Bluegrass Hits: Twenty Timeless Favorites from Yesterday and Today

Bluegrass Hits: Twenty Timeless Favorites from Yesterday and Today



Despite this disc's subtitle, "yesterday" doesn't refer to bluegrass's distant past but rather to its more recent history. The oldest cut here is the Johnson Mountain Boys' dark, unsettling interpretation of the heartbreaking ballad "Dream of a Miner's Child," a 1988 recording notable both for Dudley Connell's affecting lead vocal and Eddie Stubbs' mournful violin interjections. The Boys' traditional vocal and instrumental sound was the bridge between the first-generation progressives and the music's new breed of innovators, such as Alison Krauss + Union Station and their pop-influenced balladry. Krauss's crystalline, deeply felt vocals and her estimable band's rootsy, acoustic arrangements come together winningly on 1992's sprightly cover of Shawn Colvin's contemplative "I Don't Know Why." Most of the artists here blur the line between progressive and traditional, embracing both approaches as suits their material. Rhonda Vincent nicely balances both sensibilities on her breakneck-paced rendition of the Osborne Brothers' (by way of Ernest Tubb) keening "Drivin' Nails in My Coffin." Pioneering progressive legend J. D. Crowe is given his props with the inclusion of a latter-day gem, an acoustic-driven, mountain-style rendition of Merle Haggard's drinkin' tale "Back to the Barrooms," which allows plenty of room for propulsive solos by mandolin, banjo, and fiddle along the way. Great traditional singing, deep and moving, is rife on songs such as Alecia Nugent's tough-but-wounded tones on the heartbreaker "My First Mistake" -- and throughout this excellent collection, which underscores the vitality of a genre always busy being born.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/08/2005
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661056923
catalogNumber: 610569

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Butch Baldassari   Mandolin
Jerry Douglas   Dobro,Vocals
David Grier   Guitar
Alison Krauss   Fiddle,Vocals
Doyle Lawson   Mandolin,Baritone (Vocal)
Tony Rice   Guitar,Vocals
Ricky Skaggs   Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Rhonda Vincent   Mandolin,Vocals
Sam Bush   Mandolin
Lloyd Green   Steel Guitar
Glen Duncan   Fiddle
Bill Emerson   Banjo,Baritone (Vocal)
Larry Cordle   Vocal Harmony
Terry Eldredge   Guitar,Vocals
Lynn Morris   Guitar,Vocals
Claire Lynch   Vocals
Barry Bales   Bass,Tenor (Vocal)
Terry Baucom   Banjo
Ron Block   Banjo,Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Mike Bub   Baritone (Vocal),Acoustic Bass
Dudley Connell   Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Evelyn Cox   Vocals
Sidney Cox   Baritone (Vocal)
Suzanne Cox   Tenor (Vocal)
J.D. Crowe   Banjo,Baritone (Vocal)
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Vocals
Jimmy Gaudreau   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)
Mark Hembree   Bass
Rob Ickes   Dobro,Vocals
Carl Jackson   Banjo,Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Greg Luck   Guitar,Vocals
Jimmy Mattingly   Fiddle,Mandolin
Ronnie McCoury   Mandolin
Michael McLain   Banjo
David McLaughlin   Mandolin
Tim O'Brien   Rhythm Guitar
Alan O'Bryant   Tenor (Vocal)
Marc Pruett   Banjo
Tom Roady   Percussion
Mark Schatz   Bass
Tim Stafford   Guitar,Baritone (Vocal)
Adam Steffey   Mandolin
Eddie Stubbs   Fiddle
Wayne Taylor   Bass,Vocals
Marshall Wilborn   Bass,Vocal Harmony
Andrea Zonn   Fiddle
Aubrey Haynie   Fiddle
Curt Chapman   Bass
Phil Leadbetter   Guitar (Resonator)
Don Rigsby   Mandolin,Baritone (Vocal)
Barry Scott   Bass,Vocals
Darrin Vincent   Bass
Kent Wells   Hi String
Missy Raines   Bass
Tim Massey   Bass,Tenor (Vocal)
Junior Sisk   Guitar,Vocals
Mark Fain   Bass
Paul Brewster   Rhythm Guitar
Ben Isaacs   Bass
Randy Kohrs   Dobro
Bryan Sutton   Guitar
Elmer C. Burchett   Banjo,Baritone (Vocal)
Joe Mullins   Banjo
Jason Burleson   Banjo
Jim VanCleve   Fiddle
Ben O'Connor   Bass
Craig Robert Smith   Banjo
Ron Stewart   Banjo
Jim Hurst   Guitar,Background Vocals
Jamie Dailey   Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
David Talbot   Banjo,Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Jamie Johnson   Vocal Harmony
Alecia Nugent   Vocals
Jim Runnels   Banjo,Vocals
Christopher Jones   Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Bradford Lee Folk   Guitar,Vocals
James "The Penguin" King   Vocals
Alan Perdue   Mandolin
Larry Lynch   Mandolin,Background Vocals
Dan Tyminski   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)

Technical Credits

Jerry Douglas   Producer
Johnson Mountain Boys   Producer
Alison Krauss   Arranger,Producer
Doyle Lawson   Producer
Tony Rice   Producer
Ricky Skaggs   Producer
Ralph Stanley   Composer
Rhonda Vincent   Producer
Jimmie Davis   Composer
Merle Haggard   Composer
Hazel Dickens   Composer
Shawn Colvin   Composer
Hylo Brown   Composer
Larry Cordle   Composer
Patrick Brayer   Composer
Claire Lynch   Producer
Richard Adler   Producer,Engineer
Harley Allen   Composer
Tim Austin   Producer,Engineer
Dudley Connell   Arranger
J.D. Crowe   Producer
Béla Fleck   Producer
Ronnie Freeland   Producer,Engineer
Rob Ickes   Producer
Ken Irwin   Producer
Carl Jackson   Producer
Dickey Lee   Composer
Ronnie Light   Engineer
Sally Van Meter   Producer
Charles Mitchell   Composer
Tim O'Brien   Producer
Gary Paczosa   Engineer
Allen Reynolds   Composer
Jim Robeson   Engineer
Schulman   Engineer
Larry Shell   Composer
Tim Stafford   Composer,Producer
James Tuttle   Engineer
Bil VornDick   Engineer
Barry Scott   Composer
Lynn Morris Band   Producer
Gretchen Peters   Composer
Steve Chandler   Engineer
Andrew MacNaughtan   Cover Photo
Patrick Murphy   Engineer
Gerald F. "Jerry" Irby   Composer
Howard Sisk   Composer
Tony Laiolo   Composer
Bonnie Dodd   Composer
Luke Wooten   Engineer
Jamie Dailey   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Sarah Lainie Smith   Graphic Design
Bradford Lee Folk   Composer
Grascals   Composer
Tony Smith   Engineer
Shawn Lane   Composer
Harry Sisk   Composer
Dan Tyminski   Producer

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Bluegrass Hits: Twenty Timeless Favorites from Yesterday and Today 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Playing Time – 65:57 -- At one time, the words “bluegrass” and “hit” would be contradictory. However, in more recent times with the great success and growth of the genre, bluegrass music can claim to have many top songs that are garnering significant radio airplay. Every song on this Rounder Records compilation placed in the Top Ten of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine’s National Bluegrass Survey. So this sampler gives us a generous 66 minutes of tried, true and tested bluegrass. The chart is based on feedback from radio DJs and programmers so people that know the music have weighed in to name these songs as among the best of the best contemporary bluegrass dating from 1985-2005. Cuts come from a number of stalwarts such as Doyle Lawson, The Cox Family, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Tony Rice, Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs, J.D. Crowe, and Claire Lynch. Other emerging acts like Blue Highway, Longview, Alecia Nugent, Open Road and The Grascals are more recently on the scene, but no less impressive with their hits. It’s impressive to see women playing such a prominent role among these hits. Hits are also drawn from highly-acclaimed solo releases Rob Ickes, Dan Tyminski, and Stuart Duncan. Unfortunately, a few of these groups who had hits (Johnson Mountain Boys, Weary Heart, Rambler’s Choice) are no longer together. The 20-page CD booklet offers musician credits, a short summary about each group, and Rounder discography for further exploration. “Bluegrass Hits” is a wonderful set from a leading label in the genre. It also makes a strong statement about where bluegrass music is headed. Listen to this album in context of what has gone before. I was surprised to hear the banjo and fiddle relegated to minor roles in some of the arrangements. In “Me and John and Paul,” (IBMA’s 2005 Song of the Year) there are percussion and pedal steel in the mix. Compared to the seminal works of bluegrass’ founders, we hear songs with slower tempos and smooth, polished Nashville-style vocals. The resonator guitar also appears to be playing a more and more prominent role in the genre’s current sound. “Bluegrass Hits” closes with the earliest track recorded, a 1988 version of the traditional “Dream of a Miner’s Child” from the Johnson Mountain Boys. It’s an interesting way to close this album – on a note that recognizes the spirit and significance of classic bluegrass from a band, now defunct, that never compromised their traditional sound. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)