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Best of the Vanguard Years
     

Best of the Vanguard Years

by The Greenbriar Boys
 
This two-CD, 35-song compilation could probably hardly be bettered as a summation of this band's best-recorded work. Disc one focuses on tracks from 1961-1962, including four songs from the 1961 New Folks various-artists compilation, two songs from Joan Baez, Vol. 2 on which they played backup, and eight songs from their proper full-length debut, 1962's

Overview

This two-CD, 35-song compilation could probably hardly be bettered as a summation of this band's best-recorded work. Disc one focuses on tracks from 1961-1962, including four songs from the 1961 New Folks various-artists compilation, two songs from Joan Baez, Vol. 2 on which they played backup, and eight songs from their proper full-length debut, 1962's The Greenbriar Boys. Though their accent at this time was on traditional songs and covers of bluegrass tunes by the likes of Bill Monroe, this does include "Stewball" (here crediting the band as authors, though different writing credits were used when Peter, Paul & Mary covered it slightly later) and Wayne Raney's sly "We Need a Lot More of Jesus" ("and a lot less rock & roll", goes the end of the couplet when the title is sung on the refrain). Disc two contains 21 songs from their mid-'60s albums Ragged but Right! (1964) and Better Late Than Never! (1966). The first of these was the last to feature the trio lineup of John Herald, Bob Yellin, and Ralph Rinzler. Frank Wakefield replaced Rinzler for Better Late Than Never!, the record that was by far their most contemporary Vanguard effort, with more original material and some very interesting covers, like Floyd Chance's Cajun-flavored "Alligator Man." Far more familiar to rock and pop fans, though, is the original version of Mike Nesmith's "Different Drum," a slower and more whimsical arrangement than that used by the Stone Poneys on their 1967 hit cover of the tune. Linda Ronstadt also covered the Greenbriar Boys' best original song, "Up to My Neck in High Muddy Waters," also originally on Better Late Than Never! (and included on this compilation). As a whole, this is a good survey of a band who did a lot to popularize and preserve traditional bluegrass with skill, as well as take some occasional ventures into progressive directions, not only on the above-mentioned songs, but also on unusual (for bluegrass) Bob Yellin-penned instrumentals like "A Minor Breakdown" and "Russian Around."

Product Details

Release Date:
08/13/2002
Label:
Vanguard Records
UPC:
0015707020626
catalogNumber:
206/07

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Greenbriar Boys   Primary Artist
Frank Wakefield   Mandolin,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Joan Baez   Vocals
Eric Weissberg   Bass
Sandy Block   Bass
Buchanan   Fiddle
Jackie Cook   Bass,Baritone (Vocal)
John Herald   Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ralph Rinzler   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocal Harmony
Richard Romoff   Bass
Russ Savakus   Bass
Bob Yellin   Banjo,Harmonica,Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Buddy Pendleton   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Frank Wakefield   Arranger,Adaptation
Joan Baez   Arranger
Buchanan   Arranger
John Herald   Arranger,Adaptation
Bob Yellin   Arranger,Adaptation
Ed Ward   Liner Notes
Jules Halfant   Cover Design
Joe Alper   Cover Photo
Amy L. VonHolzhausen   Cover Design
Hod Pharis   Composer

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