FAME Review:
Various Artists - The All-Star Jam - Live at Graves Mountain

The All-Star Jam -
Live at Graves Mountain

Various Artists

Rural Rhythm Records - RHY 1073

Available from the Rural Rhythm online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

All you had to do was tell me that the Lonesome River boys and Audie Blaylock were on this sonic document, and I was ready to go. However, 2010's edition of the jamboree marked Rural Rhythms's 55th anniversary, so each and every band was a top-notch draw, including the label's latest killer gospel-grass ensemble, