Bluegrass Hits: Twenty Timeless Favorites from Yesterday and Today

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Despite this disc's subtitle, "yesterday" doesn't refer to bluegrass's distant past but rather to its more recent history. The oldest cut here is the Johnson Mountain Boys' dark, unsettling interpretation of the heartbreaking ballad "Dream of a Miner's Child," a 1988 recording notable both for Dudley Connell's affecting lead vocal and Eddie Stubbs' mournful violin interjections. The Boys' traditional vocal and instrumental sound was the bridge between the first-generation progressives and the music's new breed of innovators, such as Alison Krauss + Union Station and their pop-influenced balladry. Krauss's crystalline, deeply felt vocals and her estimable band's rootsy, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Despite this disc's subtitle, "yesterday" doesn't refer to bluegrass's distant past but rather to its more recent history. The oldest cut here is the Johnson Mountain Boys' dark, unsettling interpretation of the heartbreaking ballad "Dream of a Miner's Child," a 1988 recording notable both for Dudley Connell's affecting lead vocal and Eddie Stubbs' mournful violin interjections. The Boys' traditional vocal and instrumental sound was the bridge between the first-generation progressives and the music's new breed of innovators, such as Alison Krauss + Union Station and their pop-influenced balladry. Krauss's crystalline, deeply felt vocals and her estimable band's rootsy, acoustic arrangements come together winningly on 1992's sprightly cover of Shawn Colvin's contemplative "I Don't Know Why." Most of the artists here blur the line between progressive and traditional, embracing both approaches as suits their material. Rhonda Vincent nicely balances both sensibilities on her breakneck-paced rendition of the Osborne Brothers' (by way of Ernest Tubb) keening "Drivin' Nails in My Coffin." Pioneering progressive legend J. D. Crowe is given his props with the inclusion of a latter-day gem, an acoustic-driven, mountain-style rendition of Merle Haggard's drinkin' tale "Back to the Barrooms," which allows plenty of room for propulsive solos by mandolin, banjo, and fiddle along the way. Great traditional singing, deep and moving, is rife on songs such as Alecia Nugent's tough-but-wounded tones on the heartbreaker "My First Mistake" -- and throughout this excellent collection, which underscores the vitality of a genre always busy being born.
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Before one can even consider the music on Bluegrass Hits: Twenty Timeless Favorites from Yesterday and Today, one must confront the buxom brunette on the cover. Yes, she's a handsome lass, a model one supposes, sitting on a blanket in a rustic meadow with a number of bluegrass albums laying about. What does she have to do with 20 timeless hits? Absolutely nothing, but one supposes that an attractive cover sells more albums. There's also the curious subtitle: Twenty Timeless Favorites from Yesterday and Today. How can a song from today be a timeless classic? Well, it probably can't, but it sounds better than naming one's album "Another Repackaging of Songs We Own the Rights To." If one can make it past the sexist cover and the mixed-up title, there's much that the contemporary roots music fan will like about Bluegrass Hits. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, one of the best bands in the business, kicks the set off with "Heartbreak Number Nine," and he's followed by such luminaries as Claire Lynch, Alison Krauss, and Ricky Skaggs. There's also a good selection of newer artists like Rhonda Vincent, Rob Ickes, and Dan Tyminski. With 20 songs, this is a generous collection, and not unlike listening to an hour-long bluegrass program without any commercials. For anyone looking for a good introduction to Rounder's fine cadre of bluegrass pickers, Bluegrass Hits will fit the bill.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/8/2005
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661056923
  • Catalog Number: 610569
  • Sales rank: 364,570

