O Sister 2: A Women's Bluegrass Collection

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Once as rare a sight as J-Lo in a burqa, women have been assuming a higher profile in bluegrass since Alison Krauss arrived on the scene in 1987. Men still dominate, but O Sister proves women have made contributions every bit as important as those of male artists in the past decade. The 19 cuts here show a remarkable diversity of styles under the contemporary bluegrass rubric while also demonstrating each artist's solid sense of the music's roots. Wilma Lee Cooper's remorseless scolding of the man who done her wrong on "You Tried to Ruin My Name" typifies an adherence to a more rustic style that not only serves her well but also provides a compelling template for Delia ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Once as rare a sight as J-Lo in a burqa, women have been assuming a higher profile in bluegrass since Alison Krauss arrived on the scene in 1987. Men still dominate, but O Sister proves women have made contributions every bit as important as those of male artists in the past decade. The 19 cuts here show a remarkable diversity of styles under the contemporary bluegrass rubric while also demonstrating each artist's solid sense of the music's roots. Wilma Lee Cooper's remorseless scolding of the man who done her wrong on "You Tried to Ruin My Name" typifies an adherence to a more rustic style that not only serves her well but also provides a compelling template for Delia Bell's heartbreaking waltz, "Sad Situation," and Lynn Morris's warm reading of Hazel Dickens's sepia-toned reminiscence, "Mama's Hand." Dickens shows off her own robust pipes on her rousing kiss-off song, "I Can't Find Your Love Any More," and on a stunning duet with Alice Gerrard of Bill Monroe's lowdown "True Life Blues." Rhonda Vincent, Alison Krauss, and the Cox Family represent a contemporary rethinking of the ancient tones by embracing pop arrangements and production, but it's done so subtly as to be almost subliminal in effect. The Cox Family's yearning, lilting spiritual, "Will There Be Any Stars?," rides easy on the graceful, western-style twin fiddling of producer Alison Krauss and the Family's Andrea Zonn and the stark banjo solos of Union Station's Ron Block supporting Suzanne Cox's fragile, expressive lead vocal. Vincent tears down the house on her "Lonesome Wind Blues," with its engaging instrumental byplay and high-lonesome harmonizing on the tuneful choruses. Krauss is a constant presence -- her impact apparent in the signature sound other artists have adopted -- as a producer as well as an artist. In the latter role she's represented by one of her most memorable recordings, "Every Time You Say Goodbye" from the like-titled album, but in a real sense O Sister is all about what Alison Krauss has wrought. Claire Lynch, Suzanne Thomas, Kathy Kallick with Laurie Lewis, Lynn Morris, the Stevens Sisters, Ginny Hawker and Carol Elizabeth Jones, and Phyllis Boyens round out the lineup, and there isn't a bad song or an ill-considered turn of phrase to be heard among 'em. Makes a man want to holler, "O brother!"
Barnes & Noble - David McGee
The follow-up to 2001's O Sister! women's bluegrass collection -- easily one of the year's best albums -- O Sister 2 lives up to its predecessor's high standard, and then some. Vocally, instrumentally, stylistically, and philosophically, the women featured here boast an adventurous spirit within a traditional bluegrass framework without sounding self-consciously old-timey or icily academic. That's as true for a staunch traditionalists such as the gritty North Carolinian Olabelle Reed on her rustic "High on a Mountain" as it is for the brilliant modern alchemist Alison Krauss, who turns in a deep and beautiful duet with Suzanne Cox on "Jewels," an exquisite exposition of the glories of the afterlife. Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard's Old West fable, "Montana Cowboy," is energized by some atmospheric, anxiety-riddled fiddling by Tracy Schwarz that would make Bernard Hermann proud, and in another of many instrumental highlights, the Wayfaring Strangers back Lucy Kaplansky and Jennifer Kimball's keening harmonies on "Memories of You" with some jazzy riffing that suggests a Middle Eastern melody. But really, the story is great voices singing powerful, haunting songs straight from some deep place in the collective human heart. With exemplary performances from Rhonda Vincent, Hazel Dickens on three cuts, Wilma Lee Cooper, Tanya Savory, and Jeannie Kendall, this collection cuts deep and doesn't settle for merely providing a good time. It also aims to be meaningful, with songs boasting big themes and performances marked by conviction of purpose. Live with this one, and it'll light a path somewhere down the road.
All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
The latest in a lengthening string of releases designed to benefit from association with the Coen brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou? is this all-girl bluegrass compilation, which features on its cover the requisite stubbly cornfield and archaic font style. Opportunistic as the packaging may be, there's no arguing with the quality of the content. Generously packed with outstanding performances by women as stylistically disparate as Hazel Dickens, Claire Lynch, and Kathy Kallick, O Sister is a delightful celebration of several generations of criminally unheralded female bluegrass artists. The highlights are many, but particular standout tracks include Rhonda Vincent's rocking "Lonesome Wind Blues," the hard-edged mountain sound of Phyllis Boyens backed up by Hazel Dickens and the Johnson Mountain Boys, and the clawhammer banjo-powered "Comin' Down From God" by the relatively unknown Carol Elizabeth Jones. The usual suspects are here too, of course, including Alison Krauss on the exquisitely gentle and sweet "Every Time You Say Goodbye" and the Cox Family twice. You might buy this one because you feel guilty about the way women have been neglected in the bluegrass world, but you'll keep coming back to it because the songs are just so dang good.

