Life of Sorrow

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
David Grisman has never denied his roots in bluegrass, as it has always been an important ingredient in his self-described "Dawg Music." On this compilation, recorded over a three-decade stretch, the mandolin master sticks exclusively to bluegrass as he collaborates with a host of friends and influences interpreting various sorrow-laden melodies that have became staples within the genre. Every track packs an emotional punch, especially the intimate duets "Doin' My Time" with the late John Hartford on banjo and vocals; "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" with guitarist/singer Mac Wiseman; "Tragic Romance" with banjo player Alan O'Bryant; singing a duet with Grisman; and ...
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2003-07-08 Audio CD New YOU are BUYING a NEW and SEALED CD. All CD orders sent via FIRST CLASS MAIL Service arriving in 3 to 5 business days in the United States only, Overseas ... orders may take up to 4 weeks! Buy it NOW! ! Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
David Grisman has never denied his roots in bluegrass, as it has always been an important ingredient in his self-described "Dawg Music." On this compilation, recorded over a three-decade stretch, the mandolin master sticks exclusively to bluegrass as he collaborates with a host of friends and influences interpreting various sorrow-laden melodies that have became staples within the genre. Every track packs an emotional punch, especially the intimate duets "Doin' My Time" with the late John Hartford on banjo and vocals; "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" with guitarist/singer Mac Wiseman; "Tragic Romance" with banjo player Alan O'Bryant; singing a duet with Grisman; and guitarist/singer Del McCoury performing the old chestnut "Tennessee Waltz". It's also hard to overlook the contributions of veteran singer Ralph Stanley belatedly discovered by many music fans following the revival of his early hit, "Man of Constant Sorrow," sung by Dan Tyminski for the soundtrack to the blockbuster movie O, Brother Where Art Thou?, whose still-potent tenor vocal accompanies Grisman's vocal in a much more subdued interpretation of this landmark piece composed by his late brother, Carter Stanley. Perhaps the most unusual selection is "Pretty Saro," a 1969 recording by guitarist and singer John Nagy of an old English folk tune, backed by his orchestrations and Grisman's mandolin. As usual, Grisman sneaks in a hidden bonus track the Carter Family's "Keep on the Sunny Side of Life," performed with Wiseman following the last selection. Grisman's detailed liner notes, the inclusion of complete lyrics for every song, and the treasure trove of photographs also help to make this an essential purchase for every bluegrass fan.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/8/2003
  • Label: Acoustic Disc
  • UPC: 715949105326
  • Catalog Number: 53

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 A Life of Sorrow (3:20)
  2. 2 Doin' My Time (4:54)
  3. 3 We Can't Be Darlings Anymore (3:03)
  4. 4 When You and I Were Young, Maggie (5:14)
  5. 5 All the Good Times Are Past and Gone - Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys (3:26)
  6. 6 Tragic Romance - Alan O'Bryant (3:35)
  7. 7 Seven Year Blues (3:53)
  8. 8 You're the Girl of My Dreams (2:23)
  9. 9 Unwanted Love (2:56)
  10. 10 Man of Constant Sorrow (3:57)
  11. 11 Tennessee Waltz (3:07)
  12. 12 Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow (4:21)
  13. 13 Pretty Saro (3:06)
  14. 14 Cabin of Love (2:47)
  15. 15 Farther Along (10:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Grisman Primary Artist, Mandolin, Vocals, Baritone (Vocal), Tenor (Vocal)
Laurie Lewis Fiddle
Del McCoury Guitar, Tenor (Vocal)
Ralph Stanley Banjo, Vocals, Tenor (Vocal)
Mac Wiseman Guitar, Vocals
John Hartford Banjo, Vocals
Bryan Bowers Autoharp, Vocals
Mike Bub Bass
Jason Carter Fiddle
Jackie Cook Bass, Tenor (Vocal)
Stuart Duncan Fiddle, Baritone (Vocal)
Pat Enright Guitar, Vocals
Mark Hembree Bass
Rob McCoury Banjo
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin, Baritone (Vocal)
John Nagy Guitar, Vocals
Alan O'Bryant Banjo, Tenor (Vocal)
Herb Pedersen Banjo, Rhythm Guitar, Tenor (Vocal)
Ralph Rinzler Mandolin, Vocals
Jim Kerwin Bass
Artie Rose Guitar
James Price Fiddle
Ralph Stanley II Guitar
Harriet Rose Bass
Technical Credits
Lester Flatt Composer
Mac Wiseman Composer
Grandpa Jones Composer
Elvis Presley Composer
Pee Wee King Composer
Redd Stewart Composer
Jimmie Skinner Composer
Red Smiley Composer
Don Reno Composer
Tom Anderson Engineer
Larry Cummings Engineer
David Dennison Engineer
David Ferguson Engineer
David Grisman Producer, Liner Notes
Eddie Hill Composer
Ira Louvin Composer
Charlie Louvin Composer
Craig Miller Executive Producer
John Nagy Orchestration
Curly Seckler Composer
Carter Stanley Composer
Paul Stubblebine Mastering
Bob Petrucci Engineer
Birch Monroe Composer
Richard Olsenius Cover Photo
Public Domain Composer
Traditional Composer
Brenna Ramirez Art Direction
James Austin Butterfield Composer
George Washington Johnson Composer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great deal of Zen wisdom found in Grisman's bluegrass music

    Suffering, sorrow, heartache and distress. They're facts of life, and bluegrass music is full of sad stories. We learn from others' tales of pain, and we realize that sadness eventually touches all of us in life. To some extent, bluegrass music teaches us to respect these feelings and gives us insight on how to deal with sorrow. Taking this theme, David Grisman has searched his recording archives to find musical collaborations (some rather minimalist) dating from 1969-98 with friends Pat Enright, Alan O'Bryant, Del McCoury, Ralph Stanley, John Hartford, Herb Pedersen, Mac Wiseman, Ralph Rinzler, John Nagy, Bryan Bowers and others. Grisman's mandolin is in the forefront of each song's mix, and we even find David providing vocal parts on over half of the 15 cuts on this one-hour project. While Grisman isn't primarily known as a singer, I liked his lead vocals, especially when paired up with the tenors of Del McCoury (We Can't Be Darlings Anymore, Unwanted Love, Cabin of Love), Ralph Stanley (Man of Constant Sorrow), Alan O'Bryant (Tragic Romance), and Herb Pedersen (Seven Year Blues). The repertoire is drawn largely from the vaults of standard traditional material, and bluegrass material of the fifties. The CD comes with a 20-page insert that includes lyrics and Grisman's notes about each song, as well as some personal reflections about his musical friends. The fact that we suffer means that we are alive, and traditional bluegrass music lovers know that listening to songs about anguish and misery often have the paradoxical effect of providing uplifiting experiences and inspiration. After the conclusion of "Farther Along" (sung by Bryan Bowers), a few bonus minutes by Mac Wiseman and David Grisman encourage us to "Keep on the Sunnyside of Life." There is a great deal of Zen wisdom found in bluegrass music, and David Grisman manages to present some of it here. Perhaps the key message is that treading a path of sorrow is not something to be avoided, but rather is a journey that will only make us stronger. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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