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Can't You Hear Me Callin' - Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music

Can't You Hear Me Callin' - Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music

4.0 1
A well-considered overview of the mainstream bluegrass field, this four-disc, 100-plus-song collection charts the evolution of the music from 1925 through 2002. The earliest track is Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers' stirring 1925 workout on "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues," and from there


A well-considered overview of the mainstream bluegrass field, this four-disc, 100-plus-song collection charts the evolution of the music from 1925 through 2002. The earliest track is Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers' stirring 1925 workout on "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues," and from there the set goes on to illustrate how the style has hewed to its fundamentals even as visionaries such as (the amply represented) Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs infused it with new ideas. In the end, bluegrass remains true to its roots, there not being so great a leap from 1925 to Rhonda Vincent's keening 2001 tribute to Monroe, "Is the Grass Any Bluer." Purists may question the inclusion of four Byrds tracks and the Dixie Chicks' affecting "Tortured Tangled Hearts" to the exclusion of the entire progressive bluegrass wing (New Grass Revival, Seldom Scene, Nickel Creek, et al. are not featured). However, a younger guard is represented by way of Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless, Steve Earle with the Del McCoury Band, and exciting latter-day fusions of Edgar Meyer (with Bela Fleck and Mike Marshall on "Big Country") and violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, teaming with Meyer, Marshall, and Sam Bush on 1996's "BP," which in and of itself advances a forward-looking mind-set in a traditional setting. In between there's plenty of Jim & Jesse, the Stanley Brothers, and the Osborne Brothers, as well as nods to Mark O'Connor, Alison Krauss (including the haunting "So Long, So Wrong"), and the latter-day Ralph Stanley in bringing the concept full circle. There's a lot more to bluegrass history than even this generous collection suggests, but it does a splendid job of telling the story in broad strokes. And a stirring tale it is.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The title pretty much says it on this deluxe four-disc package from Sony's Legacy imprint. Here on four discs are 109 performances that cover the spectrum of American bluegrass, beginning with its pre-birth roots in Appalachian country string band music via the recordings of Gid Tanner, Charlie Poole & the Blue Ridge Ramblers, and the Carters in the mid-'30s. The story really takes off with the Monroe Brothers and their classic "What Would You Give in Exchange (For Your Soul)?" in 1936, the same year that Roy Acuff issued his first hit, "The Great Speckled Bird." Ralph and Carter Stanley, the Bailes Brothers, and Molly O'Day enter the root stream within a few years, and the tree blossoms at the dawn of World War II, flowering with Flatt & Scruggs' "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" in 1949. These are all here, of course, as are cuts by Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, the Osborne Brothers, Roy Hall, Grandpa Jones, Jim & Jesse, Bill & Mary Reid, the Webster Brothers, and many others from these early decades. Where the set really takes its chances is in including the contributions made to rock and modern country and bluegrass music through offerings from the Byrds, Ricky Skaggs, Eric Weissberg, the Dixie Chicks, the O'Kanes, Rhonda Vincent, Herb Pedersen, and many others. What it makes for is a provocative look at the music as it evolved not only musically, but culturally and socially, as it crossed from the Deep South into the East and West Coasts and moved north. Not everyone will agree with the track choices, of course, and the tiresome purists will no doubt find the last CD difficult to handle given their attitudes of preservation at any cost -- including premature death -- but the rest of us can be delighted, beguiled, amused, and confronted by this primitive, raw original American underground music as it entered the mainstream of our society. The set includes a fantastic historical essay by former Creem editor Billy Altman, and a fine introduction by Dr. Ralph Stanley.

Product Details

Release Date:


Disc 1

  1. Soldier's Joy
  2. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues
  3. White House Blues
  4. Bill Mason
  5. Cannon Ball Blues
  6. D Blues
  7. Keep on the Sunny Side
  8. What Would You Give in Exchange (For Your Soul)?
  9. I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes
  10. Great Speckled Bird
  11. Orange Blossom Special
  12. Ida Red
  13. Pretty Polly
  14. Lonesome Old River Blues
  15. Mule Skinner Blues
  16. Wreck on the Highway
  17. The Drunkard's Grave
  18. Rocky Road Blues
  19. Searching for a Soldier's Grave
  20. Blue Moon of Kentucky
  21. Dust on the Bible
  22. I Heard My Mother Weeping
  23. Will You Be Loving Another Man?
  24. Blue Grass Breakdown
  25. It's Mighty Dark to Travel
  26. Molly and Tenbrooks (The Race Horse Song)
  27. Black Mountain Rag

Disc 2

  1. Can't You Hear Me Callin'
  2. Foggy Mountain Breakdown
  3. Poor Ellen Smith
  4. The Drunkard's Hell
  5. The Lonesome River
  6. On the Banks of the River
  7. The Fields Have Turned Brown
  8. The White Dove
  9. Sunny Side of the Mountain
  10. I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow
  11. I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home
  12. Uncle Pen
  13. Stoney, Are You Mad at Your Gal
  14. When the Angels Rolled the Stone Away
  15. Earl's Breakdown
  16. Don't Get Above Your Raising
  17. Are You Missing Me?
  18. Why Did You Wander?
  19. Flint Hill Special
  20. I'll Go Stepping Too
  21. Love and Wealth
  22. 20/20 Vision
  23. My Lord Keeps a Record
  24. I Love the Hymns They Sang at Mother's Grave
  25. Reunion in Heaven
  26. Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan
  27. Hitch Hiker's Blues

Disc 3

  1. The Martha White Theme
  2. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down
  3. Seven Year Blues
  4. Get Down on Your Knees and Pray
  5. Somebody Touched Me
  6. Feudin' Banjos
  7. Ruby, Are You Mad
  8. Knoxville Girl
  9. Once More
  10. Twin Banjo Special
  11. Gosh, I Miss You All the Time
  12. You Don't Know My Mind
  13. Rank Stranger
  14. My Empty Arms
  15. Foggy Mountain Top
  16. Beautiful Moon of Kentucky
  17. Stoney Creek
  18. She Left Me Standing on the Mountain
  19. Sunny Side of the Mountain
  20. Just Joshing
  21. (It's a Long, Long Way) To the Top of the World
  22. Cotton Mill Man
  23. Since Wedding Bells Have Rung
  24. Rosalee
  25. No More Goodbyes
  26. The Ballad of Jed Clampett
  27. Rabbit in the Log
  28. Rocky Top
  29. Mountain Dew
  30. Dueling Banjos

Disc 4

  1. Turn Your Radio On
  2. Black Mountain Rag (Soldier's Joy)
  3. Pretty Boy Floyd
  4. Bristol Steam Convention Blues
  5. Farther Along
  6. Contentment
  7. Can't You Hear Me Callin'
  8. Cora Is Gone
  9. Choking the Strings
  10. Uncle Pen
  11. Till the End of the World Rolls Round
  12. A Vision of Mother
  13. Big Country
  14. If I Could Be There
  15. So Long, So Wrong
  16. BP
  17. The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn
  18. Little Maggie
  19. Carrie Brown
  20. Tortured, Tangled Hearts
  21. Walls of Time
  22. Is the Grass Any Bluer
  23. Daniel Prayed
  24. Twelve Gates to the City
  25. Soldier's Joy

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Russ Barenberg   Guitar
Jerry Douglas   Dobro,Weissenborn
Lester Flatt   Guitar,Vocals
Josh Graves   Dobro,Vocals
Alison Krauss   Fiddle,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Del McCoury   Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Bill Monroe   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Earl Scruggs   Banjo,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Ricky Skaggs   Fiddle,Guitar,Mandolin,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ralph Stanley   Banjo,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Carl Story   Guitar,Vocals
Rhonda Vincent   Mandolin,Vocals
Clarence White   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Mac Wiseman   Guitar,Vocals
Roy Acuff   Fiddle,Vocals
Chet Atkins   Electric Guitar
Sam Bush   Mandolin
Ray Flacke   Electric Guitar
John Hartford   Banjo,Fiddle
Chris Hillman   Mandolin
Grandpa Jones   Banjo,Vocals
Patty Loveless   Vocals
Joe Maphis   Banjo
Benny Martin   Fiddle
Dolly Parton   Vocal Harmony
Carl Smith   Bass
Gid Tanner   Banjo,Fiddle
Merle Travis   Guitar,Vocals
Paul Warren   Fiddle,Bass (Vocal)
Edgar Meyer   Bass
Steve Earle   Guitar,Vocals
Gram Parsons   Guitar
Larry Carlton   Electric Guitar
Jim Brock   Fiddle
Gene Parsons   Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,5-string Banjo
Skip Battin   Bass,Piano,Vocals
Roy Hall   Guitar
Eric Weissberg   Banjo
Ray Park   Fiddle
Allen Shelton   Banjo
Don Helms   Steel Guitar
Rose Lee Maphis   Guitar
Grady Martin   Fiddle,Guitar
Clyde Moody   Mandolin
Chubby Wise   Fiddle
Wilma Lee Cooper   Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Lou Reid   Banjo,Vocal Harmony
Tom Adams   Banjo
Shot Jackson   Dobro
Jesse McReynolds   Mandolin,Vocals
Charlie Monroe   Guitar,Vocals
Riley Puckett   Guitar,Vocals
Molly O'Day   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals
Mother Maybelle Carter   Guitar,Autoharp,Vocals
Carl Butler   Guitar,Vocals
Bill Harrell   Guitar,Vocals
Ramona Jones   Background Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Joshua Bell   Violin
Red Jones   Bass
Don Reno   Banjo,Vocals,5-string Banjo
Kieran Kane   Mandolin,Vocals
Brian Ahern   Guitar
Red Allen   Guitar,Vocals
Mike Baird   Drums
Barry Bales   Bass
Ron Block   Banjo,Tenor (Vocal)
Bruce Bouton   Steel Guitar
Harold Bradley   Guitar
Clyde Brooks   Drums
Mike Bub   Bass
Jim Buchanan   Fiddle
Jerry Carrigan   Drums
A.P. Carter   Vocals
Sara Carter   Guitar,Vocals,Guitarron
Jesse Chambers   Bass
Floyd Chance   Bass
Vassar Clements   Fiddle
Gary Coleman   Percussion
Stoney Cooper   Fiddle,Vocals
John Cowan   Tenor (Vocal)
J.D. Crowe   Banjo
Lynn Davis   Guitar,Vocals
Vernon Derrick   Mandolin
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Ray Edenton   Rhythm Guitar
Ed Ferris   Bass
Béla Fleck   Banjo
Emory Gordy   Bass,Guitar
George Grantham   Drums
David Grisman   Mandolin
Buddy Harman   Drums
Roy Harvey   Guitar
Bobby Hicks   Fiddle
Eddie Hill   Guitar
Byron House   Bass
Rob Ickes   Dobro
Jim Isbell   Drums
Tommy Jackson   Fiddle
John Jarvis   Piano
James Kerwin   Bass
Buddy Killen   Bass
Douglas Kirkham   Drums
Everett Lilly   Mandolin
Ira Louvin   Mandolin,Vocals
Charlie Louvin   Guitar,Vocals
Rudy Lyle   Banjo
Steve Mandell   Guitar
Mike Marshall   Guitar
Jimmy Martin   Guitar,Vocals
Ronnie McCoury   Mandolin
Roger McGuinn   Guitar,Vocals
Clayton McMichen   Fiddle,Vocals
Jim McReynolds   Guitar,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Mickey Merritt   Piano
John Mock   Penny Whistle
Larry Muhoberac   Keyboards
Ernie Newton   Bass
Mark O'Connor   Violin
Jamie O'Hara   Guitar,Vocals
Bobby Osborne   Banjo,Mandolin,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal)
