Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Bluegrass Cafe" playlist - 2/20/2011

At the end of another fabulous Joe Val Bluegrass Festival (thanks, Boston Bluegrass Union!), someone had to return to CT to do the radio thing. While I'm sorry to have missed sets from the likes of Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice and the Grascals, I'm hopeful I'll be able to catch those bands at another festival sometime in the not-too-distant future. I have to confess that it was sometimes challenging to get through the show in a somewhat coherent fashion, as after 3 big days of great BG, I was ridiculously overtired. I'd best get in better "lack of sleep" shape before the outdoor festival season finally arrives...

If you missed the Joe Val Festival, you missed a whole lot of great music and fun. There was a bit of last-minute drama and worry, though, as BBU festival organizers, Stan Zdonik, Gerry Katz, and Reuben Shetler received word late Friday night that the Saturday night headliner, J.D. Crowe, had slipped on ice enroute to the festival location in Framingham, MA, and broken his arm in two places. After some brainstorming and scrambling around, the BBU folks were able to bring in Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass as a substitute. (Dan was in need of a banjo player, so he was able to recruit the Boxcars' Ron Stewart as a pickup picker). Not a bad substitute, eh? Best wishes to J.D. for a speedy--and complete--recovery.

For me, one of the highlights of this year's Joe Val Festival was seeing Sam Tidwell get recognized with a BBU Heritage Award, which is given each year in recognition of "artists, promoters, and other groups and individuals who have made a lasting impression on Bluegrass in New England." (The picture above shows Sam after his presentation and set with BBU's Reuben Shetler). This was a well-deserved tribute to a true New England BG original -- storyteller, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and just plain ol' character. Sam has had some serious health issues in recent years, but he was in top form for his Saturday morning award presentation, and was able to play a set of music on the main stage with three of his sons and two of his friends. In his introduction, a former mandolin student of Sam's named Jimmy Gaudreau shared a few pleasant recollections of a man he's known for close to 50 years. In Sam's honor, we again played a couple of tunes from a recording my brother, Dave, must have played several hundred times at the house while I was growing up: 1975's LP from Fred Pike, Sam Tidwell & the Kennebec Valley Boys, "The Last Log Drive."

We included several tunes from the late Don Reno, who was born on February 21, 1927. Even though Reno died at a relatively young age -- he was 57 at the time of his death on October 16, 1984 -- his music is still going strong. In addition to being a great songwriter, and having a very distinctive style of playing the banjo, Don Reno made some great music with his longtime partners, first, Red Smiley, and later, Bill Harrell. We played four Reno-penned tunes on Sunday, and will continue to play the music of Don Reno whenever we can...
There was new music to share on Sunday, too, with tunes from the new CDs from the Gibson Brothers and Charlie Sizemore, as well as newer music from the Hagar's Mountain Boys, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, Jimmy Gaudreau, the Grascals, Edgar Loudermilk, the Expedition Show, and Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad. We also played an award-winning tune from CT performer and songwriter, Gail Wade, and her new CD titled, "October Moon."

Jim will be with you in this week's "Bluegrass Cafe." Join him for 3 big hours of the best in BG beginning at 4PM on Sunday...



  • Katy Hill / Del McCoury Band / RockyGrass / Blue Planet
  • Born To Be With You / J.D. Crowe & the New South / Blackjack / Rebel
  • You Can Take Your Time / The Boxcars / The Boxcars / Mountain Home
  • The Cowboy Lives Forever / The Whites / A Lifetime In The Making / Ceili Music
  • Waiting For You / J.D. Crowe & the New South / Flashback / Rounder
  • Don't Throw Mama's Flowers Away / Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass / The Room Over Mine / Rounder
  • I'll Never Go Back / Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers with Doyle Lawson / Hymns From The Hills / Rebel
  • The Year That Clayton Delaney Died / The Grascals with Tom T. Hall / The Grascals & Friends / Cracker Barrel
  • Flat Creek / Chris Jones & the Night Drivers / Cloud Of Dust / GSM Records
  • I've Been All Around This World / David Davis & the Warrior River Boys / Two Dimes And A Nickel / Rebel
  • Blue Skies And Teardrops / Lynn Morris Band / The Bramble And The Rose / Rounder
  • Banjo Fling / Jessie Baker / Yessir! / Rounder
  • Now I'm Losing You / Rich In Tradition / Black Mountain Special / Mountain Roads Recordings
  • It's You Baby You / Old Time Bluegrass Singers / Plastic Heart / Open Road
  • My Heart Skips A Beat / Lynn Morris Band / The Lynn Morris Band / Rounder
  • The Last Log Drive / Fred Pike, Sam Tidwell & the Kennebec Valley Boys / The Last Log Drive / Revonah Records
  • Tidwell Pike / Jimmy Gaudreau / Pieces And Bits / Goose Creek Music
  • Headed Home For Maine / Fred Pike, Sam Tidwell & the Kennebec Valley Boys / The Last Log Drive / Revonah Records
  • You Broke Your Promise / Lonesome Pine Fiddlers / Windy Mountain / Bear Family
  • Just Wondering Why / Jim & Jesse / Jim & Jesse, 1952-1955 / Bear Family
  • No Letter In The Mail / Johnnie & Jack / Johnnie & Jack With Kitty Wells At KWKH / Bear Family
  • Why Did You Wander / Lilly Brothers & Don Stover / On The Radio, 1952-1953 / Rounder
  • Green Mountain Hop / Reno & Smiley / Early Years, 1951-1959 / Gusto
  • Maybe You Will Change Your Mind / Reno & Smiley / Early Years, 1951-1959 / Gusto
  • I'm Using My Bible For A Roadmap / Reno & Smiley / Bluegrass, 1963 / Rural Rhythm
  • No Longer A Sweetheart Of Mine / Reno & Smiley / Good Old Country Ballads / King
  • Red Wicked Wine / Charlie Sizemore with Ralph Stanley / Heartache Looking For A Home / Rounder
  • Walking West To Memphis / Gibson Brothers / Help My Brother / Compass Records
  • Walking The Floor Over Me / Charlie Sizemore / Heartache Looking For A Home / Rounder
  • One Car Funeral / Gibson Brothers / Help My Brother / Compass Records
  • I Like A Train / Gail Wade / October Moon / Self-Produced
  • Helping Hand / Hagar's Mountain Boys / Where's The Lonesome / Mountain Fever Records
  • Backroads And Little Towns / The Expedition Show / / Mountain Fever Records
  • Freight Train Boogie / BluesGrass / / no label
  • All The Way To Nothing / Big Country Bluegrass / The Boys In Hats And Ties / Rebel
  • The Young Fisherwoman / Country Gentlemen / Folk Session Inside / Copper Creek
  • Lost And Lonesome / Billy Boone Smith / Live From The Moose Lodge / Muddy Sunshine
  • Don't This Road Look Rough And Rocky / Allerton & Alton / Black, White & Bluegrass / Bear Family
  • Cold Chill Of Gone / Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad / Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad / Steeltown Records
  • You'll Be Rewarded Over There / Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys / One Morning In May / Rounder
  • Things In Life / Don Stover / The Stained Glass Hour / Rounder
  • On The Wings Of Angels / Spinney Brothers / Side By Side / Self-Produced
  • Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet / Stanley Brothers / The Complete Columbia Stanley Brothers / Columbia Legacy
  • Shouting In The Air / Johnson Mountain Boys / The Stained Glass Hour / Rounder
  • Beautiful Hall / Jeff Parker / Look To The Light: Songs Of Faith From The Pen Of Rick Lang / Rural Rhythm Christian
  • The Power Up Above / Edgar Loudermilk / Roads Travelled / Mountain Fever Records
  • Prayer Bells Of Heaven / Jimmy Martin / You Don't Know My Mind / Rounder
  • Lord Protect My Soul / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys / Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys, 1950-1951 / JSP Records
  • Blue Grass Twist / Johnson Mountain Boys / Requests / Rounder

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