Darkness on the Delta

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
If placing two great fiddlers like Kenny Baker and Bobby Hicks together sounds like a great idea, that's because it is. Darkness on the Delta isn't just a fiddle fest, however. Hicks and Baker are joined by banjoist Allen Shelton, mandolinists Larry Sledge and Buck White, guitarist Benny Williams, and bassist Roy Husky Jr. on 11 country-bluegrass classics. The presence of a band provides a nice underpinning for the fiddles, but also gives the songs weight and substance. While there are plenty of fine solos on the title cut and "Faded Love," Hicks and Baker's specialty is playing in unison, which creates a lovely, flowing sound that harks back to Western swing. This ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
If placing two great fiddlers like Kenny Baker and Bobby Hicks together sounds like a great idea, that's because it is. Darkness on the Delta isn't just a fiddle fest, however. Hicks and Baker are joined by banjoist Allen Shelton, mandolinists Larry Sledge and Buck White, guitarist Benny Williams, and bassist Roy Husky Jr. on 11 country-bluegrass classics. The presence of a band provides a nice underpinning for the fiddles, but also gives the songs weight and substance. While there are plenty of fine solos on the title cut and "Faded Love," Hicks and Baker's specialty is playing in unison, which creates a lovely, flowing sound that harks back to Western swing. This approach works particularly well on waltzes -- "McHattie's Waltz" and "Westphalia Waltz" -- and classics like Bill Monroe's sprightly "Tallahassee" and exciting "Louisville Breakdown." Since this is a pure instrumental affair, there's plenty of time for solo work from the other players, too, but no one shows off. Instead, all of the music feels organic and falls together beautifully. Originally recorded in 1980, Darkness on the Delta is rather short at 30 minutes, but everything included works exceptionally well and fiddle fans will be happy County reissued the album in 2004.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/2004
  • Label: County Records
  • UPC: 009001273321
  • Catalog Number: 2733
  • Sales rank: 210,141

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Roanoke (2:29)
  2. 2 Darkness on the Delta (3:10)
  3. 3 McHattie's Waltz (3:26)
  4. 4 Louisville Breakdown (2:17)
  5. 5 Faded Love - Bobby Hicks (3:17)
  6. 6 Tallahassee (2:15)
  7. 7 Westphalia Waltz (3:40)
  8. 8 Farewell Blues (2:48)
  9. 9 Chuck-A-Luck (2:25)
  10. 10 Sliver Bells (2:47)
  11. 11 Panhandle Country (1:54)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kenny Baker Primary Artist, Fiddle, Soloist
Buck White Mandolin
Allen Shelton Banjo
Bobby Hicks Fiddle, Soloist
Roy M. "Junior" Husky Bass
Benny Williams Guitar
Larry Sledge Mandolin
Technical Credits
Bill Monroe Composer
Kenny Baker Composer
Paul Mares Composer
Bruce Nemerov Producer, Audio Production
P.D. Scots Pipe Band Composer
Leon Roppolo Composer
Elmer Schoebel Composer
Bob Wills Composer
Raymond Simone Jacket Design
Tom Behrens Engineer
John Wills Composer
Jerry Levinson Composer
Traditional Composer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fans of solid twin fiddling will rejoice that this album is out on CD

    Playing Time – 30:28 Originally released as County LP-782 in September, 1980, this reissue of eleven tunes on compact disc is a welcome treat. Fiddlers Kenny Baker and Bobby Hicks team up with Allen Shelton (banjo), Larry Sledge (mandolin), Buck White (mandolin on five tracks), Benny Williams (guitar), and Roy Husky, Jr. (bass). The fairly short set has a distinct bluegrass flavor with four tunes written by Bill Monroe (Roanoke, Louisville Breakdown, Tallahassee, Panhandle Country). Baker, a longtime fiddler with the Father of Bluegrass, penned McHattie’s Waltz and Chuck-A-Luck. Besides having plenty of bluegrass sensibility, both Bobby Hicks and Kenny Baker have a great affinity for and proficiency in western swing too. Tunes like Darkness on the Delta, Faded Love, Westphalia Waltz, Farewell Blues, and Silver Bells give the overall half-hour project an eclectic presentation with much to appeal to all listeners. Kenny Baker, from Jenkins, Kentucky, started as a professional musician with Don Gibson in 1953. Baker was fiddler with Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys on four different occasions between 1957-84..His longest stint was nearly 18 years from 1967-84. Bill Monroe called Baker “the greatest bluegrass fiddler in the world.” From 1990-91, Kenny recorded and toured with a group called “The Masters” (with Josh Graves, Byron Berline and Eddie Adcock). He’s worked with dobro player Josh Graves, and Baker was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Honor in 1999. Bobby Hicks hails from Newton, North Carolina but now lives in Nashville. He began fiddling at age nine. From 1954-1960, he played various instruments as one of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. He’s also worked and toured with Porter Wagoner, Mel Tillis, and other country acts. Hicks even had his own dance band. From 1963-1970, he lived and worked in Las Vegas, performing with singer Judy Lynn. A member of the Bluegrass Album Band and Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder, Hicks has been on a number of highly-acclaimed recording projects. He released his first solo project “Texas Crapshooter” in 1978. This fiddle duet album with Kenny Baker followed a couple years later. In 1998, Hicks’ second solo project “Fiddle Patch” won the IBMA award for “Instrumental Album of the Year.” Fans of solid twin fiddling will rejoice that this album is out on CD. The accompanists do a particularly nice job of backing up Hicks and Baker, and they step up to the plate for some proficient breaks and fills when necessary. Listening to this CD reminds me of some great times experienced and music heard at the National Old-Time Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, Idaho. (Joe Ross. staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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