Sonny Osborne   Banjo,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal),5-string Banjo,Vocal Harmony
Herb Pedersen   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals
Charlie Poole   Banjo,Vocals
Carmella Ramsey   Background Vocals
Dale Reno   Mandolin
Deanie Richardson   Fiddle
Jerry Rivers   Fiddle
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Piano
Mark Schatz   Banjo
Randy Scruggs   Guitar
Curly Seckler   Guitar,Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)
George Shuffler   Bass
Gene Sisk   fender rhodes
Art Stamper   Fiddle
Carter Stanley   Guitar,Vocals
Adam Steffey   Mandolin
Joe Stuart   Mandolin
Dave Sutherland   Bass
Clarence "Tater" Tate   Bass
Bobby Thompson   5-string Banjo
Dan Tyminski   Guitar,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Paul Uhrig   Bass
Howard Watts   Bass
Roy Dean Webb   Mandolin
Paul Yandell   Guitar
Roy Yeager   Drums
Joe Zinkan   Bass
Roy Huskey   Bass
David Akeman   Banjo
John Bailes   Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Walter Bailes   Guitar,Vocals
Salty Holmes   Guitar
Chick Hurt   Mandolin
Lily May Ledford   Banjo,Vocals
Rosie Ledford   Guitar
Fate Norris   Banjo
Dale Potter   Fiddle
Posey Rorer   Fiddle
Darrin Vincent   Bass,Vocal Harmony
Tex Willis   Guitar
Tommy Magness   Fiddle
Bob Moore   Bass
Joel Price   Bass,Baritone (Vocal)
Sam Pruett   Guitar
Hal Rugg   Steel Guitar
Jack Shook   Rhythm Guitar
Jim Smoak   Banjo
Merle "Red" Taylor   Fiddle
James "Jimmie" Selph   Steel Guitar
Jimmy Williams   Mandolin
Jack Youngblood   Fiddle
Tex Atchison   Fiddle
Ray "Duck" Atkins   Guitar
Claude Boone   Bass,Guitar
Ernest Ferguson   Mandolin
Howdy Forrester   Fiddle
Bert Layne   Fiddle
Red Rector   Mandolin,Vocals
Buck Ryan   Fiddle
Leland Sklar   Bass
Dale Sledd   Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Lowe Stokes   Fiddle
Fiddlin' Kate Warren   Fiddle
Paul Williams   Mandolin
Jess Easterday   Bass,Guitar
Louis Innis   Rhythm Guitar
Jake Tullock   Bass,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Mark Fain   Bass
Don McHan   Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Baritone (Vocal)
Jody Rainwater   Bass
Johnny Sibert   Steel Guitar
Clell Summey   Steel Guitar
Bob Summer   Fiddle
Jack Thompson   Bass
Billy E. Powers   Guitar,Vocals
Bryan Sutton   Guitar
James Hughes   Bass
Marion Z. "Pee Wee" Adams   Drums
Lonnie Austin   Fiddle
George W. McCormick   Rhythm Guitar
Bill Carver   Dobro
Natalie Maines   Vocals
Billy Hill   Fiddle
Emily Robison   Banjo,Vocal Harmony
Ronnie Blackwell   Bass
Hoke Jenkins   Banjo
Richard Kane   Fiddle
Jack "Happy Jack" Taylor   Bass
Lester Woodie   Fiddle
Darrell "Pee Wee" Lambert   Mandolin,Baritone (Vocal)
Joe Lee Carter   Vocals
Jerry Byrd & the String Dusters   Bass,Guitar
Lonnie "Pap" Wilson   Guitar
Norman Woodlief   Guitar
Michael Cleveland   Fiddle
Bill Reid   Guitar,Vocals
Audie Webster   Bass,Mandolin,Vocals
Earl Webster   Guitar,Vocals
Rita Faye Sinks   Autoharp
Cecil "Skeets" Williamson   Fiddle
James "Hal" Smith   Rhythm Guitar
James "Slim" Martin   Fiddle
Marina Reid   Guitar,Vocals
Martie Maguire   Fiddle,Vocal Harmony
James "Sonny James" Loden   Fiddle
Buddy Dooley   Bass
Beecher "Pete" "Bashful Brother Oswald" Kirby   Banjo,Dobro,Vocals
Clato Buchanan   Banjo
H.E. "Aytchie" Burns   Bass
Wilene "Sally Ann" Forester   Accordion
Del Heck   Fiddle
Bob Hopson   Guitar
George "Speedy" Krise   Dobro
Benny Sims   Fiddle
Blaine Stewart   Mandolin
Evelyn "Evy Lou" Thomas   Bass
Russell Vass   Banjo
Swanson Walker   Banjo
Bill "Cousin Wilbur" Westbrooks   Bass
Ralph Mayo   Guitar
Curley Lambert   Mandolin
Jason Carter   Fiddle
Mike Miller   Banjo

