Poor Rambler

Poor Rambler

by Ralph Stanley


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Poor Rambler

Any three-disc set of previously hard-to-find recordings by Ralph Stanley would be a release worth noting. But this one is especially exciting because it brings together the entirety of Stanley's work for the King and Gusto labels, much of it from the late '60s when Stanley was arguably at the peak of his considerable powers. Much of this material features lead singer Larry Sparks, the man generally considered Ralph Stanley's most effective duet partner since the death of his brother Carter. Indeed, the 36 King sides were recorded shortly after Carter's untimely death and a brief but intense period of personal grief and professional uncertainty on Ralph's part. When he returned to recording and playing it was with an impressive level of energy and commitment, as these recordings make plain -- just listen to the gritty incisiveness of his renditions of "Poor Rambler," "I'm Better Off Now That You're Gone," and the Bill Monroe classic "In the Pines." But as fine as these songs are, the real fun comes on the 12 songs that Stanley recorded for the Gusto label with Jimmy Martin handling lead vocals and rhythm guitar chores. Martin's patented buzzsaw whine and powerful guitar attack push Stanley in a way that his late brother never had, and the results are thrilling. The occasional harmonica and drums (!) are an annoyance, but not more than an annoyance. Very highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/17/2003
Label: King
UPC: 0792014095126
catalogNumber: 951
Rank: 85229

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ralph Stanley   Primary Artist,Banjo
Larry Sparks   Guitar,Vocals
Curley Ray Cline   Fiddle
Glenn Davis   Drums
Vernon Derrick   Mandolin
Jimmy Martin   Guitar,Mandolin
Earl Taylor   Harmonica,Mandolin
Melvin Goins   Guitar
Kenny Ingram   Banjo
Jim McCall   Bass
Earl Gray   Bass

Technical Credits

Larry Sparks   Composer
Ralph Stanley   Arranger,Composer
Ray Pennington   Composer
Bill Grant   Composer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
Wendy Smith   Composer
Carter Stanley   Composer
Melvin Goins   Composer
Landon Messer   Composer
Rebecca Pittard   Art Direction
Gary B. Reid   Liner Notes
Ray Cline   Composer
Roy Marcum   Composer
Alan Riggs   Composer
Bill Browning   Composer
Public Domain   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Miller   Composer
Rupert Jones   Composer

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Poor Rambler 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Three of the four Ralph Stanley albums contained in this 3 CD collection were recorded soon after his brother' Carter's death. Each album makes up the balance of a disc. The fourth was a 1980 duets project with Jimmy Martin of Will The Circle Be Unbroken fame. It is broken up and distributed as bonus tracks at the end of the CDs. which is too bad, because I think its numbers are superior to the earlier music. (Why they just didn't fit the two hours and 6 seconds total run time on two CDs is a mystery.) Ralph does not sing lead on many of the songs, which was a disappointment. I think the Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Clinch Mountain Country 90s collections are better places to meet Ralph Stanley.