Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe

Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe

by The Del McCoury Band


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Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe

The year 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bill Monroe, the man who built the platform for the modern music genre known as bluegrass. Growing out of the Southern string band tradition, bluegrass came into being because of the advent of amplification, which allowed soloists to step to the microphone and deliver lead lines on banjo, guitar, fiddle, or mandolin and sidestep the more ragged ensemble playing of the old string bands, which had to play that way in order to carry at a house party, dance, or picnic. But Monroe did more than simply amp things up. He also created the formula and template for bluegrass by selecting which of the old traditional string band tunes to update, and then by adding several original songs to the mix as well. It was sort of a hat trick, creating a bright, fresh spin on what was old and making it new, and yet making it sound like it was all as old as the hills at the same time. And bluegrass has kept that balance between old and new, and even its jazzy and improvisational progressive wing has always tipped its hat to it. Suffice to say that Bill Monroe is the most revered and important figure in the history of bluegrass, and the many tribute albums and Monroe collections that appeared in 2011 are a clear testament to that. This set from the Del McCoury Band is one of those tributes to Monroe, but it is perhaps made a bit more than a tribute by being, in essence, a continuation of Monroe's music rather than a representation of it. Del McCoury even played in Monroe's band for a year in 1963 and 1964, and his own band has always stayed loyal to Monroe's blueprint, making McCoury perhaps the best disciple of Monroe's approach in contemporary bluegrass. McCoury kicks things off here with a joyous, 14-second dash through "Watermelon on the Vine," then visits several well-known and not so-well-known Monroe pieces (some of the songs here were never recorded by Monroe, but he would play them occasionally at live shows), including versions of "I'm Blue I'm Lonesome" (a song Monroe wrote with Hank Williams), "My Old Rose of Kentucky," "Alabama Waltz," and "Lonesome Road Blues," among others. Old memories, indeed -- but in the hands of McCoury and his band, they become not only memories but the continuation and extension of them.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/31/2012
Label: Mccoury Music
UPC: 0829305001624
catalogNumber: 16
Rank: 87585

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Del McCoury Band   Primary Artist
Del McCoury   Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Rob McCoury   Banjo
Ronnie McCoury   Mandolin,Vocals
Alan Bartram   Upright Bass
Jason Carter   Fiddle,Baritone (Vocal),Vocal Harmony
Thomas Porter   Background Vocals
Bob Keefe   Background Vocals
Bryce Barker   Background Vocals
Tom Weiss   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Del McCoury   Producer
Bill Monroe   Composer
Jimmie Rodgers   Composer
Wade Mainer   Composer
Cliff Carlisle   Composer
David Ferguson   Engineer
Mel Foree   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Gene Sullivan   Composer
Arlie Duff   Composer
Steve Ledford   Composer
Zeke Morris   Composer
Wiley Walker   Composer
Lee Roberts   Composer
Joe Ahr   Composer
Juanita Pennington   Composer
Chris Harris   Art Direction
Robert Van Winkle   Composer

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