/The Clinch Mountain Boys.
Personnel: Ralph Stanley (vocals, banjo); Roy Lee Centers, Keith Whitley (vocals, guitar); Ricky Skaggs (vocals, mandolin, fiddle); John Duffey (vocals, mandolin); Jack Cooke (vocals, bass); Ricky Lee, Danny Marshall (guitar); Curly Ray Cline (fiddle).
Producers: Charles R. Freeland, Robert Trout.
Recorded at R.D. Homer Associates, Clinton and Track Recorders, Silver Spring, Maryland and Lemco Studio, Lexington, Kentucky between 1971 and 1976.
Includes liner notes by John Wright.
Personnel: Ralph Stanley (vocals, banjo); Keith Whitley (vocals, guitar); Ricky Skaggs (vocals, mandolin, fiddle); John Duffey (vocals, mandolin); Jack Cooke, Roy Lee Centers (vocals); Danny Marshall, Ricky Lee (guitar); Curley Ray Cline (fiddle).
Liner Note Author: Johnnie Wright.
Recording information: Lemco Studios, Lexington, KY (02/23/1971-02/16/1976); RD Homer Associates, Clinton, MD (02/23/1971-02/16/1976); Track Recorders, Silver Spring, MD (02/23/1971-02/16/1976).
Photographer: Richard Boyd.
This disc collects 20 recordings made in the early '70s by the legendary Ralph Stanley with his Clinch Mountain Boys, who included, at various times, Ricky Skaggs, Roy Lee Centers, and even the late John Duffey. The fierce, elemental purity of Stanley's sound is captured beautifully on these sessions, many of which feature him playing clawhammer banjo in the style he learned from his mother. But though his banjo playing is very good, it's Stanley's singing that has always set him apart from the rest of the bluegrass pack: His piercing mountain tenor voice and his sanctified delivery almost sound like something from another world. When he sings "Pretty Polly," "Riding the Midnight Train," or especially, the hair-raising "Man of Constant Sorrow," the effect is visceral and spiritual at the same time. Listening to him blow out the microphone with Duffey and Centers on "The Lonesome River" is almost literally a religious experience. This is mountain music at its finest. ~ Rick Anderson