Clinch Mountain Sweethearts

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
With O Brother, Where Are Thou? sparking renewed interest in traditional music, 74-year-old Ralph Stanley suddenly finds himself the exemplar of a sound and a style that speaks directly to the heart about things that matter. Like his amazing 1998 album Clinch Mountain Country, Clinch Mountain Sweethearts is a collection of duets; unlike the former, the latter features Stanley harmonizing only with female singers from country, blues, and bluegrass backgrounds. Much of the material is drawn from the Stanley Brothers' late '50s-early '60s repertoire for the Starday and King labels, but these and even older songs -- such as the haunting "Weeping Willow," popularized in the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
With O Brother, Where Are Thou? sparking renewed interest in traditional music, 74-year-old Ralph Stanley suddenly finds himself the exemplar of a sound and a style that speaks directly to the heart about things that matter. Like his amazing 1998 album Clinch Mountain Country, Clinch Mountain Sweethearts is a collection of duets; unlike the former, the latter features Stanley harmonizing only with female singers from country, blues, and bluegrass backgrounds. Much of the material is drawn from the Stanley Brothers' late '50s-early '60s repertoire for the Starday and King labels, but these and even older songs -- such as the haunting "Weeping Willow," popularized in the late '20s by the Carter Family and given a chilling turn here by a husky-voiced Joan Baez and a weathered Stanley -- sound as relevant as ever. Among the other high-profile names turning in exemplary performances are Iris DeMent who appears twice, Gillian Welch on a profound treatment of "Oh Death," which Stanley performs on the O Brother soundtrack, Dolly Parton, Chely Wright, Lucinda Williams on a heartfelt version of the stirring gospel song "Farther Along", and Pam Tillis who gives an absolutely scorching rendition of A. P. Carter's remorseless account of betrayal, "Will You Miss Me". But take note of the duets with veterans Gail Davies and Melba Montgomery who really lays on the heartbreak on Hank Williams's "You Win Again", as well as Maria Muldaur on a swaggering, atmospheric blues rendition of the Stanleys' first King recording, "The Memory of Your Smile", onetime Dixie Chick Patti Mitchell on a deep bluegrass treatment of "Little Willie", and the impressive recording debut of Kristi Stanley, Ralph's daughter-in-law, on Carter Stanley's gripping confession of unconditional love, "I'll Never Grow Tired of You." Nary a false note is struck here, and the deep spirituality informing Clinch Mountain Sweethearts is like a soothing balm in troubled times.
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Clinch Mountain Sweethearts can be thought of as a bluegrass version of John Prine's In Spite of Ourselves. Like Prine, Stanley is joined by a number of female singers, both later and classic, on 16 bluegrass gems. In fact, several names -- Iris DeMent, Lucinda Williams, and Melba Montgomery -- show up on both collections. Maria Muldaur cuts loose and gives it her all on the bluesy "The Memory of Your Smile." When Stanley joins her, the sound is oh so lonesome. DeMent joins the fray on "Ridin' That Midnight Train" and "Trust Each Other," and while both cuts work pretty well, the country inflections in her voice get lost in the up-tempo material. One surprising cut features Chely Wright who, believe it or not, offers a good old-time vocal on "Angel Band" that has almost nothing in common with her trendy Nashville work. Montgomery delivers a gutsy take on Hank Williams' "You Win Again," which is a tad more believable coming from a female point of view. The Clinch Mountain Boys sound great as always. Combining bluegrass and old-time, they find the right groove for each piece and never hurry a song. Clinch Mountain Sweethearts works better than the Prine collection, mostly because Stanley is well-matched with most of his co-singers. When their voices don't match, they stay out of each other's way. Once again, Clinch Mountain Sweethearts finds Stanley making good music by adding a few contemporary touches to mountain traditions.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/25/2001
  • Label: Rebel Records
  • UPC: 032511177025
  • Catalog Number: 111770
  • Sales rank: 83,234

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ridin' That Midnight Train (with Iris DeMent)
  2. 2 Will You Miss Me (with Pam Tillis)
  3. 3 Little Willie (with Patty Mitchell)
  4. 4 Oh, Death (with Gillian Welch)
  5. 5 Loving You Too Well (with Dolly Parton)
  6. 6 The Memory of Your Smile (with Maria Muldaur)
  7. 7 Are You Tired of Me, Darling (with Sara Evans)
  8. 8 Weeping Willow (with Joan Baez)
  9. 9 I'll Never Grow Tired of You (with Kristi Stanley)
  10. 10 Rank Stranger (with Gail Davies)
  11. 11 Trust Each Other (with Iris DeMent)
  12. 12 Angel Band (with Chely Wright)
  13. 13 You Win Again (with Melba Montgomery)
  14. 14 I'm Ready to Go (with Jeannie Seely)
  15. 15 Farther Along (with Lucinda Williams)
  16. 16 I'll Remember You in My Prayers (with Valerie Smith)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ralph Stanley Primary Artist
Gail Davies Track Performer
Melba Montgomery Track Performer
Dolly Parton Track Performer
Pam Tillis Track Performer
Joan Baez Track Performer
Iris DeMent Track Performer
Lucinda Williams Track Performer
Maria Muldaur Track Performer
Terry Eldredge Baritone
Jack Cooke Baritone
Shelton Feazell Bass
Jeannie Seely Track Performer
George Shuffler Bass
Valerie Smith Track Performer
Cheryl White Baritone
Chely Wright Track Performer
Gillian Welch Track Performer
Sara Evans Track Performer
Mark Fain Bass
James Price Bass
Kristi Stanley Track Performer
Technical Credits
David Freeman Executive Producer
Randy LeRoy Mastering
Carter Stanley Composer
Eddie Stubbs Liner Notes
Bil VornDick Producer, Engineer
Traditional Composer
David Lynch Graphic Design
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