With the passing of the 94-year-old “Little” Jimmy Dickens at the beginning of 2015, it’s a reminder for us to cherish the final living links to country music’s most legendary past who can still tell stories of how country music once was. The amount of performers who were important in forming the very foundation of country music are quickly fading away.
The Stanley Brothers
Trust me when I say if you go ambling through American college towns, you won’t find anything resembling a dearth of string bands with a bunch of young men and their banjos and fiddles stomping and shouting on stage. What you will find a dearth of are these bands that are actually worth listening to, at least outside of the context of a drunken college town barroom.
.357 String Band, Bill Monroe, Dinosaur Truckers, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Jason Isbell, Larry & His Flask, Review, Robert Ellis, Scott H. Biram, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Punch Brothers, The Stanley Brothers, Trampled by Turtles, Whiskey Shivers
Robert Earl Keen may be best known for his storytelling songs and laid back Texas country style, but for Keen’s next project his grass is going blue. The Houston, TX native has been working on a bluegrass album over the last couple of years, and Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions is scheduled to come out in February 2015 through Dualtone Records.
bluegrass, Danny Barnes, Dualtone Records, Flatt & Scruggs, Happy Prisoner, Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions, John Hartford, Kym Warner, Lyle Lovett, Natalie Maines, Peter Rowan, Robert Earl Keen, Sara Watkins, The Stanley Brothers
Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys lost their long-time lead guitarist and Ralph’s right hand man James Alan Shelton Tuesday night (6-3) due to Cancer. He was 53-years-old. James Alan Shelton played lead guitar for Ralph Stanley for 20 years, first joining the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1994. But Shelton he also did so much more.
Whether it’s folk, bluegrass, country, or Cajun, Foghorn can play a breakdown, a Celtic jig, a Cajun waltz, and cut a rug to an early country tune in the span of as many songs and sell you quickly on the idea that you don’t need amplification or new school modes to make music that is both memorable and entertaining. Outshine the Sun is an excellent album, and where it makes its mark is in the positivity of its message.