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Bluegrass Number 1's

Bluegrass Number 1's

Collecting 18 chart-topping tunes culled from Bluegrass Unlimited magazine's radio charts, Bluegrass Number 1's shows both the persistence of tradition in contemporary bluegrass and the subtle infusions of jet-age propulsion over the past couple of decades. And with almost half of the cuts coming from female artists, the disc underscores the distaff side


Collecting 18 chart-topping tunes culled from Bluegrass Unlimited magazine's radio charts, Bluegrass Number 1's shows both the persistence of tradition in contemporary bluegrass and the subtle infusions of jet-age propulsion over the past couple of decades. And with almost half of the cuts coming from female artists, the disc underscores the distaff side's energizing contributions -- Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Lynn Morris, and Laurie Lewis are all powerfully represented with singular, moving performances. Vincent pays a high-lonesome tribute to the master, Bill Monroe, on the driving, gospel-tinged "Is the Grass Any Bluer," and Lewis shines on "Who Will Watch the Home Place," a heart-stopping reflection on home and hearth. Gender issues aside, this survey offers stirring music from start to finish, with the artists displaying technical savvy to burn, as well as an emotional investment in the material that is rarely encountered with mainstream fare in other genres. James King brings up the traditional side in his deliberate, low-key reading of the ballad "Bed by the Window," and the Del McCoury Band add some edge to that tradition with their bristling classic "The Cold Hard Facts." The visionary J. D. Crowe & the New South light a path from the past to the present with a spirited testimonial of abiding love, "Waiting for You," replete with close three-part harmonizing and deft, economical instrumental asides. A second, bonus disc further emphasizes the vitality of contemporary bluegrass with eight cuts from young lions including Tom Adams & Michael Cleveland, Ginny Harmer, Ron Block, Open Road, and Rob Ickes. As a progress report, Bluegrass Number 1's shows the past and the present in perfect alignment and highlights the unlimited potential for a bountiful future.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason MacNeil
The idea of bluegrass "hits" seems like an anomaly, but on this two-disc, 26-song collection, some of the finest contemporary pickers and singers show their wares. And they're good wares, to say the least. Whether it's on the introductory tune, "Lonesome Wind Blues" by Rhonda Vincent, or the country leanings of "We're Steppin' Out Tonight" by Bobby Hicks with Del McCoury, the first disc has a very impressive flow to it. At times, it's not the mandolin or banjo-blazing songs in the vein of Ricky Skaggs or Bill Monroe, but the somber, folk-sy dirges like "Who Will Watch the Home Place" that are instantly attractive. Later on is another gem from Lynn Morris called "Mama's Hand," which brings to mind early Dolly Parton. The fun-loving, boogie-driven "Thirty Years of Farming" results in a grin-inducing tune, despite singing about the problems of the American farmer. Alison Krauss lends her trademark sound on "New Fool,", a mid-tempo tune rounded out by her stellar supporting cast. Bandmember Dan Tyminski gives a good performance on the laid-back "Carry Me Across the Mountain." This is in direct contrast to the old-school, rollicking toe-tapper "Riding the Danville Pike," courtesy of Blue Highway. Perhaps the highlight is "Bed by the Window" by James King, which sounds like Hank Williams or Vern Gosdin. Laurie Lewis also brings to life "Tall Pines," which is more of a roots-tinted tune than traditional bluegrass. More of the traditional influences are felt on the high yodeling of "I've Been So Lonesome." A second disc consisting of eight tunes begins with the rousing instrumental "Whistling Rufus," by Tom Adams and Michael Cleveland. Open Road has the blueprint down pat, sounding as if they're performing around one microphone with a single dim light bulb overhead during "I'm Not Perfect." One of the better tunes on this second disc is the Gillian Welch-like rendition of "My Warfare Will Soon Be Over," by Ginny Hawker. Only "Goin' Where I've Never Been Before" surpasses it; the latter is a blistering and infectious tune that, like so much of this collection, does the genre a wealth of justice.

Product Details

Release Date:
Rounder / Umgd


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Alison Krauss   Fiddle,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Laurie Lewis   Fiddle,Vocals
Del McCoury   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Tony Rice   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Wyatt Rice   Acoustic Guitar
Rhonda Vincent   Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
James King   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Todd Phillips   Bass (Vocal),Background Vocals,String Bass
Glen Duncan   Fiddle
Tom Adams   Banjo,Background Vocals
Larry Rice   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Bill Emerson   Banjo,Vocals
Lynn Morris   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Tony Adams   Banjo,Baritone (Vocal),Vocal Harmony
Barry Bales   Bass
Richard Bennett   Guitar,Vocals
Cary Black   Vocals,Acoustic Bass
Warren Blair   Fiddle
Ron Block   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Rhythm Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Mike Bub   Bass (Vocal),Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Dudley Connell   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal)
Suzanne Cox   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
J.D. Crowe   Banjo,Baritone (Vocal)
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Bobby Hicks   Fiddle
Rob Ickes   Dobro
Rob McCoury   Banjo,Piano
Ronnie McCoury   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)
David McLaughlin   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Peter McLaughlin   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Jason Moore   Bass
Frank Poindexter   Dobro
Marc Pruett   Banjo
Tom Rozum   Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ricky Simkins   Fiddle,Viola
Tim Stafford   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Baritone (Vocal)
Adam Steffey   Mandolin
Eddie Stubbs   Fiddle,Bass (Vocal)
Wayne Taylor   Bass,Vocals
Dan Tyminski   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Marshall Wilborn   Bass,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Earl Yager   Bass
Curt Chapman   Bass
Phil Leadbetter   Dobro
Don Rigsby   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)
Darrin Vincent   Bass,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Dan McLaughlin   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal)
Mark Fain   Acoustic Bass
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Joe Mullins   Banjo,Vocals
Jason Burleson   Banjo
Adam Poindexter   Banjo,Guitar,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Craig Robert Smith   Banjo
Ron Stewart   Fiddle
Mary Gibbons   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Michael Cleveland   Fiddle
Joe Clark   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Jason Carter   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Alison Krauss   Author
Earl Scruggs   Author
Hazel Dickens   Composer
Barbara Keith   Composer
Ted Lundy   Composer
Troy Seals   Composer
Charles John Quarto   Composer
Patrick Brayer   Composer
Richard Bennett   Composer
Ron Block   Composer
Sidney Cox   Composer
Steve Gillette   Composer
Rob Ickes   Arranger
Ronnie McCoury   Composer
John Pennell   Composer
Wayne Raney   Composer
Eddie Stubbs   Author
Wayne Taylor   Composer
Jeff White   Composer
Curt Chapman   Composer
Fred Eaglesmith   Composer
Steven Jurgensmeyer   Art Direction
Jerry Salley   Composer
Billy Wallace   Composer
Kate Long   Composer
Damon Black   Composer
Sam Humphrey   Composer
Walden Dahl   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Bradford Lee Folk   Composer
Buck Moore   Composer
Charles Frazier   Author

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