The latest in a lengthening string of releases designed to benefit from association with the Coen brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou? is this all-girl bluegrass compilation, which features on its cover the requisite stubbly cornfield and archaic font style. Opportunistic as the packaging may be, there's no arguing with the quality of the content. Generously packed with outstanding performances by women as stylistically disparate as Hazel Dickens, Claire Lynch, and Kathy Kallick, O Sister is a delightful celebration of several generations of criminally unheralded female bluegrass artists. The highlights are many, but particular standout tracks include Rhonda Vincent's rocking "Lonesome Wind Blues," the hard-edged mountain sound of Phyllis Boyens backed up by Hazel Dickens and the Johnson Mountain Boys, and the clawhammer banjo-powered "Comin' Down From God" by the relatively unknown Carol Elizabeth Jones. The usual suspects are here too, of course, including Alison Krauss on the exquisitely gentle and sweet "Every Time You Say Goodbye" and the Cox Family twice. You might buy this one because you feel guilty about the way women have been neglected in the bluegrass world, but you'll keep coming back to it because the songs are just so dang good.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/30/2001
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661049925
  • Catalog Number: 610499
  • Sales rank: 91,343

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 If Wishes Were Horses (2:35)
  2. 2 Silver Tongue and Gold Plated Lies (3:26)
  3. 3 Sad Situation - Delia Bell (2:27)
  4. 4 True Life Blues - Alice Gerrard (2:36)
  5. 5 Lonesome Wind Blues (3:01)
  6. 6 Pardon Me (2:44)
  7. 7 Old River - Ginny Hawker (2:59)
  8. 8 You Tried to Ruin My Name (2:27)
  9. 9 I Can't Find Your Love Any More - Hazel Dickens (2:35)
  10. 10 Just Like Rain - Laurie Lewis (2:15)
  11. 11 Mama's Hand - Lynn Morris (4:13)
  12. 12 Every Time You Say Goodbye - Alison Krauss (3:17)
  13. 13 Blue - Stevens Sisters (2:39)
  14. 14 Time Is Winding Up - Carol Elizabeth Jones (4:17)
  15. 15 Blow, Big Wind - Laurie Lewis (2:52)
  16. 16 Will There Be Any Stars? - The Cox Family (3:12)
  17. 17 The Last Old Shovel (2:21)
  18. 18 Comin' Down from God - Carol Elizabeth Jones (2:42)
  19. 19 Eight More Miles - Claire Lynch (2:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tony Furtado Banjo
Kathy Kallick Guitar, Vocals
Alison Krauss Fiddle, Vocals
Laurie Lewis Bass, Fiddle, Vocals
Rhonda Vincent Mandolin, Vocals
Hazel Dickens Bass, Vocals
Mike Seeger Mandolin
April Stevens Vocals
Todd Phillips Vocals, String Bass
Barry Mitterhoff Mandolin
Wilma Lee Cooper Guitar, Vocals
Tom Adams Banjo
Phyllis Boyens Vocals
Bill Grant Vocals
Delia Bell Vocals
Lynn Morris Guitar, Vocals
The Cox Family Track Performer
Claire Lynch Vocals
Barry Bales Acoustic Bass
Ron Block Banjo, Guitar
Ronnie Bowman Electric Bass, Vocals
Stanley Brown Banjo
Dudley Connell Guitar, Vocals
Carolee Cooper Vocals
Evelyn Cox Vocals
Sidney Cox Vocals
Suzanne Cox Vocals
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Alice Gerrard Guitar, Vocals
Lamar Grier Banjo
Mike Hartgrove Fiddle
Ginny Hawker Vocals
Rob Ickes Dobro
Carol Elizabeth Jones Vocals
Pete Kennedy Guitar
Michael McLain Banjo
David McLaughlin Mandolin
Marc Pruett Banjo
John Reischman Mandolin
Tom Rozum Mandolin, Vocals
Tracy Schwarz Fiddle
Sammy Shelor Banjo
Ronnie Simpkins Acoustic Bass
Terry Smith Bass, Vocals
Adam Steffey Mandolin
Eddie Stubbs Fiddle
Clarence "Tater" Tate Fiddle
Suzanne Thomas Guitar, Vocals
Richard Underwood Banjo
Jeff White Guitar
Marshall Wilborn Bass
Gene Wooten Dobro, Vocals
Wayne Benson Mandolin
Don Rigsby Mandolin, Vocals
Larry Robbins Bass
Darrin Vincent Bass
Missy Raines Bass
Beth Stevens Banjo, Vocals
Bryan Sutton Guitar
Ron Stewart Fiddle, Mandolin
Jim Hurst Guitar, Vocals
Mary Gibbons Guitar, Vocals
Douglas Stevens Vocals
Kenny Smith Guitar
Stevens Sisters Track Performer
Larry Lynch Mandolin, Background Vocals
Roger Williams Dobro
Technical Credits
Kathy Kallick Composer
Laurie Lewis Composer
Bill Monroe Composer
Hazel Dickens Composer
Pee Wee King Composer
Jesse McReynolds Composer
Toby Mountain Mastering
John Pennell Composer
Wayne Raney Composer
John Reischman Composer
Gretchen Peters Composer
Marty Godbey Liner Notes
Public Domain Composer
Traditional Composer
Clyde Pitts Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Great Collection!!!!!

    I'm 16 years old, and I wasn't really a fan of bluegrass until the O' Brother movie, even though I grew up around it. Now I'm upset that I've never really stopped to listen to it! This is a GREAT CD!!! It's one of my new favorites. Anyone who likes bluegrass will love this!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews