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High Lonesome and Blue

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/2004
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661161320
  • Catalog Number: 611613
  • Sales rank: 15,492

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)
Jason Carter Fiddle
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
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
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