Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson, and Del McCoury - Mac, Doc and Del

Mac, Doc & Del

Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson, and
Del McCoury

SHCD-3888

Sugar Hill Records
P.O. Box 55300
Durham, NC 27717-5300

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price
(aprice@aa.net)

It's the musical hat trick: Doc Watson, flatpicker without peer; Del McCoury, one of the great vocalists in the history of bluegrass; and the legendary Mac Wiseman. The result, Mac Doc & Del, is a collection that brings out the best of all three artists.

Under the direction of Groovegrass founder Scott Rouse, Mac Doc & Del is a warm, traditional collection of old favorite tunes. As Doc said at the end of the session, "I've been involved in a lot of recording sessions during my musical career, but something magical happened here tonight."

It would be hard for it to be anything but magical. Not only do you have the three featured artists, but they are joined by Del's bandmates, Ronnie McCoury, Rob McCoury, Jason Carter, and Mike Bubb as well. And then add Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, Terry Eldridge and Jack Lawrence to the mix. Suffice it to say, it is a monster supporting cast, worthy of these three.

The album opens with Little Green Valley, given a tinny, old-time sound. You get the impression Doc is singing through an old tub-style radio. Wiseman is as smooth as he has ever been in Don Reno's Talk of the Town. Del kicks things into overdrive with his rendition of I've Endured. Before this cut comes on, be sure you have something nearby to grab onto. With Black Mountain Rag, Ronnie McCoury joins Doc for a duet that will stick in your mind long after the album is finished playing. Don't turn it off too soon after the last listed cut, or you will miss something.

Sometimes bringing three artists of this stature together can yield disappointing results. Not in this case - move over, Three Tenors. Mac, Doc and Del are here, and they've just carved out a little piece of musical heaven.

Track List

  • Little Green Valley (Carson J. Robison)
  • The Old Account (F.M. Graham)
  • Speak to Me Little Darlin (Leslie York)
  • New Moon Over My Shoulder (Blastic, Davis and Elke)
  • Beauty of My Dreams (Del McCoury)
  • I'll Sail My Ship Alone (Bernard, Burns, Herman and Thurston)
  • When A Soldier Knocks (Wayne, Mullican and Tubb)
  • Live and Let Live (Gene Sullivan)
  • I've Endured (Ola Belle Reed)
  • Talk of the Town (Don Reno)
  • Black Mountain Rag (trad.)
  • I Wonder Where You Are Tonight (Johnny Bond)
  • More Pretty Girls Than One (Arthur Smith)

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

Copyright 2000, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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