And now, another episode in the continuing saga of that divine musical movement that just won't go away
, BLUEGRASS! Some thundering applause, please!!, lol
Saw Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys in concert the other night. Found out that his guitar player is from Hawkins County in Tennessee like me, not far from where I grew up, aye, a small world.
Their opening act was a new-grassy type group called King Wilkie. They started off with a great version of I Never Will Marry
, an old Carter family standard. They also had some really decent original tunes.
Seeing Ralph's act today is not going to be like the old days. He's 80 years old, he had a triple by-pass last summer and arthritis has severely limited his incredible banjo shreddin', so things have slowed him down a little. BUT he still has that amazing voice, vocally he's the Paul McCartney of bluegrass for me. He did play a little simple claw-hammer style banjo occasionally, but still he has a great banjo player in the band who fills the bill just fine.
He opened with Room At The Top Of The Stairs
, an excellent Stanley tune that would make a bluegrass-head out of anybody. The harmonies on A Robin Built A Nest On Daddy's Grave
were a knock-out (that kind of title so typical of bluegrass, corny but killer, lol). Ralph also performed his Grammy-winning O Death
accapella (from the O Brother Where Art Thou?
movie), really moving if not morbid, lol. Folks, the whole night was a walk back into Appalachia.
Both bands hung out in the lobby for CD/T-shirt sales and autographs--Ralph stayed until everybody got an autograph that wanted one, what class. It was all a complete and memorable sell-out performance.