Technical Credits

Lester Flatt   Composer
Alison Krauss   Arranger,Producer
Bill Monroe   Composer
Earl Scruggs   Composer
Ricky Skaggs   Producer
Ralph Stanley   Arranger,Composer,Liner Notes
Carl Story   Composer
Marty Stuart   Composer
Rhonda Vincent   Producer
Clarence White   Arranger
J. Scott Skinner   Composer
Roy Acuff   Arranger,Composer
Joe Maphis   Composer
Jimmie Rodgers   Composer
Woody Guthrie   Composer
Edgar Meyer   Producer
Byrds   Producer
Steve Earle   Composer
Elvis Presley   Composer
Bob Neuwirth   Producer
Gene Parsons   Composer
Mike Post   Producer
Eric Weissberg   Composer
Jesse McReynolds   Composer
Molly O'Day   Arranger
Dixie Chicks   Producer
Art Satherley   Producer
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith   Composer
Don Reno   Composer
Patrick Brayer   Composer
Kieran Kane   Composer,Producer
Red Allen   Arranger
Joe Allison   Composer
Billy Altman   Liner Notes
Owen Bradley   Producer
Felice Bryant   Composer
Boudleaux Bryant   Composer
T Bone Burnett   Producer
A.P. Carter   Composer
Lynn Davis   Arranger
A. Delmore   Composer
Dorsey M. Dixon   Composer
Béla Fleck   Composer,Producer
Fred Foster   Producer
Gregg Geller   Producer
Emory Gordy   Producer
Byron Gregory   Composer
David Grisman   Arranger,Producer
Eddie Hill   Composer
Frank Jones   Producer
Paul Kirby   Composer
Don Law   Producer
Ira Louvin   Arranger,Composer
Charlie Louvin   Arranger,Composer
Lloyd Maines   Producer
J.D. Martin   Composer
Ronnie McCoury   Producer
Roger McGuinn   Arranger
Jim McReynolds   Composer
Murray Nash   Producer
Ken Nelson   Producer
Mark O'Connor   Arranger,Producer
Jamie O'Hara   Producer
Eli Oberstein   Producer
Herb Pedersen   Arranger
Charlie Poole   Composer
Wesley Rose   Producer
Ervin T. Rouse   Composer
Randy Scruggs   Producer
Billy Sherrill   Producer
Steve Sholes   Producer
Harry Silverstein   Producer
Guy Smith   Composer
Carter Stanley   Composer
Gary Usher   Producer
Jim Vienneau   Producer
Wayne Walker   Composer
John Bailes   Composer
Walter Bailes   Composer
T.J. Seals   Composer
C.C. White   Composer
Milton Estes   Composer
Frank Walker   Producer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
Cousin Emmy   Composer
Bascom Lamar Lunsford   Composer
Josh Cheuse   Art Direction
Ralph Peer   Producer
Tom James   Composer
Harry McAuliffe   Composer
Gladys Stacey   Composer
Scotty Wiseman   Composer
Louise Certain   Composer
Larry Ehrlich   Producer
George Vaughn   Composer
Don Wayne   Composer
A. Smith   Composer
B.B. Moore   Composer
Natalie Maines   Composer
Union Station   Arranger,Producer
Walden Dahl   Composer
John Thompson   Producer
Twangtrust   Producer
Dean Owens   Composer
Traditional   Composer
D. Richard Lewis   Composer
J.B. Long   Composer
Arthur Smith Trio   Producer
W. York   Composer
Mark Unterberger   Packaging Manager
Dan Hornsby   Producer
Triana DOrazio   Packaging Manager
Odell McLeod   Composer
William Callaway   Producer
Jerry Organ   Composer
Paul Henning   Composer
Martie Maguire   Composer
E. Brad Meyer   Composer

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Can't You Hear Me Callin' - Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This 4-CD box set with 109 songs captures the American bluegrass music tradition. This is quite an undertaking. Consider their objective to cover 80 years of music. Old-timey seeds planted by Gid Tanner and Charlie Poole in the 1920s are included. Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, and Flatt & Scruggs are well-represented with about 20% of the tracks. But so are the Carter Family, Roy Acuff, Carl Story, Arthur Smith, Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, Jimmy Martin, The Byrds, Herb Pedersen, Ricky Skaggs, Blue Ridge Ramblers, Coon Creek Girls, Bailes Brothers, Molly O’Day, Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper, Mac Wiseman, Carl Butler, Louvin Brothers, Joe Maphis, Don Reno, Grandpa Jones, The O’Kanes, Mark O’Connor, Dixie Chicks, and Alison Krauss. What, they’re not all bluegrass! I guess it’s all in how you define the genre. Songs from nearly two dozen record labels is included. A 58-page booklet comes with the CDs, and it has some excellent liner notes by Billy Altman and Ralph Stanley. This music was chosen by Shoreline Community College instructor Tom Moran for his on-line “History of Bluegrass” distance learning class. The anthology compiled by Gregg Geller is broad and expansive, and it’s a major milestone in the promotion of bluegrass music for a large label with the reputation of Columbia/Legacy to support such an endeavor. My hat’s off to them. Of course, every person’s 100 tracks documenting the “history of bluegrass” would be different. And the main question to ask about “Can’t You Hear Me Callin’” is does it adequately cover the main bases? With more than fifty different groups and solo artists sampled, I’d say that it does pretty well, but it certainly would’ve been exponentially enhanced with even 2-3 more CDs in the set. Special rare tracks include some by The Coon Creek Girls (“Pretty Polly”), Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper (“On The Banks Of The River,” “Sunny Side Of The Mountain,” “Stoney, Are You Mad At Your Gal”), Carl Story & the Rambling Mountaineers, Don Reno. Three previously unreleased songs include Carl Story’s “Don't You Hear Jerusalem Mourn,” Roy Hall & His Blue Ridge Entertainers’1938 version of “Orange Blossom Special,” and Sara & Maybelle Carter’s “No More Goodbyes” from 1966. This is a fascinating and erudite collection that every bluegrass music lover could study for months. You’re bound to discover something new about the genre that you didn’t know before. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)