Great High Mountain

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Thanks to his long career and numerous musical milestones, Ralph Stanley has become an institution and then some. Indeed, if he'd done no more than play his role in the legendary Stanley Brothers with his brother Carter, his rep would've been sealed. But Stanley seems to have more musical lives than a hip cat, with his latest ascension following O Brother, Where Art Thou? Great High Mountain isn't so much a follow-up to Stanley's O Brother work as a short retrospective, perhaps designed for the bluegrass fan unfamiliar with the span of his musical legacy. This is at least Rebel's third compilation of Stanley's music, and while it's quite enjoyable, one starts to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Thanks to his long career and numerous musical milestones, Ralph Stanley has become an institution and then some. Indeed, if he'd done no more than play his role in the legendary Stanley Brothers with his brother Carter, his rep would've been sealed. But Stanley seems to have more musical lives than a hip cat, with his latest ascension following O Brother, Where Art Thou? Great High Mountain isn't so much a follow-up to Stanley's O Brother work as a short retrospective, perhaps designed for the bluegrass fan unfamiliar with the span of his musical legacy. This is at least Rebel's third compilation of Stanley's music, and while it's quite enjoyable, one starts to imagine that a box set -- and not another compilation -- is what's really needed. The real problem with Great High Mountain, though, is that it barely scratches the surface of Stanley's work at Rebel. Indeed, the album is only 37 minutes long, meaning that it could've been twice as long and still fit on one disc. Rebel sweetens the package by adding one unreleased cut from 1976, "I'm Lonesome Without You." Great High Mountain isn't a bad place for the Stanley novice to start, but one might also consider other classic albums like Saturday Night & Sunday Morning.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/3/2004
  • Label: Rebel Records
  • UPC: 032511113023
  • Catalog Number: 111130
  • Sales rank: 147,088

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ralph Stanley Primary Artist, Banjo, Vocals, Tenor (Vocal)
Ricky Skaggs Fiddle
Keith Whitley Guitar, Vocals
Junior Blankenship Guitar
Curley Ray Cline Fiddle
Jack Cooke Bass, Vocals, Baritone (Vocal), Tenor (Vocal), Double Bass
Ed Ferris Bass, Double Bass
Danny Marshall Guitar, Bass (Vocal), Vocals
Roy Lee Centers Guitar, Vocals, Baritone (Vocal)
Charlie Sizemore Guitar, Vocals
Steve Sparkman Banjo
James Alan Shelton Guitar
James Price Fiddle
John Rigsby Mandolin
Ralph Stanley II Guitar
Keith Whitely Guitar, Vocals, Baritone (Vocal)
Ricky Lee Guitar, Bass (Vocal), Vocals
Chester "Pops" Marshall Vocals
Technical Credits
Bill Monroe Composer
Peter Rowan Composer
Ralph Stanley Arranger, Composer
Keith Whitley Composer
William Shakespeare Hays Composer
Carter Stanley Composer
G.B. Grayson Composer
Rick Stanley Composer
Marvin Davis Composer
Traditional Composer
Ruby Rakes Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An old-time mountain bluegrass sound that reaps a bountiful harvest

    Playing Time – 37:33 -- Bluegrass music doesn’t get much more lonesome than Ralph Stanley’s. G. B. Grayson’s “I’ve Always Been a Rambler” is a good choice of song to open this album and set the stage for a collection of classic bluegrass music at its finest. “Great High Mountain” is a compilation of Ralph Stanley favorites recorded between 1971-1996. “Wild Geese Cry Again” (recorded in 1996) is the only previously unreleased number, with all the others appearing on various Ralph Stanley albums on the Rebel Records label. Four tracks are pulled from the album, “Old Home Place” (Rebel-1562). Besides Stanley’s own mournful vocals, other vocalists featured include Jack Cooke, Keith Whitley, Danny Marshall, Charlie Sizemore, Roy Lee Centers, Ricky Lee, and Chester “Pop” Marshall. The choice of material is arranged with a diverse array of vocal solos, duos, trios and quartets. A favorite instrumental, “Clinch Mountain Backstep,” breaks up the overall set at track #7. After Ralph frails his banjo on “I’ve Got a Mule to Ride,” the album closes with a spiritual quartet, “Amazing Grace,” and reflective duet, “Home in the Mountains.” Stanley’s music has always placed primary importance on the singing, and the 2004 Virginian of the Year stresses that “the instruments are there to bolster up the singing.” “Great High Mountain” clearly illustrates how lyrics, music and feeling in mountain music work together to get it as lonesome as you can get it. On the surface, old-time traditional sounds may appear simplistic. In reality, you’ve got to feel the old-time way to play it correctly. Stanley once said , “I really think that bluegrass if it’s sung right and done right and the proper feeling put to it is the hardest music in the world to play.” That is what this album epitomizes. “Great High Mountain” embodies an old-time mountain bluegrass sound that reaps a bountiful harvest. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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