High Lonesome and Blue

High Lonesome and Blue

by Del McCoury
     
 

A single-disc retrospective covering the years 1987-96, High Lonesome and Blue is an essential portrait of an important artist's development. Culled from six albums bluegrass torchbearer Del McCoury recorded for Rounder, these 16 tracks trace his expansive approach to the genre and the coalescing of the formidable Del McCoury Band, which has grown to include…  See more details below

Overview

A single-disc retrospective covering the years 1987-96, High Lonesome and Blue is an essential portrait of an important artist's development. Culled from six albums bluegrass torchbearer Del McCoury recorded for Rounder, these 16 tracks trace his expansive approach to the genre and the coalescing of the formidable Del McCoury Band, which has grown to include Del's sons Ronnie and Rob, bassist Mike Bub, and fiddle maestro Jason Carter -- a lineup that instantly became the gold standard of progressive traditional music. The earliest cuts date from the 1987 long-player Del cut with his brother Jerry, The McCoury Brothers, and the ensuing sequence showcases Del's keening high lonesome vocal style and his band's instrumental virtuosity in serving both original songs (penned by Del, and later by Ronnie as well) and offbeat cover choices. A few tunes will be familiar even to recent McCoury converts, such as the 1990 version of Del's mid-tempo heartbreaker "I Feel the Blues Moving In," complete with twin fiddles right out of the Bob Wills lexicon, and, from 1996, "The Cold Hard Fact" (co-written by Ronnie), a briskly rendered cheatin' song marked by an exhilarating Del vocal that blends irony, outrage, and self-pity in the turn of a phrase. Elsewhere there's a wrenching take on George Jones's honky-tonk lament "Don't Stop the Music"; a furious workout on the Lefty Frizzell chart-topper "If You've Got the Money, Honey"; the band's first collaboration with Steve Earle on the latter's spirited "If You Need a Fool"; and a classic, dirgelike, honky-tonk weeper, "Don't Our Love Look Natural." Treasures abound throughout, and repeat listenings are in order. As the song says, don't stop the music.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
High Lonesome and Blue is part of Rounder's 30th-anniversary 30-volume Heritage series of best-ofs compiled by label boss Ken Irwin. As such, it covers the living bluegrass legend Del McCoury's tenure with the label from 1987's The McCoury Brothers debut through to 1996's Cold Hard Facts. There are 16 cuts here, originals by McCoury's sons and bandmates as well as country classics (an amazing read of George Jones' "Don't Stop the Music" closes the album), bluegrass staples (Bill Monroe's "The Bluest Man in Town"), and tunes by contemporary writers such as Steve Earle ("If You Need a Fool") and David Olney ("Queen Anne's Lace"). This is a solid overview of a band that changed the face of bluegrass by using traditional means to approach the entire country music canon, fueled by the truly gifted musicianship of McCoury's sons, Ronnie and Rob, and Del's own singular voice. Musically, this is solid from top to bottom, and Del's own comments on the songs are a great bonus. Jon Weisberger's liner notes offer a decent thumbnail sketch of McCoury's biography, but his fawning comments about Rounder's vision and promotional strategies are irksome; they read like they were written by its marketing department. After all, isn't the label already paying tribute to itself with this series? Still, it's a fine compilation and a great introduction to the early genius of McCoury.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/2004
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661161320
catalogNumber:
611613
Rank:
177522

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Del McCoury   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Warren Blair   Fiddle
Mike Brantley   Bass,Vocal Harmony
Mike Bub   Bass,Baritone (Vocal)
Jon Glik   Fiddle
Tad Marks   Fiddle
Jerry McCoury   Bass,Baritone (Vocal)
Rob McCoury   Banjo
Ronnie McCoury   Mandolin,Vocals
David McLaughlin   Mandolin,Baritone (Vocal)
Eddie Stubbs   Fiddle,Bass (Vocal)
Richard Underwood   Banjo
Jason Carter   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Jerry Douglas   Producer,Engineer
Del McCoury   Composer,Producer
Bill Monroe   Composer
Lefty Frizzell   Composer
George Jones   Composer
Steve Young   Composer
Steve Earle   Composer
Roy Drusky   Composer
Ola Belle Reed   Composer
Jim Eanes   Composer
David Olney   Composer
Don Cook   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Ken Irwin   Producer
Red Lane   Composer
Ronnie McCoury   Composer,Producer
Bill McElroy   Engineer
Jim Robeson   Engineer
Bil VornDick   Engineer
Jeff White   Composer
Harold Hensley   Composer
Buzz Busby   Composer
Jon Weisberger   Liner Notes
Vic McAlpin   Composer
Johnny Bienstock   Composer
Cindy Davis   Composer
Jim Beck   Composer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >