Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bluegrass at the Roots

Originally posted on November 15, 2007

Mike Seeger is one of my favorite musicians. He plays various stringed instruments and has specialized in re-creating string band music from the pre-bluegrass days, as well as folk-bluegrass things. He had a band in the ‘50s-‘60s called the New Lost City Ramblers and has done some wonderful solo albums. I mention him here because he produced an album in 1961 by a bluegrass outfit that never quite achieved stardom--the Lilly Brothers and Don Stover. It has been reissued on CD by Folkways-Smithsonian and it is called Bluegrass at the Roots. A fine recording it is. The Lilly Brothers came out of West Virginia and they played music that resonated with earlier bands such as Bill Monroe and the Carter Family. The CD has a great version of “Barbara Allen," among other things. The guitar playing is in the bluegrass tradition and Don Stover plays some fabulous banjo.

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