Foggy Mountain Gospel

Foggy Mountain Gospel

by Flatt & Scruggs



Over the course of their 19 years with Columbia Records (1950-69), Flatt & Scruggs cut 52 gospel tunes, all of which are collected on this powerful double-disc release. Rustic and mellow, Foggy Mountain Gospel carries its message of salvation and redemption on voices deeply invested in the sentiments these songs express. Nominally a bluegrass album, Foggy Mountain Gospel is indeed more about those voices than about flashy pickin' (although many of the songs prove to be splendid showcases for dobro maestro Josh "Buck" Graves). Lester Flatt's plainspoken tenor delivers a mighty punch in all its unadorned potency and is beautiful in harmonizing with Scruggs, Curly Seckler, and Jake Tullock; along the way, bass vocalist Paul Warren adds resonant, evocative fills, his every appearance being memorable and energizing. In addition to their original songs, Flatt & Scruggs span the decades in their cover choices, going back to the '30s for some ageless homilies but also assaying contemporary writers such as Tom T. Hall, whose jaunty "A Stone the Builders Refused," from 1966, also features a nod to mainstream country in the instrumental lineup thanks to harmonica virtuoso Charlie McCoy adding the slightest touch of moaning support in the arrangement. Two live cuts, "Let the Church Roll On" and the F&S original story-song "Paul and Silas," offer a taste of how moving these collective voices could be outside the studio, and how precise, nuanced, and impassioned their musicianship was in a concert setting. By turns jubilant and introspective, encompassing instructive story-songs, dramatic recitations, and time-tested wisdom for guidance in living in the material world, the gospel songs of Flatt & Scruggs comprise a spiritual Baedeker that ranks with the greatest gospel music recorded in the 20th century. This one will get you through troublesome waters.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/12/2005
Label: Sony
UPC: 0827969257425
catalogNumber: 92574

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Flatt & Scruggs   Primary Artist
Lester Flatt   Guitar,Vocals
Josh Graves   Dobro
Earl Scruggs   Banjo,Guitar,Background Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Chet Atkins   Rhythm Guitar
Benny Martin   Bass (Vocal)
Paul Warren   Fiddle,Bass (Vocal)
Onie Wheeler   Bass
Grady Martin   Rhythm Guitar
Chubby Wise   Fiddle
Mother Maybelle Carter   Autoharp
Harold Bradley   Rhythm Guitar
Buddy Harman   Drums
Eddie Hill   Rhythm Guitar
Everett Lilly   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)
Curly Seckler   Mandolin,Background Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Joe Zinkan   Bass,Double Bass
Roy Huskey   Bass,Double Bass
Charlie McCoy   Harmonica
Earl Taylor   Mandolin
Monroe Fields   Mandolin
Culley Holt   Bass (Vocal),Background Vocals
Howdy Forrester   Fiddle
Bob Moore & His Orchestra   Bass
Louis Innis   Rhythm Guitar
Jake Tullock   Bass,Background Vocals,Tenor (Vocal)
Jody Rainwater   Bass,Bass (Vocal)
Billy E. Powers   Rhythm Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)

Technical Credits

Mother Maybelle Carter   Composer
A.P. Carter   Composer
Frank Jones   Producer,Audio Production
Don Law   Producer,Audio Production
Rich Kienzle   Liner Notes
Don Hunstein   Tray Card
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Rosa Menkes   Producer
Dixie Deen   Composer
J. West   Composer
Traditional   Composer
John Christiana   Packaging Manager
T. Lee   Composer
Joe Rudis   Cover Photo

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Foggy Mountain Gospel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
This is an exhaustive collection of the gospel Flatt and Scruggs, Be warned; if you are looking for Earl's banjo picking. this is not the set to buy. On many cuts, he plays guitar instead. There is good music here but it is not the hot bluegrass I expected. It actually is more folk and mountain.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After recording for Mercury, Flatt & Scruggs started recording for Columbia in 1950. Their last Columbia session was 1969. This 2-CD “Foggy Mountain Gospel” set presents material recorded between 1951-1966. Besides a number of songs originally released as singles, this 2-CD set draws material from many classic LPs, most heavily from Songs of Glory (Columbia CL1424) and When the Saints go Marching In (Columbia CS9313). Scruggs’ phenomenal lead guitar work (“I’m Working on a Road”) kicks off the project. Then, there is the band’s cohesive vocal quartet on songs like “Get in Line Brother” and “I Saw Mother with God Last Night” and “Give Me the Flowers.” I like the old hymns they sang such as “Give Mother My Crown” and “Jesus Savior Pilot Me,” the former attributed to the songwriting of Walter Bailes. Tom T. Hall, an up-and-coming songwriter at the time, wrote“A Stone The Builders Refused.” As Rich Kienzle points out in the new liner notes, it is Flatt & Scruggs’ gospel material that transcends all else and stands as “an impressive facet of their musical legacy” and a “reminder of their peak creative years.” Both old favorites and some overlooked jewels comprise the canon. Two selections were previously unreleased (“He Will Set Your Fields on Fire” and “No Mother in the World Today”). Of the many original songs written by their wives, some of my favorites from their pens are “Joy Bells,” “No Hiding Place Down Here,” and “Get on the Road to Glory.” They also cover songs from The Carter Family (“I’m on my Way to Canaan’s Land” and “On the Rock Where Moses Stood”), the latter featuring the autoharp of Mother Maybelle Carter. Other covers come from J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers, Charlie Monroe (“When the Angels Carry Me Home”), and The Bailes Brothers. Band members like Curly Seckler, Everett Lilly, Benny Martin, Paul Warren, Jake Tullock, Howdy Forrester, and Josh “Buck” Graves. On the slight downside, Buddy Harman’s drums creep into the mix on seven tracks that are drawn from Flatt & Scruggs’ “When the Saints Go Marching In” LP. Lester Flatt passed on in 1979, but Earl Scruggs will turn 82 on January 6, 2006. Scruggs recently appeared at Merlefest and Bonnaroo, and he has been the subject of much national media attention. In September, 2005, I caught him leading an enthusiastic rendition of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” with four other banjo-players on the David Letterman Show. Together, Flatt & Scruggs’ impact on bluegrass goes without saying. Their names are synonymous with the classics of bluegrass. My hats off to Columbia/Legacy Records for re-releasing this Flatt and Scruggs material on CD. "Foggy Mountain Gospel" is a compilation of unadulterated and authentic bluegrass gospel music from the 1950s, along with two releases from the 1960s, "Songs Of Glory" and "When The Saints Go Marching In." There are also a number of live recordings. These 52 tracks on two CDs remind us that Flatt & Scruggs’ gospel music was certainly as compelling as their secular material. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)