Keep on Going: The Rebel & Melodeon Recordings

Keep on Going: The Rebel & Melodeon Recordings

5.0 1
by Red Allen
     
 
While it's common, and perhaps unfair, to judge new music against classics from yesteryear, the process is inevitable. It's the handful of recordings by a handful of artists that serve as touchstones for everything that follows, and remind reviewers, critics, and listeners just how far many new artists have to go. The early- to mid- '60s recordings that Red Allen made

Overview

While it's common, and perhaps unfair, to judge new music against classics from yesteryear, the process is inevitable. It's the handful of recordings by a handful of artists that serve as touchstones for everything that follows, and remind reviewers, critics, and listeners just how far many new artists have to go. The early- to mid- '60s recordings that Red Allen made for Rebel and Melodeon fit into that rare category, qualifying as fabulous bluegrass that also serves as an acid test to post-millennium purveyors of jazzed-up mountain music. Many factors -- great pickers, good material -- work toward the overall effect, but the secret ingredient on Keep on Going is Allen's ability to inject everything he touches with lots of country soul. There's nothing particularly special about the lyric of "I Don't Know Why," but Allen's lead, and his harmony with Wayne Yates on the chorus, turn each line into a sad refrain that reaches down deep. The cuts with brothers Billy and Wayne Yates, in particular, sound as old-timey as 1946, while the earlier material with mandolinist Frank Wakefield combines old-timey singing with cutting-edge instrumental work. Keep on Going reminds listeners that while bluegrass certainly benefits from instrumental proficiency and smoothly blended harmony, the truly great musicians fill their music with a depth of feeling and inspiration. Allen's work will also remind listeners how bluegrass was made back in the old days, and teach aspiring musicians exactly what it takes to make a classic.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/18/2004
Label:
Rebel Records
UPC:
0032511112729
catalogNumber:
111127
Rank:
111119

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Red Allen   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Frank Wakefield   Mandolin,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Chubby Wise   Fiddle
Bill Emerson   Banjo,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Porter Church   Banjo
Jim Cox   Bass,Double Bass
Pete Kuykendall   Guitar,Double Bass
Scotty Stoneman   Fiddle
Tom Morgan   Bass,Double Bass
Wayne Yates   Mandolin,Bass (Vocal),Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Billy Baker   Fiddle
Bill Yates   Bass,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal),Double Bass
Ralph (Robbie) Robinson   Banjo,Vocals

Technical Credits

Bill Monroe   Composer
Ralph Stanley   Composer
Jimmie Davis   Composer
Benny Martin   Composer
Frank Wakefield   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jimmy Wakely   Composer
Johnnie Wright   Composer
Red Allen   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Charles R. Freeland   Producer,Audio Production
David Freeman   Executive Producer
Pete Kuykendall   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Ira Louvin   Composer
Wayne Raney   Composer
Jack Anglin   Composer
Jon Hartley Fox   Liner Notes
Alton Delmore   Composer
Rabon Delmore   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Jon Hartley Fox   Liner Notes

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Keep on Going: The Rebel & Melodeon Recordings 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
RED ALLEN – Keep on Going: The Rebel & Melodeon Recordings REB-CD-1127 Playing Time – 60:28 RED ALLEN – Lonesome and Blue: The Complete County Recordings REB-CD-1128 PO Box 7405 Charlottesville, VA. 22906 WEB: www.rebelrecords.com Playing Time – 70:11 Originally from Pigeon Roost, Kentucky, Harley “Red” Allen lived in Dayton, Ohio for most of his career. He formed his first band “The Kentuckians” in the early 1950s, and he is one of the pioneers of bluegrass. His singing in trios with The Osborne Brothers were enough to knock your socks off. They won a contract with MGM Records and appeared on the WWVA Jamboree from Wheeling, W.V. in the mid-50s. Differences of opinion over a progressive vs. traditional approach to their music probably led to them parting ways in 1958. Red Allen was a staunch traditionalist up until he started picking songs like “Proud Mary” later in life with his sons. These two releases are monumental reissues. CD-1127 includes 23 tracks, five of which are previously unreleased cuts. After moving to Washington, D.C., in 1959, Red formed The Kentuckians with Frank Wakefield. Six cuts capture the creative relationship that they enjoyed before they went their separate ways in 1964. The Kentuckians’ “solid bluegrass sound” was then built around good song selection, exceptional instrumental work, and excellent harmony. The previously unreleased cuts include three with Frank Wakefield (Don’t Lie to Me, Lonesome Weary Heart, I Don’t Believe You’d Do Me Wrong), and two with The Kentuckians (If That’s the Way You Feel, Purple Heart). Red Allen and Frank Wakefield’s renditions of “Little Birdie” and “Sad and Lonesome Day” are truly classics. Of special merit are those songs that are still standard bluegrass repertoire today like Close By, Out on the Ocean, Hello City Limits, Down Where the River Bends, and The Family Who Prays. Two different versions of “Froggy Went A Courtin’,” the old folk tune done bluegrass style are offered. CD-1128 has 25 tracks and includes two entire albums from the County label recorded in 1965 and 1966. When originally released, County-704 and County-710 met with mixed reviews. In the first issue of Bluegrass Unlimited, Richard Spottwood wrote that the first album was “grass of the high quality we’ve come to expect from this group, although a fairly large proportion of the songs are derived from other records by Flatt & Scruggs, Johnnie & Jack, etc. The recording suffers from over-brilliance, but this will not disturb most.” Joining Allen were Bill Yates, Wayne Yates, Porter Church and Richard Greene. The Louvin Bros.’ song, “Seven Year Blues” is previously unreleased. Regarding County-710, Spottswood said “Neither Red nor his fellow pickers are inspired here, with the exception of dobroist Wingfield. If the rest of the picking had been up to his level, this album would’ve been truly exceptional. It’s a good set, though, and if you have Red’s other albums you’ll enjoy this one too.” I offer these comments only to show how time and history can alter our perceptions. Nowadays, we often prefer traditional covers performed with crisp, clean brilliance. And besides Red, the players that were being criticized for less-than-inspired playing include David Grisman, Porter Church, and Jerry McCoury. I found these players to be right on the money with these great old songs. One can hardly go wrong with classics like We Live in Two Different Worlds, Are You Waiting Just For Me?, My Baby’s Gone, Love Gone Cold, and Whose Shoulder Will You Cry On? The Roy Acuff number “Branded Wherever I Go” is previously unreleased. In 1967, Allen moved to Nashville to temporarily replace an ill Lester Flatt in Flatt & Scruggs. In the lat