there, though.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/9/2004
  • Label: RAINMAKER PRODUCTION
  • UPC: 822976200129
  • Catalog Number: 2001

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Shady Grove (3:32)
  2. 2 Crying Holy (Unto the Lord) (2:48)
  3. 3 Let Me Touch You for Awhile - Union Station (3:50)
  4. 4 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (3:34)
  5. 5 Get Down on Your Knees and Pray (4:34)
  6. 6 Foggy Mountain Breakdown (4:08)
  7. 7 Daniel Prayed (4:47)
  8. 8 Pretty Polly (2:35)
  9. 9 O Death (2:44)
  10. 10 Uncle Pen (3:10)
  11. 11 Little Georgia Rose (3:00)
  12. 12 Darling Corey (4:37)
  13. 13 Seven Wonders (4:22)
  14. 14 Lonesome Ruben (5:07)
  15. 15 Rawhide (3:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jerry Douglas Dobro
Alison Krauss Fiddle, Vocals
Del McCoury Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Earl Scruggs Banjo
Ricky Skaggs Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Ralph Stanley Vocals
Patty Loveless Vocals
Travis Tritt Banjo, Vocals
Bruce Hornsby Piano, Vocals
John Jorgenson Electric Guitar
Glen Duncan Fiddle
Barry Bales Bass
Ron Block Acoustic Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Mike Bub Bass, Vocals
Jack Cooke Bass
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Vince Gill Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
Emory Gordy Rhythm Guitar
Bobby Hicks Fiddle
Byron House Bass, Vocals
Rob McCoury Banjo
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin, Vocal Harmony
Jim Mills Banjo
Carmella Ramsey Vocal Harmony
Deanie Richardson Fiddle
Gary Scruggs Electric Bass
Randy Scruggs Acoustic Guitar
Harry Stinson Drums
Dan Tyminski Mandolin, Vocal Harmony
Darrin Vincent Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Chris Thile Mandolin, Vocals
Steve Sparkman Banjo
Cody Kilby Acoustic Guitar
James Alan Shelton Guitar
Mark Fain Bass
Paul Brewster Acoustic Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
James Price Fiddle
John Rigsby Mandolin
Ralph Stanley II Rhythm Guitar
Sara Watkins Fiddle, Vocals
Sean Watkins Guitar, Vocals
Andy Leftwich Fiddle
Technical Credits
Bill Monroe Composer
Earl Scruggs Composer
Ricky Skaggs Arranger
Ralph Stanley Composer
Bruce Hornsby Arranger
Richard Thompson Composer
Stan Strickland Executive Producer
Jonathan Russell Mastering
Terry Lickona Producer
Traditional Composer
Robert Lee Castleman Composer
Sean Watkins Composer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    High octane bluegrass music in a live show

    Playing Time – 55:55 -- The high octane of bluegrass music in a live show has been captured in the “All Star Bluegrass Celebration” produced by legendary Austin City Limits architect Terry Lickona. Available on CD or DVD, the intensity of this genre is seized in this documentation of a show featuring some of the greatest performers in the business. The many moods of bluegrass range from the hard-core traditional to quick-paced contemporary, enchanting gospel to powerful mountain sounds. Recorded on January 16, 2002 at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium for a PBS broadcast, the All-Star Bluegrass Celebration was a very popular fund-raising special. There is one primary tradeoff to the energy of a live show, and that is the audience applause which can be downright noisy and annoying, especially when it’s rendered over a hot break or vocals. The DVD version contains three bonus tracks. The show was hosted by Ricky Skaggs, and the CD begins with Kentucky Thunder’s fiery rendition of the traditional “Shady Grove.” A project like this always offers some interesting pairings that bring illustrious guests onto the bluegrass stage. More often associated with country music but clearly having strong bluegrass foundations, stars like Vince Gill , Travis Tritt, Patty Loveless, and Bruce Hornsby also make appearances. Unfortunately, the set’s flow has some problems. For example, following the Del McCoury Band’s “Get Down on Your Knees and Pray” with a drum-heavy rendition of Earl Scruggs’ “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” is like jumping from a warm bed into a freezing cold lake. While the crowd appreciates the sheer energy of the breakdown with electric guitar, electric bass, and drums, it seems rather odd to transition right back to Patty Loveless’ more acoustic rendition of “Daniel Prayed.” Later in the set, after Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs play straight-ahead bluegrass, Bruce Hornsby builds his compelling case for bluegrass piano on “Darlin’ Corey.” Of course, Nickel Creek’s “Seven Wonders” pushes the bluegrass envelope even further. The all star finale jam it up on Earl Scruggs’ “Lonesome Reuben” and a fitting tribute to the father of bluegrass with Bill Monroe’s “Rawhide.” There are no liner notes that try to define bluegrass. It’s obvious that producer Terry Likona has chosen to let the music do that for us, and the sideboards are large. With its strongly mainstream commercial sound, the All-Star Bluegrass Celebration raised a great amount of funding for PBS. Projects like this also give us a broad sampling of bluegrass for all tastes. From the sounds of the noisy audience, they clearly loved it. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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