Sunday, January 22, 2017

"Bluegrass Cafe" playlist - 1/22/2017

It's Basketball Season at the University of Connecticut, so Sunday's Bluegrass Cafe was sports-shortened by sixty minutes.  Though the show was only two hours in length on Sunday, we still managed to squeeze in quite a few tunes, classic and new.  

Per the legendary Tom Gray, this unique photo of the Classic
Country Gentlemen was taken at the Bousquet Ski Area
in Pittsfield, MA in June 1963.
The show began with four songs from the late Charlie Waller, who would have celebrated his 82nd birthday on January 19th.  Few singers in the history of Bluegrass had a more distinctive, warm voice that never exactly fit into the "high lonesome sound" category.  The Country Gentlemen have long been among my very favorites, and though the band's personnel changed often, Charlie Waller's baritone voice bonded all of these wonderful musicians together for nearly a half-century.  Amazing.  

In addition to classic music from the Country Gentlemen and other performers, we shared newer (2016 'til now) music from records by Kristin Scott Benson, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show, the Grascals, Adam Steffey, Sideline, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Earls Of Leicester, and a track from the Mac Wiseman autobiographical CD.  

Have a fabulous week, and we'll be looking for you next Sunday!

Amy O.


  • Katy Hill / Del McCoury Band/ RockyGrass / Blue Planet
  • Bluebirds Are Singing For Me / Country Gentlemen / Folk Session Inside / Copper Creek [Charlie Waller birthday, 1/19/1935]
  • Many A Mile / Country Gentlemen / Can't You Hear Me Callin':  Early Classics, 1963-1969 / Rebel [Charlie Waller birthday, 1/19/1935]
  • I Am Weary (Let Me Rest) / Country Gentlemen / Folk Session Inside / Copper Creek [Charlie Waller birthday, 1/19/1935]
  • Redwood Hill / Country Gentlemen / The Award Winning Country Gentlemen / Rebel [Charlie Waller birthday, 1/19/1935]
  • The Cotton Farmer / Feinberg Brothers / Feinberg Brothers / Cabinwood Music
  • I Cried Again / Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys / Radio Shows / Rural Rhythm
  • Great Waterton / Kristin Scott Benson / Stringworks / Mountain Home
  • Wild Mountain Honey / Junior Sisk & Joe Mullins / Hall Of Fame Bluegrass! / Rebel
  • Polly Vaughn / The Dillards / There Is A Time (1963-70) / Vanguard
  • Our Last Goodbye / Stanley Brothers / 20th Century Masters / Mercury
  • Railroad Line / Gibson Brothers / Bona Fide / Sugar Hill
  • Brakeman's Blues / Del McCoury Band / Old Memories:  The Songs Of Bill Monroe / McCoury Music
  • Mr. Engineer / J.D. Crowe & the New South / Flashback / Rounder
  • Midnight Train / Warrior River Boys / New Beginnings / Rebel
  • Wabash Cannonball / Tennessee Mafia Jug Band / Screams From The Holler / Spring Fed Records
  • No More Painting Up This Town / Rambler's Choice / Sounds Of The Mountains / Rounder
  • Is The Grass Any Bluer (On The Other Side) / Rhonda Vincent & the Rage / In Concert, Volume One:  All The Rage / Upper Management Music
  • On My Way Back Home / Monroe Brothers / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys, 1937-1938 / JSP Records
  • Blue Grass Stomp / Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show / Sho Nuff Country! / Patuxent Music
  • Unwanted Love / Sideline with Dudley Connell / Colors & Crossroads / Mountain Fever Records
  • Just Ain't / Earls Of Leicester / Rattle & Roar / Rounder
  • Who Will Sing For Me / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / Selected Cuts, 1955-1959 / JSP Records
  • I Know Better / The Grascals / And Then There's This... / Mountain Home
  • The Guitar / Sierra Hull & Justin Moses with Mac Wiseman / I Sang The Song / Mountain Fever Records
  • Dear John / Adam Steffey / Here To Stay / Mountain Home
  • Brown County Red / Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out / It's About Tyme / Break A String Productions
  • Sold Down The River / Bob Paisley & the Southern Grass / Heritage / Brandywine
  • I'm Comin' Back, But I Don't Know When / David Grisman / Home Is Where The Heart Is / Rounder
  • Count Your Blessings / Kathy Kallick & Laurie Lewis / Count Your Blessings / Live Oak Records
  • I Am The Road / Hot Rize / When I'm Free / Ten In Hand Records
  • Burden Bearer / Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver / Burden Bearer / Mountain Home
  • Home Of The Soul / Jimmy Gaudreau with Bill Clifton / In Good Company / CMH
  • Travel, Travel On / Bluegrass Gospel Project / Shine / Vital Records
  • Blue Grass Twist / Johnson Mountain Boys / Requests / Rounder

Sunday, January 08, 2017

"Bluegrass Cafe" playlist - 1/8/2017

Sunday's Bluegrass Cafe began in a rocking kind of way -- with Elvis Presley's 1954 recording of "Blue Moon Of Kentucky."  While there is no way Elvis could ever be considered to be a Bluegrass performer, it only seems proper to celebrate The King today, on what would have been his 81st birthday.
Remembering Randall Hylton (January 8, 1945 - March 19, 2003)

During the three hours of our broadcast, nineteen songs came from the very prolific pen of the late songwriter, Randall Hylton (born January 8, 1945).  We could have filled the entire broadcast (or several broadcasts) with the songs of Randall Hylton, but for today, just a few of Hylton's 225 published songs worked nicely.

We also remembered the January 6th birthday of Earl Scruggs, so overall, it seems like the show's tone was a celebratory one.  Hope you agree.

Have a wonderful week!  

Amy O.


  • Katy Hill / Del McCoury Band / RockyGrass / Blue Planet
  • Blue Moon Of Kentucky / Elvis Presley / Blue Moon Of Kentucky / Forever Gold [Elvis Presley birthday, 1/8/1935]
  • Dixie / Gibson Brothers / Help My Brother / Compass Records
  • The Likes Of You / Country Gentlemen / The Sugar Hill Collection / Sugar Hill [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • The Eighth Of January / Chubby Wise / An American Original / Pinecastle
  • If You're Ever Gonna Love Me / New Kentucky Colonels / Live In Sweden 1973 / Roland White Band
  • I Know My Baby Loves Me / Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers / RockyGrass / Blue Planet
  • Down The Road / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / The Complete Mercury Recordings / Mercury [Earl Scruggs birthday, 1/6/1924]
  • Earl's Breakdown / Earl Scruggs with Hylo Brown & the Timberliners / Classic Bluegrass Live, 1959-1966 / Vanguard [Earl Scruggs birthday, 1/6/1924]
  • You Are My Flower / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / Live At Vanderbilt / Columbia [Earl Scruggs birthday, 1/6/1924]
  • Foggy Mountain Chimes / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / Foggy Mountain Jamboree / Columbia [Earl Scruggs birthday, 1/6/1924]
  • Lefty's Old Guitar / J.D. Crowe & the New South / Lefty's Old Guitar / Rounder
  • Poor Ellen Smith / Wilma Lee Cooper / O Sister 2 / Rounder
  • Some Of These Days You're Gonna Be Sad / McCoury Brothers / The McCoury Brothers / Rounder
  • Rambler's Blues / Laurel Canyon Ramblers / Rambler's Blues / Sugar Hill
  • Rough Edges / Traditional Grass / The Blues Are Still The Blues / Rebel [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • 32 Acres / Special Consensus / 25th Anniversary / Pinecastle [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Wanting, Wanting You / Gibson Brothers / Another Night Of Waiting / Hay Holler / [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Rock Bottom / WhiteHouse / WhiteHouse / Pinecastle [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • The Boatman / Seldom Scene / Dream Scene / Sugar HIll [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Fickle Wind / Bluegrass Cardinals / My Kinda Grass / BGC [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Sawmill Road / Lost & Found / Down On Sawmill Road / Rebel [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Slippers With Wings / Charlie Waller & Randall Hylton / The Singer And The Songster / Rebel [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Cecil And The Cement Truck / Randall Hylton / True Stories, Tall Tales...And Lies / Copper Creek [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Summer When You First Loved Me / Lonesome River Band / Head On Into Heartache / Mountain Home [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Digging In The Ground / Spinney Brothers / Living The Dream / Mountain Fever Records [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Country Poor, Country Proud / David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition / David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition / DP & CD Records [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Be Good To My Little Baby Girl / The Sidemen / The All Night Gang / Rebel [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • The Sky Is Weeping / Virginia Squires / The Best Of The Virginia Squires / Rebel [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Cumberland River / Dailey & Vincent / Dailey & Vincent / Rounder [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • One More Hill / Country Gentlemen / Souvenirs / Rebel [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Room At The Top Of The Stairs / Longview / Deep In The Mountains / Rounder [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Flint Hill Special / David Talbot / Foggy Mountain Special / Rounder
  • Highway / Gibson Brothers / In The Ground / Rounder
  • Footprints In The Snow / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys / Anthology / MCA
  • I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby / Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys / One Morning In May / Rounder
  • No Doubt About It / Junior Sisk & Joe Mullins / Hall Of Fame Bluegrass! / Rebel
  • Three Cows And Two Horses / Buddy Melton & Milan MIller with Andrea Zonn / I Sang The Song / Mountain Fever Records
  • Green Mountain Girl / Seth Sawyer Band / Green Mountain Girl / Self-Produced
  • Rocky Top / Osborne Brothers / High Lonesome / CMH
  • Gonna Be Movin' / Balsam Range / Trains I Missed / Mountain Home [Randall Hylton birthday, 1/8/1945]
  • Daniel Prayed / Stanley Brothers / On Radio / Rebel
  • A Lover Of The Lord / Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver / Once And For Always/The News Is Out / Sugar Hill 
  • The Boat Of Love / Peter Rowan / The First Whippoorwill / Sugar Hill
  • Waiting For The King / Weary Hearts / By Heart / Flying Fish
  • Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room / Bear Bridge Band / Broken Hearts & Better Times / Open Road
  • What Would You Give In Exchange / Monroe Brothers / The Monroe Brothers, 1936 / JSP Records
  • Lay Down Your Troubles / Gary Ferguson / I'm Really Leaving / Webco
  • Black Mountain Blues / Johnson Mountain Boys / Requests / Rounder

Monday, January 02, 2017

Amy's List of 16 Fine CDs from '16!

Before we get too much further into 2017, it's time to take a look back at sixteen of my favorite Bluegrass recordings released in 2016.  These selections are ranked in no particular order (other than alphabetical), but each is worth a repeated listen as we move into the new year.   In mid-December, Jim put together a fun list of some of his more obscure favorites from 2016, and there is a bit of duplication on our lists.  At the end of the day -- or the end of the year -- the choice of what you listen to is yours alone.  We are just pleased to expose your ears to some of our favorites during a couple of hours each week.  Hope you'll keep on listening in 2017, too.  Happy New Year!  

And here comes the list:

  • Balsam Range - "Mountain Voodoo" (Mountain Home)
    This is the sixth recording from this popular North Carolina band, and it offers a good mix of Bluegrass mixed with a few country-sounding tunes.

  • Travers Chandler - "Archaic" (Patuxent Music)
    Chandler always seems to offer straight-ahead Bluegrass music, and this recording is solid.

  • Earls Of Leicester - "Rattle And Roar" (Rounder)
    This is the second record from the popular Flatt & Scruggs tribute band.  While it's always best to hear the original versions of these songs, if this band can bring some younger ears back to the music of Flatt & Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys, who can complain?
  • Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge - "My Daddy's Grass" (Rebel)
    Think traditional Bluegrass is a thing of the past?  Listen to this CD from second-generation performer Mickey Galyean and his band.

  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - "Burden Bearer" (Mountain Home)
    It's amazing that Doyle Lawson is always able to hire crackerjack musicians for his band and make them work on perfecting his sound.  The combination of musicians isn't always perfect, but this particular Quicksilver band is one of Doyle's best in years.  Plus, the record features several fine a cappella quartets -- a Quicksilver specialty.

  • Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands - "The Hazel And Alice Sessions" (Spruce And Maple Music)
    A Grammy-nominated collection honoring the music of pioneers Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard.

  • Corrina Rose Logston - "Bluegrass Fiddler" (Patuxent Music)
    A perfect title from this recording by a young Bluegrass fiddler.

  • Edgar Loudermilk - "Georgia Maple" (Pinecastle)
    Edgar's third solo recording and first from Pinecastle Records, and it is filled with original songs.

  • Del McCoury Band -  "Del And Woody" (McCoury Music)
    What a concept!  Take the lyrics of Woody Guthrie and set them to music composed by Del McCoury, and how could you not want to listen?

  • Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers - "Sacred Memories" (Rebel)
    Another great gospel recording from Joe Mullins and his terrific band.  If there were no other songs on here besides "When The Sun Of Life Goes Down," the CD would still be worth listening.

  • David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition - "David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition" (DP & CD Records)
    After a few years of retirement, it's great to hear David Parmley's warm baritone voice singing once more.

  • Lou Reid & Carolina - "Rollin' On" (KMA Records)
    Lou Reid is a long-time favorite of mine, and this record is quite good.

  • Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show - "Sho Nuff Country!" (Patuxent Music)
    What a fun record!  While this CD can't quite capture the full impact of KSBC's live show, it comes pretty darn close.  Plain old enjoyable!

  • Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice - "Poor Boy's Pleasure" (Mountain Fever Records)
    Another fine recording from one of the most traditional-sounding Bluegrass voices working today.

  • Spinney Brothers - "Living The Dream" (Mountain Fever Records)
    This is the Spinneys' fourth record for Mountain Fever Records, and the title song has been #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey for 3 months in a row.  Guess these guys really are living the dream.

  • Jeff White - "Right Beside You" (Jeff White Music)
    This is Jeff White's second CD on this list, as he is a current member of the Earls of Leicester, as well.  Jeff's latest solo recording includes everything from songs he's written to a fine version of Stringbean's "Run Little Rabbit, Run."

Thanks for looking.  We'll look forward to hearing lots more great new records in 2017...and hope you will, too!  

Happy New Year!

Amy O.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

"Bluegrass Cafe" playlist - 1/1/2017

It's a new year -- Happy 2017!  Here's wishing you a year filled with health, happiness, and lots of wonderful Bluegrass!  

For this first show of 2017, we shared several songs from a few of my personal favorite recordings of 2016.  Sometime over the next few days, I'm planning to put together a list of these titles, but for now, you can guess that the 2016 recordings we played here will likely be on that list.  Stay tuned...

2016 was the year we said goodbye to quite a few actors, writers, artists, and singers, including  four notable Bluegrass deaths.  We remembered Ralph StanleyMelvin GoinsDon Parmley, and James King by sharing a healthy portion of their music.  What better way to remember than to share fine musical memories?

It's a new year, so new music will be popping up quite a bit over these next few weeks, no doubt.  We included newer music today from projects by Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, as well as Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome.  The most interesting new project we shared today is one from Mountain Fever Records called "I Sang The Song."  In this collection, the songs tell the story of the early life of the legendary Mac Wiseman as he grew up during the Depression in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  These are (mostly) all new songs, and they came about through several conversations which took place between 91-year-old Mac Wiseman, country music historian Peter Cooper, and musician Thomm Jutz over a few separate Sundays.  The results of those conversations ended up as songs about Mac's life which are sung by a whole host of different performers.  It's an interesting concept, and we look forward to hearing more of the collection in future weeks on Bluegrass Cafe.  Hope you do, too.

We couldn't have a show on New Year's Day without remembering another legendary figure, Hank Williams, who died on January 1, 1953 on his way to play a benefit show in Ohio.  Hank's music wasn't necessarily "Bluegrass," but a whole lot of it has been recorded by Bluegrass performers through the years.  We shared four songs from Hank's vast catalog on Sunday, but could have played a whole lot more.

We'll look for you again next Sunday afternoon for another edition of our Bluegrass Cafe.  

Enjoy the week!



  • Katy Hill / Del McCoury Band / RockyGrass / Blue Planet
  • Clinch Mountain Backstep / Stanley Brothers / The Early Starday King Years, 1958-1961 / Gusto
  • Windy Mountain / Lonesome Pine Fiddlers / Windy Mountain / Bear Family
  • A Few Old Memories / James King / Lonesome And Then Some / Rounder
  • Roll On Muddy River / The Hillmen / The Hillmen / Sugar Hill
  • I Couldn't Believe It Was True / Bluegrass Cardinals / The Bluegrass Cardinals / Copper Creek
  • Pretty Polly / Stanley Brothers / The Stanley Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Boys, 1949-52 / Bear Family
  • Bluegrass Blues / Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain / Bluegrass Blues / Hay Holler
  • Thirty Years Of Farming / James King / Thirty Years Of Farming / Rounder
  • Never Ending Sea Of Love / Bluegrass Cardinals / The Bluegrass Cardinals / Copper Creek
  • Bring It On Down To My House / Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show / Sho Nuff Country! / Patuxent Music
  • Ramblin' Fever / Travers Chandler / Archaic / Patuxent Music
  • Flint Hill Special / Earls Of Leicester / Rattle & Roar / Rounder
  • Climbin' Up A Mountain / Jeff White / Right Beside You  Self-Produced
  • Cowboy Jim / Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands / The Hazel And Alice Sessions / Spruce And Maple Music
  • Hello Heartache / Balsam Range / Mountain Voodoo / Mountain Home
  • Cold In Carolina / Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice / Poor Boy's Pleasure / Mountain Fever Records
  • Ain't A Gonna Do / Del McCoury Band / Del And Woody / McCoury Music
  • The Guitar / Sierra Hull & Justin Moses with Mac Wiseman / I Sang The Song / Mountain Fever Records
  • Manganese Mine / Shawn Camp / I Sang The Song / Mountain Fever Records
  • Crimora Church Of The Brethren / Junior Sisk & Ronnie Bowman / I Sang The Song / Mountain Fever Records
  • 'Tis Sweet To Be Remembered / Mac Wiseman & Alison Krauss / I Sang The Song / Mountain Fever Records
  • All The Ways I'm Gone / Chris Jones & the Night Drivers / Made To Move / Mountain Home
  • Back When The Bluegrass Was Green / Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome / A Distant Horizon / Union House Records
  • I'll Just Pretend / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / 20th Century Masters / Mercury
  • Here Comes The Train / 10th Anniversary Collection / Rebel
  • I've Never Been So Lonesome / Longview / Longview / Rounder
  • I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass boys / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys, 1950-1951 / JSP Records
  • I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind / Spinney Brothers / Going Home / Self-Produced
  • The Evening Train / Bob & Danny Paisley / Plum Pitiful / Time Life
  • Settin' The Woods On Fire / Good Ol' Persons / Good 'N Live / Sugar Hill
  • Laughing Boy / Corrina Rose Logston / Bluegrass Fiddler / Patuxent Music
  • Long Time Gone / Gibson Brothers / Brotherhood / Rounder
  • Trains Can't Turn Around / Edgar Loudermilk / Georgia Maple / Pinecastle
  • I'd Have A Dime / Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge / My Daddy's Grass / Rebel
  • In My Dear Old Southern Home / Lilly Brothers & Don Stover / Bluegrass At The Roots, 1961 / Smithsonian Folkways
  • Are You Tired Of Me, My Darlin' / Hot Rize / Untold Stories / Sugar Hill
  • Blackberry Blossom / New Kentucky Colonels / Live In Sweden 1973 / Roland White Music
  • China Grove, My Hometown / Curly Seckler / Down In Caroline / Copper Creek
  • These Men Of God / Country Gentlemen / High Lonesome / Starday
  • The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn / Ralph Stanley with Dwight Yoakam / Clinch Mountain Country / Rebel
  • We Can Sing / Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers / Sacred Memories / Rebel
  • Wrastlin' Jacob / Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver / Burden Bearer / Mountain Home
  • I Know What You're Talking About / Lynn Morris Band / Shape Of A Tear / Rounder
  • I'll Be Going To Heaven Sometime / Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs / The Complete Mercury Sessions / Mercury
  • Walk In The Sunshine / Spinney Brothers / Living The Dream / Mountain Fever Records
  • Jesus On The Mainline / Dry Branch Fire Squad / Live At The Newburyport Firehouse / Rounder
  • Black Mountain Blues / Johnson Mountain Boys / Requests / Rounder

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Playlist Christmas Day 2016

Hi Folks.

If you were able to tune in for our Christmas show on Christmas Day, we hope you enjoyed our 100% Christmas selections.

Jim Beaver

Artist / Song / Album / Label

  • Dr. Elmo Shropshire / Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer / Dr. Elmo Bluegrass Christmas / Time Life
  • Pike Brothers and the Pine Hill Ranchers / All I Want For Christmas Is You / 45 RPM single / Rebel
  • Charlie Moore / My Christmas Dream / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Wade Mainer / Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Delia Bell & Bill Grant / The Last Christmas Tree / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Landon Messer, Lowell Varney / King Of The Jews / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Rhonda Vincent / Dreaming Of Christmas / Christmas Time / Upper Management
  • Flint River Boys / Christmas In Kentucky / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Joe Isaacs / Home For Christmas / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Randall Hylton / Slippers With Wings / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Cedar Hill / Merry Christmas You All / The Songs of Dixie and Tom T. Hall / Good Home Grown 
  • Helen & Anita Carter / Mama Sang / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Lizzy and Little Roy / The Christmas Whittler / The Christmas Whittler-Single / Blue Circle
  • George & Mary Williamson / Ebenezer / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • RidgeRunners / The First Gift of Christmas / The Songs of Tom T. and Dixie Hall / Good Home Grown 
  • Patsy Montana / Christmas Without Daddy / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Patty Loveless / Bluegrass, White Snow / Bluegrass, White Snow / Epic
  • Becky Buller / Our Gingerbread House / The Christmas 45 / Dark Shadow
  • Tim O'Brien / Bah Humbug / Christmas On The Mountain / Universal South
  • Lulu Belle & Scotty / Empty Christmas Stocking / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Delia Bell & Bill Grant / The Greatest Christmas / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Terry Smith / What's In This Cookie? / Christmas In The Air / Rhinestone Rooster
  • Terry Smith / A Christmas Stocking's Story / Christmas In The Air / Rhinestone Rooster
  • Joseph Spence / Santa Claus Is Coming To Town / The Rounder Christmas Album / Rounder
  • The Stonemans / Prayers And Pinto Beans / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Ralph Stanley / I'm Going Home, It's Christmas Time / Christmas Time with Ralph Stanley / Freeland
  • The Roys / With Bells On / Bluegrass Kinda Christmas / Rural Rhythm
  • The Roys / If We Make It Through December / Bluegrass Kinda Christmas / Rural Rhythm
  • The Pike Brothers and the Pine Hill Ranchers / Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy / 45 RPM single / Rebel
  • Tusco Heath / Joe's Boy / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • The Stanley Brothers / Christmas Is Near / Christmas Time's A-Comin' / Time Life
  • Hilltoppers / I'll Be Home When The Snowflakes Fall / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Andy Griffith / The Christmas Guest / The Christmas Guest - Stories and Songs of Christmas / Sparrow Records
  • Benny Martin / Santa Claus Is From The South / Christmas Jamboree / Hollywood
  • Jim Eanes / It Won't Seem Like Christmas / Christmas Jamboree / Hollywood
  • Helen White / Christmas Promise / Christmas Along The Crooked Road / Independent release
  • Hylo Brown / Christmas In The Hills / Christmas Jamboree / Hollywood
  • Delia Bell & Bill Grant / Christmas in the Mountains / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Bob Smallwood / That Light Is Guiding Me Home / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Eddie & Martha Adcock / One Starry Night / A Pinecastle Christmas Gathering / Pinecastle
  • Emma Smith / Memories Of Christmas / Christmas Memories / Old Homestead
  • Jim Eanes / Christmas Doll / Christmas Jamboree / Hollywood
  • Jimmy Martin / Lord We Sure Need Some Rainbows In December / To Mother At Christmas / Gusto Records
  • David Parmley & Continental Divide / Christmas in the Mountains / A Pinecastle Christmas Gatherin' / Pinecastle
  • James King / Call Collect on Christmas / O Christmas Tree / Rounder
  • Delia Bell & Bill Grant / My Little Silver Bells / O Christmas Tree / Rounder
  • Wayne Taylor and Friends / Go Tell It On The Mountain / Praise His Holy Name-A Christmas Celebration / Raincoe
  • Tony Trischka with Dudley Connell & James King / Precious Child / O Christmas Tree / Rounder
  • Billy Boone Smith / Walking Through Bethlehem / The Songs Of Dixie and Tom T. Hall / Good Home Grown 
  • Ralph Stanley / Just A Moment Now To Pray / Christmas Time with Ralph Stanley / Freeland
  • Rhonda Vincent / Christmas Medley / Christmas Time / Upper Management
  • Bill Keith / Auld Lang Syne / O Christmas Tree / Rounder

Monday, December 19, 2016

Jim's Best of Slightly Obscure Traditional Bluegrass Albums of 2016

Hi Folks.

Many folks produce "best of" lists at the end of the year, and there seems to be a lot of overlap in music, especially when so many of the evaluators draw from the same well.

I've made it a goal in my musical endeavors to dig deeper and unearth jewels that might have been overlooked, and I enjoy presenting those recordings, both new and classic, on various radio programs that I produce at WHUS.

The following list, in no particular order, represents my opinion of some of the best new bluegrass albums to be released in 2016 outside of the mainstream.  I encourage you to seek them out.

High Fidelity - High Fidelity - self-released

This album is a real sleeper.  I might never have heard of it except for an internet tip, and I am forever grateful to have found it.  Jeremy Stephens (guitar), Corrina Rose Logston (fiddle), Kurt Stephenson (banjo), Vickie Vaughn (bass), and Daniel Amick (mandolin) combine to create real bluegrass as it existed in the exciting early years of the genre.  About half the songs are gospel, and all the songs are as true to the early vision as possible.  Jeremy is a well-known multi-instrumentalist known for his excellent Reno banjo picking and his guitar picking with the famous Chuck Wagon Gang.  He picks guitar on this album and recently announced his departure from the CWG to spend more time on this kind of project.  Corrina is a superb young fiddler, and Kurt is amazing on the five.  I can't wait to see what they do next.

Alex Leach - New Traditional - self-released

Of all the young folks getting into bluegrass in recent history, very few have an authentic mountain sound like Alex Leach.  His album "Mountain Heartache" from a few years back was one of the best of that year, as is his follow on this year.  Alex is the regular banjo picker with Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys and continues to host a very popular traditional bluegrass radio show on WDVX on Tuesday evenings.  The sounds of East Tennessee and the surrounding areas of North Carolina and Virginia are dominant here, and if you like it traditional and deep catalog, you'll love this.

Ruben & Matt and the Truffle Valley Boys - I Like The Old Time Way - self-released

As a follow up to last year's surprisingly great first release, this international band with roots in Italy has a love affair with the early bluegrass of the late 1940s and early 1950s, and seeks to recreate that sound in all its single mic texture and with what sounds like the technology of the time in its simplicity.  The music is just as fresh as it was in those early days, and it has all the tell-tale human elements that demonstrate this is the real thing.  All the singing is in English and only occasionally can you even detect an accent. This group has done some incredible research and woodshedding to pull this off, and they succeed.

Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge - My Daddy's Grass - Rebel

This one is more mainstream than Mickey's last album thanks to the insight of the Freemans at Rebel Records.  For those new to this band, Mickey is the son of regional bluegrass hero Cullen Galyean from Surry County, North Carolina.  Cullen won the banjo competition at the first bluegrass festival at Fincastle, and made many pioneering recordings with Folkways and County.  Mickey got into bluegrass in a powerful way several years back when he helped release a tribute album of his dad's music, and then an album with Rich In Tradition.  This is Mickey's second release with his own band, Cullen's Bridge, and it is a great representation of original and classic traditional music from Surry and surrounding areas. 

The South Carolina Broadcasters & Cousin Jimmy B - Best of the Lowe Vintage Radio Show Vol. 1 - John Boy & Billy

In the interest of full disclosure, I am "Cousin Jimmy B" and was the producer and announcer of the 15-minute 4-times-a-week radio show that aired on WPAQ Mount Airy NC for 15 months between 2015 and 2016 featuring the South Carolina Broadcasters.  I signed on because I believe this group has something wonderful and original to offer folks who are starving for new sounds that are unmistakably traditional.  The trio of Ivy Sheppard, David Sheppard, and Andy Edmonds, all from Surry County NC, have roots in old-time and bluegrass traditions, and the music they write and perform reminds the listener of both without actually being full-out either.  They are all multi-instrumentalists and their three-part vocal harmonies are out-of-this-world.  World-renowned 78 record collector Joe Bussard makes a rare musical appearance on this recording.  Their 2015 release "Tell Me Truly" was a more cohesive effort than this radio transcription, and the upcoming album from the group promises to be amazing, so this one will have to do until then.

Travers Chandler - Archaic - Patuxent

It's hard to know what Travers is up to at any given time whether making music with his now-defunct band Avery County, to his newest endeavor with former Bluegrass Brother Steve Dowdy, or writing his Charlie Moore biography, or driving a big rig around the country, but it is clear that Travers knows what blue collar bar room bluegrass that incubated in the Baltimore and Washington DC area in the 1950s and 1960s is all about, and he obviously seeks to keep it going.  His mandolin picking is powerful with all the tremolo one would expect from an old Buzz Busby record, and his singing is raw and emotive.  This CD is really what might be the last Avery County album before Travers' next project, and its mix of honky-tonk country and bar room bluegrass makes it nearly unique in modern bluegrass.

The Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show - Sho Nuff Country! - Patuxent

Karl has been making bluegrass in this configuation (albeit with lots of personnel changes) for over 23 years, and this latest effort is a fantastic collection of honky-tonk, western swing, and early sounding bluegrass.  Tom Mindte over at Patuxent Records may be the only producer giving voice to music like this today, and thank goodness we have him and his label.  Karl's band is one of the best ever, with the dynamo combination of Brennen Ernst on banjo and guitar, Billy Hurt, Jr., on fiddle, Justin Harrison on mandolin, and Kris Shiflett on bass.  Of course Karl is the man out front on guitar and lead vocals.  As a DJ, I love records like this that I can pop in the player and hit any track for a great experience.

The Po' Ramblin' Boys - Back To The Mountains - Randm Records

This group emerged in 2016 with a great debut CD on Randm Records, a label with only a couple of bluegrass acts. The group consists of C.J. Lewandowski (Vocals, Mandolin), Jereme Brown (Vocals, Banjo), Josh ‘Jug’ Rinkel (Vocals, Guitar) and Jasper Lorentzen (Bass).  C.J. comes from the Missouri bluegrass tradition and spent time with Karl Shiflett and James King before starting this group.  Jereme is the son of mountain style bluegrass man Tommy Brown from Kentucky and still performs with his dad as well as this band, so even as a young band they are quite experienced in the tradition. They play great originals and covers, and are worth checking out live and on CD.

Since my collection is less than orgainized at the moment, I may come back and add more later.

Jim Beaver

"Bluegrass Cafe" playlist - 12/18/2016 -- THE (MOSTLY) CHRISTMAS EDITION

With just one week to go before Christmas Day, it seemed quite appropriate to
play mostly Christmas music on Sunday's
Bluegrass Cafe.  Not only did we include some newer and older Christmas tunes from a bunch of your favorite (we hope!) performers, but we also snuck in a few Christmas songs from some classic Country Music performers.  Hope you enjoyed the mix!  

While the majority of the music heard on Sunday's show was Christmas-themed, there was also an eight-song interlude of songs found on some of our favorite Bluegrass releases of 2016.  Among these were favorite 2016 selections from several performers, including Lou Reid & Carolina, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Corrina Rose Logston, the Earls Of Leicester, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Travers Chandler, Balsam Range, and Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show.  This was my last broadcast of 2016, but during the January 1st edition of Bluegrass Cafe, we'll share more favorites from 2016, I'm sure.

Join Jim for the Christmas Day broadcast next Sunday, as it is certain to be a dandy!  

Warm wishes to you all for a very Merry Christmas, and I will look for you again on January 1, 2017!  

Amy O.

  • Katy Hill / Del McCoury Band / RockyGrass / Blue Planet
  • Christmas Lullaby / Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver / Merry Christmas From Our House To Your House / Self-Produced
  • 12 Days Of Bluegrass Christmas / Foxfire / Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas / Pinecastle
  • Jingle Bells / Country Gentlemen / Christmas Time Back Home / Rebel
  • I'm Going Home, It's Christmas Time / Ralph Stanley / Christmas Time With Ralph Stanley / Freeland Recording Co.
  • Christmas In The Blue Ridge / Lou Reid & Carolina / Rollin' On / KMA Records
  • Our Gingerbread House / Becky Buller / The Christmas 45 / Dark Shadow Recording
  • Christmas Time In The Country / Carson Peters & Iron Mountain / single / Self-Produced
  • Merry Christmas Everybody / Spinney Brothers / single / Mountain Fever Records
  • Hobo On A Train / Lou Reid & Carolina / Rollin' On / KMA Records
  • Kentucky Borderline / Rhonda Vincent & the Rage / In Concert, Volume One--All The Rage / Upper Management Music
  • Soppin' The Gravy / Corrina Rose Logston / Bluegrass Fiddler / Patuxent Music
  • Why Did You Wander? / Earls Of Leicester / Rattle & Roar / Rounder
  • Hang A Wreath / Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice / Poor Boy's Pleasure / Mountain Fever Records
  • Red Rover / Travers Chandler / Archaic / Patuxent Music
  • Blue Collar Dreams / Balsam Range / Mountain Voodoo / Mountain Home
  • Pick Me Up On Your Way Down / Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show / Sho Nuff Country! / Patuxent Music
  • Reindeer Boogie / Hank Snow / Hillbilly Holiday / Rhino
  • Blue Christmas / Ernest Tubb / The Definitive Collection / Decca
  • To Heck With Ole Santa Claus / Loretta Lynn / Hillbilly Holiday / Rhino
  • Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy / Buck Owens & His Buckaroos / Christmas With Buck Owens & His Buckaroos / Sundazed
  • All I Want For Christmas Is You / Buck Owens & His Buckaroos / Christmas With Buck Owens & His Buckaroos / Sundazed
  • Ridin' Home On Christmas Eve / Riders In The Sky / Merry Christmas From Harmony Ranch / Columbia
  • I Never Spend A Christmas That I Don't Think Of You / Statler Brothers / Christmas Card / Rounder
  • An Old Christmas Card / Jim Reeves / Twelve Songs Of Christmas / BMG
  • Precious Child / Tony Trischka / Glory Shone Around:  A Christmas Collection / Rounder
  • Old-Fashioned Christmas / Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys / Christmas Time's A-Comin' / Time Life Music
  • If We Make It Through December / Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum / Winter's Grace / Signature Sounds
  • Christmas In Virginia / Lost & Found / Christmas In The Mountains / Rebel
  • O Christmas Candle / Stony Point Quartet / Christmas Time Back Home / Cracker Barrel
  • Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree / Rhonda Vincent / Beautiful Star:  A Christmas Collection / Rounder
  • Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow / Ricky Skaggs / A Skaggs Family Christmas / Skaggs Family
  • Christmas Lullaby / Doc Watson / Sugar Plums / Sugar Hill
  • Christmas In The Mountains / David Parmley & Continental Divide / A Pinecastle Christmas Gatherin' / Pinecastle
  • Frosty The Snowman / Reno & Smiley / The True Meaning Of Christmas / King
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer / Lynn Morris Band / O Christmas Tree / Rounder
  • Christmas The Mountain Way / Dale Ann Bradley & Steve Gulley / Christmas The Mountain Way / Rural Rhythm
  • Christmas Time Back Home / Country Gentlemen / The Early Rebel Recordings, 1962-1971 / Rebel
  • Christmas Time's A-Comin' / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys / Christmas Time's A-Comin' / Time Life Music
  • Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem / Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys / Christmas Time Back Home / Rebel
  • New Star Shining / 5 For The Gospel / Christmas Time In Eastern Kentucky / Hay Holler
  • Joy To The World / Stony Point Quartet / Christmas Time Back Home / Cracker Barrel
  • Silent Night / Seldom Scene / Sugar Plums / Sugar Hill
  • Mary's Christmas / Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver / Merry Christmas From Our House To Your House / Self-Produced
  • The Friendly Beasts / Johnson Mountain Boys / O Christmas Tree / Rounder
  • It Came Upon The Midnight Clear / Louvin Brothers / Hillbilly Holiday / Rhino
  • I Feel The Christmas Spirit / The Isaacs / Christmas Time's A-Comin' / Time Life Music
  • Sleigh Ride / Tony Trischka / Glory Shone Around:  A Christmas Collection / Rounder

