Various Artists: The Bristol Sessions: The Big Bang of Country Music 1927-1928 [Box]

Audio Samples

>Don't Grieve After Me - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet
>I Want To Go Where Jesus is - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet
>Old Time Corn Shuckin', Pt. 1
>Old Time Corn Shuckin', Pt. 2
>Walking In the Way With Jesus
>Wreck of the Virginian, The
>I Am Bound For the Promised Land
>Where We'll Never Grow Old - Alfred G. Karnes
>Are You Washed In the Blood? - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>Sweeping Through the Gates - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>Pretty Polly
>Darling Cora
>Standing On the Promises - Tennessee Mountaineers
>At the River - Tennessee Mountaineers
>Longest Train I Ever Saw, The
>Sweet Heaven When I Die
>Greasy String
>Your Blue Eyes Run Me Crazy
>Newmarket Wreck, The
>On the Banks of the Sunny Tennessee
>Billy Grimes the Rover
>Big Bend Gal
>Henry Whitter's Fox Chase - Henry Whitter
>Rain Crow Bill - Henry Whitter
>Remember Me, O Mighty One
>I'm Redeemed
>Mountaineer's Courtship - Irma Frost/Ernest V. Stoneman
>Whip-Poor-Will's Song
>Soldier's Poor Little Boy, The
>Just a Message From Carolina
>Do, Lord, Remember Me - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet
>Old Ship of Zion - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet
>Pot Licker Blues
>When They Ring the Golden Bells
>To the Work
>Skip To Ma Lou, My Darling
>Barney McCoy
>I Mean To Live For Jesus
>You Must Unload
>Train On the Island - J. P. Nester
>Black-Eyed Susie - J. P. Nester
>Resurrection, The - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>I Am Resolved - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>Dying Girl's Farewell - Ernest V. Stoneman/E.K. Brewer
>Tell Mother I Will Meet Her - Ernest V. Stoneman/E.K. Brewer
>Suzanna Gal - Dad Blackard's Moonshiners
>Sandy River Belle - Dad Blackard's Moonshiners
>Johnny Goodwin
>Miss Liza, Poor Gal
>Jesus is Getting Us Ready For That Great Day - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers
>Happy In Prison - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers
>I Know My Name is There - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>No More Good-Byes - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>Jealous Sweetheart, The - The Johnson Brothers
>Two Brothers Are We (From East Tennessee) - The Johnson Brothers
>What Will I Do, For My Money's All Gone
>Cold Penitentiary Blues - B.F. Shelton
>O Molly Dear
>Called To the Foreign Field
>Do Not Wait 'til I'm Laid Beneath the Clay
>If the Light Has Gone Out In Your Soul - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers
>Bright Tomorrow - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers
>Days of My Childhood Plays - Alfred G. Karnes
>We Shall All Be Reunited
>I Truly Understand, You Love Another Man
>My Mother's Hands
>Broken Hearted Lover, The
>We Parted By the Riverside
>Angeline the Baker
>Old Shoes and Leggin's
>Down To Jordan and Be Saved
>There's a Light Lit Up In Galilee
>My Name is Ticklish Reuben
>Way Down In Alabama
>Little Talk With Jesus, A
>Went Up In the Clouds of Heaven
>I Know That Jesus Set Me Free
>Shine On Me
>Where is My Mama - Carolina Twins
>When You Go a Courtin' - Carolina Twins
>I Sat Upon the River Bank - Carolina Twins
>Mr Brown Here I Come - Carolina Twins
>Going Up the Mountain After Liquor, Pt. 1
>Going Up the Mountain After Liquor, Pt. 2
>Spanish Merchant's Daughter, The
>Too Late
>New Orleans is the Town I Like Best - Carolina Twins
>She Tells Me That I Am Sweet - Carolina Twins
>Goodnight, Darling
>Little Bunch of Roses
>My Mother is Waiting For Me In Heaven Above
>She Has Climbed the Golden Stairs
>I Cannot Be Your Sweetheart
>Three Black Sheep