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Butch Baldassari Mandolin
Jerry Douglas Dobro, Vocals
David Grier Guitar
Alison Krauss Fiddle, Vocals
Doyle Lawson Mandolin, Baritone (Vocal)
Tony Rice Guitar, Vocals
Ricky Skaggs Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Rhonda Vincent Mandolin, Vocals
Sam Bush Mandolin
Lloyd Green Steel Guitar
Glen Duncan Fiddle
Bill Emerson Banjo, Baritone (Vocal)
Larry Cordle Vocal Harmony
Terry Eldredge Guitar, Vocals
Lynn Morris Guitar, Vocals
Claire Lynch Vocals
Barry Bales Bass, Tenor (Vocal)
Terry Baucom Banjo
Ron Block Banjo, Guitar, Tenor (Vocal)
Mike Bub Baritone (Vocal), Acoustic Bass
Dudley Connell Guitar, Tenor (Vocal)
Evelyn Cox Vocals
Sidney Cox Baritone (Vocal)
Suzanne Cox Tenor (Vocal)
J.D. Crowe Banjo, Baritone (Vocal)
Stuart Duncan Fiddle, Vocals
Jimmy Gaudreau Mandolin, Tenor (Vocal)
Mark Hembree Bass
Rob Ickes Dobro, Vocals
Carl Jackson Banjo, Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Greg Luck Guitar, Vocals
Jimmy Mattingly Fiddle, Mandolin
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin
Michael McLain Banjo
David McLaughlin Mandolin
Tim O'Brien Rhythm Guitar
Alan O'Bryant Tenor (Vocal)
Marc Pruett Banjo
Tom Roady Percussion
Mark Schatz Bass
Tim Stafford Guitar, Baritone (Vocal)
Adam Steffey Mandolin
Eddie Stubbs Fiddle
Wayne Taylor Bass, Vocals
Dan Tyminski Mandolin, Tenor (Vocal)
Marshall Wilborn Bass, Vocal Harmony
Andrea Zonn Fiddle
Aubrey Haynie Fiddle
Curt Chapman Bass
Phil Leadbetter Guitar (Resonator)
Don Rigsby Mandolin, Baritone (Vocal)
Barry Scott Bass, Vocals
Darrin Vincent Bass
Kent Wells Hi String
Missy Raines Bass
Tim Massey Bass, Tenor (Vocal)
Junior Sisk Guitar, Vocals
Mark Fain Bass
Paul Brewster Rhythm Guitar
Ben Isaacs Bass
Randy Kohrs Dobro
Bryan Sutton Guitar
Elmer C. Burchett Jr. Banjo, Baritone (Vocal)
Joe Mullins Banjo
Jason Burleson Banjo
Jim VanCleve Fiddle
Ben O'Connor Bass
Craig Robert Smith Banjo
Ron Stewart Banjo
Jim Hurst Guitar, Background Vocals
Jamie Dailey Guitar, Tenor (Vocal)
David Talbot Banjo, Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Jamie Johnson Vocal Harmony
Alecia Nugent Vocals
Jim Runnels Banjo, Vocals
Christopher Jones Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Bradford Lee Folk Guitar, Vocals
James "The Penguin" King Vocals
Alan Perdue Mandolin
Larry Lynch Mandolin, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Jerry Douglas Producer
The Johnson Mountain Boys Producer
Alison Krauss Arranger, Producer
Doyle Lawson Producer
Tony Rice Producer
Ricky Skaggs Producer
Ralph Stanley Composer
Rhonda Vincent Producer
Jimmie Davis Composer
Merle Haggard Composer
Hazel Dickens Composer
Shawn Colvin Composer
Hylo Brown Composer
Larry Cordle Composer
Patrick Brayer Composer
Claire Lynch Producer
Richard Adler Producer, Engineer
Harley Allen Composer
Tim Austin Producer, Engineer
Dudley Connell Arranger
J.D. Crowe Producer
Béla Fleck Producer
Ronnie Freeland Producer, Engineer
Rob Ickes Producer
Ken Irwin Producer
Carl Jackson Producer
Dickey Lee Composer
Ronnie Light Engineer
Sally Van Meter Producer
Charles Mitchell Composer
Toby Mountain Mastering
Tim O'Brien Producer
Gary Paczosa Engineer
Allen Reynolds Composer
Jim Robeson Engineer
Al Schulman Engineer
Larry Shell Composer
Tim Stafford Composer, Producer
James Tuttle Engineer
Dan Tyminski Producer
Bil VornDick Engineer
Barry Scott Composer
Lynn Morris Band Producer
Gretchen Peters Composer
Steve Chandler Engineer
Andrew MacNaughtan Cover Photo
Patrick Murphy Engineer
Gerald F. "Jerry" Irby Composer
Howard Sisk Composer
Tony Laiolo Composer
Bonnie Dodd Composer
Luke Wooten Engineer
Jamie Dailey Composer
Traditional Composer
Sarah Lainie Smith Graphic Design
Bradford Lee Folk Composer
Tony Smith Engineer
Shawn Lane Composer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Tried, true and tested bluegrass hits

    Playing Time – 65:57 -- At one time, the words “bluegrass” and “hit” would be contradictory. However, in more recent times with the great success and growth of the genre, bluegrass music can claim to have many top songs that are garnering significant radio airplay. Every song on this Rounder Records compilation placed in the Top Ten of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine’s National Bluegrass Survey. So this sampler gives us a generous 66 minutes of tried, true and tested bluegrass. The chart is based on feedback from radio DJs and programmers so people that know the music have weighed in to name these songs as among the best of the best contemporary bluegrass dating from 1985-2005. Cuts come from a number of stalwarts such as Doyle Lawson, The Cox Family, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Tony Rice, Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe, and Claire Lynch. Other emerging acts like Blue Highway, Longview, Alecia Nugent, Open Road and The Grascals are more recently on the scene, but no less impressive with their hits. It’s impressive to see women playing such a prominent role among these hits. Hits are also drawn from highly-acclaimed solo releases Rob Ickes, Dan Tyminski, and Stuart Duncan. Unfortunately, a few of these groups who had hits (Johnson Mountain Boys, Weary Heart, Rambler’s Choice) are no longer together. The 20-page CD booklet offers musician credits, a short summary about each group, and Rounder discography for further exploration. “Bluegrass Hits” is a wonderful set from a leading label in the genre. It also makes a strong statement about where bluegrass music is headed. Listen to this album in context of what has gone before. I was surprised to hear the banjo and fiddle relegated to minor roles in some of the arrangements. In “Me and John and Paul,” (IBMA’s 2005 Song of the Year) there are percussion and pedal steel in the mix. Compared to the seminal works of bluegrass’ founders, we hear songs with slower tempos and smooth, polished Nashville-style vocals. The resonator guitar also appears to be playing a more and more prominent role in the genre’s current sound. “Bluegrass Hits” closes with the earliest track recorded, a 1988 version of the traditional “Dream of a Miner’s Child” from the Johnson Mountain Boys. It’s an interesting way to close this album – on a note that recognizes the spirit and significance of classic bluegrass from a band, now defunct, that never compromised their traditional sound. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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