Essential Original Masters: The Best of Hylo Brown

Essential Original Masters: The Best of Hylo Brown

by Hylo Brown


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Essential Original Masters: The Best of Hylo Brown

Hylo Brown's rather laid-back approach to bluegrass, which featured country-styled vocals and a pace and feel that were really only a half step removed from his Appalachian string band roots, will no doubt sound dated and quaint to those only familiar with the supercharged sounds of contemporary bluegrass. Brown (his real name was Frank Brown -- he was called "Hylo" because he was able to comfortably sing melody lines both in the high and low end of his vocal register) was a featured singer for Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys in the late '50s, and for a time headed up a splinter group, the Timberliners, always sticking fairly close to the string band repertoire of his Kentucky roots. In the mid- to late '60s he recorded seven albums for the Rural Rhythm label, and this collection is drawn from those LP releases. A smooth and unhurried singer, Brown delivers straight-ahead no-frills versions of such mountain traditional pieces as "Wild Bill Jones," "Handsome Molly," "Ground Hog," and "Mole in the Ground" here, all essentially unchanged (accept for a bluegrass approach) from how such songs were sung early in the century. One clear highlight is Brown's laconic rendition of the shaggy dog (or shaggy rat, as the case is here) story "Intoxicated Rat," which is every bit as implausible as it is fun. Again, this isn't the combustible, shiny, and propulsive music that makes up most contemporary bluegrass, but more of a bridge between modern bluegrass and the old-time string bands.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/27/2006
Label: Rural Rhythm
UPC: 0732351031326
catalogNumber: 313
Rank: 167893

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