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Various Artists - The Angels are Singing: A Women's Bluegrass Gospel Collection

The Angels are Singing:
A Women's Bluegrass Gospel
Collection

Various Artists

11661-0485-2

Rounder Records
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price
(al@squirrelheads.com)

The folks at Rounder sure know how to put together a compilation. Rather than slinging a few quality tracks around some lesser known clunkers, they gather some of the best they have in given type of music and move you smoothly through the width and breadth of what that musical style has to offer.

This collection is a classic example. Rounder shows that even within a topic three levels deep (Bluegrass - Gospel - Women) there is great diversity. The traditional sounds of Hazel Dickens and Olabelle Reed intertwine with the contemporary harmonies of Alison Krauss and the Cox Family.

You could pick any song on this disc and talk about what makes it special. But I have a personal favorite. Lynn Morris' Help Me Climb That Mountain was the first song she ever wrote. It was penned during a difficult time in her life, and I had the privilege of hearing her sing and talk about this song in a small workshop at a bluegrass festival. Lynn recently suffered a stroke, and this song's message is a reminder to us all. Lynn, you're in our prayers during this difficult time.

The acid test of a compilation disc has already been proven true with The Angels Are Singing. I've already purchased two CDs based on what I've heard on this disc. It's a winner.

Track Listing

(Author in parentheses)
  • Standing by the Bedside of a Neighbor - The Cox Family (Roosevelt Fennoy)
  • My Warfare Will Soon Be Over - Ginny Hawker (Traditional)
  • Memories That Bless and Burn - Dry Branch Fire Squad (Suzanne Thomas)
  • Count Your Blessings - Kathy Kallick and Laurie Lewis (Kathy Kallick)
  • Keep Your Feet on the Ground - Rhonda Vincent (R. Hess)
  • Paul and Peter Walked - Claire Lynch (Chris Stuart)
  • When I Get Home - Laurie Lewis (Estil C. Ball)
  • In My Time of Dying - The Stevens Sisters (Public Domain)
  • Faded Pressed Rose - Hazel Dickens (Bobby Abshire)
  • He Will Set Your Fields on Fire - Wilma Lee Cooper (Wilbur Jones)
  • Six Feet of Earth Makes Us All of One Size - Olabelle Reed (Public Domain)
  • Hewed Out of the Mountains - Phyllis Boyens (Traditional)
  • Wayfaring Stranger - The Wayfaring Strangers (Traditional)
  • I Know Who Holds Tomorrow - Alison Krauss & The Cox Family (Ira Stanphill)
  • A Few More Years Shall Roll - Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard (Traditional)
  • Help Me Climb That Mountain - Lynn Morris (Lynn Morris)
  • There is a Reason - Alison Krauss & Union Station (Ron Block)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2003, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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