Track List

>Don't Grieve After Me - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet
>I Want To Go Where Jesus is - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet
>Old Time Corn Shuckin', Pt. 1
>Old Time Corn Shuckin', Pt. 2
>Walking In the Way With Jesus
>Wreck of the Virginian, The
>I Am Bound For the Promised Land
>Where We'll Never Grow Old - Alfred G. Karnes
>Are You Washed In the Blood? - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>Sweeping Through the Gates - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>Pretty Polly
>Darling Cora
>Standing On the Promises - Tennessee Mountaineers
>At the River - Tennessee Mountaineers
>Longest Train I Ever Saw, The
>Sweet Heaven When I Die
>Greasy String
>Your Blue Eyes Run Me Crazy
>Newmarket Wreck, The
>On the Banks of the Sunny Tennessee
>Billy Grimes the Rover
>Big Bend Gal
>Henry Whitter's Fox Chase - Henry Whitter
>Rain Crow Bill - Henry Whitter
>Remember Me, O Mighty One
>I'm Redeemed
>Mountaineer's Courtship - Irma Frost/Ernest V. Stoneman
>Whip-Poor-Will's Song
>Soldier's Poor Little Boy, The
>Just a Message From Carolina
>Do, Lord, Remember Me - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet
>Old Ship of Zion - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Quartet
>Pot Licker Blues
>When They Ring the Golden Bells
>To the Work
>Skip To Ma Lou, My Darling
>Barney McCoy
>I Mean To Live For Jesus
>You Must Unload
>Train On the Island - J. P. Nester
>Black-Eyed Susie - J. P. Nester
>Resurrection, The - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>I Am Resolved - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>Dying Girl's Farewell - Ernest V. Stoneman/E.K. Brewer
>Tell Mother I Will Meet Her - Ernest V. Stoneman/E.K. Brewer
>Suzanna Gal - Dad Blackard's Moonshiners
>Sandy River Belle - Dad Blackard's Moonshiners
>Johnny Goodwin
>Miss Liza, Poor Gal
>Jesus is Getting Us Ready For That Great Day - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers
>Happy In Prison - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers
>I Know My Name is There - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>No More Good-Byes - Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers
>Jealous Sweetheart, The - The Johnson Brothers
>Two Brothers Are We (From East Tennessee) - The Johnson Brothers
>What Will I Do, For My Money's All Gone
>Cold Penitentiary Blues - B.F. Shelton
>O Molly Dear
>Called To the Foreign Field
>Do Not Wait 'til I'm Laid Beneath the Clay
>If the Light Has Gone Out In Your Soul - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers
>Bright Tomorrow - Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers
>Days of My Childhood Plays - Alfred G. Karnes
>We Shall All Be Reunited
>I Truly Understand, You Love Another Man
>My Mother's Hands
>Broken Hearted Lover, The
>We Parted By the Riverside
>Angeline the Baker
>Old Shoes and Leggin's
>Down To Jordan and Be Saved
>There's a Light Lit Up In Galilee
>My Name is Ticklish Reuben
>Way Down In Alabama
>Little Talk With Jesus, A
>Went Up In the Clouds of Heaven
>I Know That Jesus Set Me Free
>Shine On Me
>Where is My Mama - Carolina Twins
>When You Go a Courtin' - Carolina Twins
>I Sat Upon the River Bank - Carolina Twins
>Mr Brown Here I Come - Carolina Twins
>Going Up the Mountain After Liquor, Pt. 1
>Going Up the Mountain After Liquor, Pt. 2
>Spanish Merchant's Daughter, The
>Too Late
>New Orleans is the Town I Like Best - Carolina Twins
>She Tells Me That I Am Sweet - Carolina Twins
>Goodnight, Darling
>Little Bunch of Roses
>My Mother is Waiting For Me In Heaven Above
>She Has Climbed the Golden Stairs
>I Cannot Be Your Sweetheart
>Three Black Sheep

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (p.75) - Ranked #4 in Rolling Stone's '10 Best Reissues Of 2011' -- "The 1927 recordings include the first ever by Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family -- history enough for one week."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.85) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here are very few genuine 'must-have' collections, but this, like Harry Smith's ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC, is definitely one of them."

Uncut (magazine) (p.90) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "There are sacred and secular songs, traditional ballads, dance tunes and zesty instrumentals, sounds and styles that transcended their hillbilly roots by stirring in gospel, blues and folk influences."

Album Notes

Recording information: Bristol, TN (1927-1928).

In 1927, Victor Records, under the direction of producer Ralph Peer, headed to Bristol, Tennessee to record local musicians. Peer had been on similar journeys before, and he would be since, but those Bristol Sessions were pivotal, the epicenter of modern country music establishing the sound and style of the genre. Legendary as they are, they've never been collected in a single place prior to Bear Family's remarkable 2011 box set The Bristol Sessions 1927-1928, a five-disc set that collects all of Victor's Bristol recordings of those two years. Among the artists Peer and Victor captured during their session were Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, an event of such historical significance it tends to overshadow the wealth of other recordings. By its very scope, Bear Family illustrates that there was much, much more to the Bristol Sessions than these two artists, no matter how legendary they wound up to be. Peer recorded almost any artist that crossed his path on the Tennessee/Virginia border, and a couple of these appeared far more often than the Carters or Rodgers. Ernest Stoneman and his family and Ernest Phipps fronted more sessions than their more famous peers, the former solicited by Peer before he headed down to Bristol, to ensure that there was something to capture once he was there. Peer recorded quite a bit in 1927, then headed down to the town again in 1928 to see if he could draw more gems from the mine. He did: he recorded several acts he'd already captured in 1927, but there was enough new material from the old artists and the new to add to the legacy.

And the legacy is certainly rich; so rich that it acquired a legacy even without a set like Bear Family's The Bristol Sessions to urge it along. Bear Family's box doesn't challenge the conventional notions, it sets it in stone, the first heavy proof of the depth and scope of Ralph Peer's musical anthropology. Commonly acknowledged as the ground zero of modern country music, The Bristol Sessions doesn't dispel the notion that these Victor recordings were monumental. Much of what came to be known as country music is here, from the sound to the sensibility, and if they don't sound modern the way that Hank Williams records from three decades later do, they nevertheless point the way to the modern era, creating a bridge from old-timey folk to modern country. As such, The Bristol Sessions certainly carries a lingering scent of musty academia; its historical importance surely outweighs its entertainment value. Yet, that doesn't matter: this is music that justifies its weight, and in this Bear Family set, The Bristol Sessions are finally given a presentation that is worthy of its importance and explains its significance, as well. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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