Bluegrass Holiday

Bluegrass Holiday

by J.D. Crowe & the New South
     
 

An absolutely fascinating document, and one hell of a traditional bluegrass record, Bluegrass Holiday is the first CD release of an album J. D. Crowe and his Kentucky Mountain Boys cut in 1968 to sell at weekly gigs at the Holiday Inn Red Slipper Lounge in Lexington, Kentucky. Fans lined the halls, awaiting a chance to get inside and hear this red-hot quartet,See more details below

Overview

An absolutely fascinating document, and one hell of a traditional bluegrass record, Bluegrass Holiday is the first CD release of an album J. D. Crowe and his Kentucky Mountain Boys cut in 1968 to sell at weekly gigs at the Holiday Inn Red Slipper Lounge in Lexington, Kentucky. Fans lined the halls, awaiting a chance to get inside and hear this red-hot quartet, which included Crowe on banjo, newly recruited vocalist Red Allen, fleet-fingered mandolin master Doyle Lawson, and, doubling on bass and fiddle, Bobby Slone. What they heard in part was all 12 songs on the original album, which opens with a high-stepping treatment of Woody Guthrie's "Philadelphia Lawyer" and includes the beautifully harmonized "Down Where the River Bends," a farewell to a soldier called off to war that's as timely now as it was in 1968. Similarly, the brisk plea "You Go to Your Church" ("you go to your church / and I'll go to mine / but let's walk along together") is an ever-relevant appeal for religious tolerance. A piercing breakup song, "Will You Be Satisfied That Way," shadows a tender, beautiful love song, "Before I Met You." The showcase instrumental numbers are doozies: "Train 45" is a blistering display of spitfire banjo and mandolin soloing as remarkable for the unerring fluidity of the playing at such a pace as it is for the spirit coming through, a feat amazingly repeated on the incendiary bonus track, "Black Jack"; and suffice it to say that Bobby Slone must have had smoke rising from his fiddle as he tore through "Orange Blossom Special." Crowe's great New South band was still seven years away from forming, but he was really onto something in 1968.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Any late-'60s band that included banjoist J.D. Crowe, singer Red Allen, and mandolinist Doyle Lawson would have to be looked at as a crossroads of sort, a meeting of bluegrass past and bluegrass future, a foray into tradition and a portent of things to come. Red Allen was an old-school vocalist who infused his singing with mountain soul that drew on tradition as laid down by innovators like Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe. Both Lawson (in the Country Gentlemen) and Crowe, on the other hand, would come to the forefront in the '70s, both delving into a more progressive style while retaining a traditional base. The group's selections and style stick close to tradition on Bluegrass Holiday, with Allen singing lead and both Crowe and Lawson adding to the vocal blend. An upbeat, instrumental cut of "Train 45" is simply fabulous, with banjos and mandolins blazing. Bobby Slone's bass work keeps the band grounded, and he adds his fiddle skills to "Orange Blossom Special." Fans will be pleased that four bonus tracks, "Black Jack," "You're Not Easy to Forget," "Pike County Breakdown," and "We'll Meet Again Sweetheart," have been added. The recording quality is somewhat rough, and the vocals often sound distant, as though too much echo has been added. Fans, however, will be happy that Bluegrass Holiday is available again.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/03/2007
Label:
Rebel Records
UPC:
0032511159823
catalogNumber:
1598
Rank:
72178

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

J.D. Crowe & the New South   Primary Artist
J.D. Crowe   Indexed Contributor,Banjo,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Doyle Lawson   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)
Bobby Slone   Bass,Fiddle

Technical Credits

Lester Flatt   Composer
Doyle Lawson   Arranger,Composer
Earl Scruggs   Composer
Woody Guthrie   Composer
Jimmie Skinner   Composer
J.D. Crowe   Arranger,Composer
Henry Davis   Composer
Jimmy Martin   Composer
Bobby Osborne   Composer
Ervin T. Rouse   Composer
Bobby Slone   Arranger
Cecil Jones   Engineer
Frank Godbey   Liner Notes
Bill Browning   Composer
Marty Godbey   Liner Notes
Charles L. Seitz   Composer

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