Monday, December 05, 2016

Playlist - 12/4/2016 with Cathy Day & Keegan

Carter Stanley
Hi Folks,

Two of our three hours were preempted Sunday, but we were able to bring a packed hour of music to our listeners, including our traditional bluegrass gospel set, with the able assistance of Cathy Day and Keegan.  Both Cathy and Keegan are soon-to-be regulars on Bluegrass Cafe.

Al Batten
We had a couple of remembrances including a song from Al Batten and the Bluegrass Reunion Band (an NC band) to remember Al Batten who passed away November 20th, and an early song from The Stanley Brothers to remember the great Carter Stanley who passed away 50-years ago on December 4th.

Cathy and Keegan pretty much programmed the rest of the show. You can check out the playlist below.

Join Amy next week for more great bluegrass music as she makes the banjos and fiddles ring.

Jim Beaver

Artist / Song / Album / Label

  • Aubrey Haynie / Tobacco Patch / Doin' My Time / Sugar Hill
  • Balsam Range / Something 'Bout That Suitcase / Mountain Voodoo / Mountain Home
  • Red, Harley and Greg Allen / Roust-A-Bout / 45 RPM single / King Bluegrass
  • Dale Ann Bradley / East Kentucky Morning / Dale Ann Bradley / Pinecastle
  • Earls Of Leicester / Flint Hill Special / Rattle & Roar / Rounder
  • Gibson Brothers / Eastbound Train / Brotherhood / Rounder
  • The Wildwood Valley Boys / When it's Snowing in the Mountains / Christmas in the Mountains / Rebel
  • Dolly Parton / I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby / Little Sparrow / Sugar Hill
  • David Grisman / Sophronie (feat. Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe & Roy Husky Jr.) / Home Is Where The Heart Is / Rounder
  • Ronnie Bowman / Stone Cold Blue / Starting Over / Sugar Hill
  • Dry Branch Fire Squad / Jesus on the Mainline (Live) / Live At the Newburyport Firehouse / Rounder
  • Marty Raybon & Full Circle / Didn't It Rain Children / This That And The Other / Rural Rhythm
  • Al Batten and the Bluegrass Reunion Band / Way Down In My Soul / Dont Be Left On The Mountain / Self-released
  • Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys / You Can Feel It In Your Soul / Foggy Mountain Gospel / Columbia Legacy
  • The Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys / Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet / 1949-52 / Bear Family
  • Rhonda Vincent & the Rage / You Don't Love God If You Don't Love Your Neighbor / In Concert, Volume One / Upper Management
  • Forbes Family / Lord Don't Leave Me Here / Family Treasury Volume 2 / Rebel
  • Daily and Vincent / The Fourth Man in the Fire / The Gospel Side Of Dailey & Vincent / Cracker Barrel
  • Blue Highway / Hallelujah / Original Traditional / Rounder
  • Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys / Beautiful Star of Bethleham / Christmas in the Mountains / Rebel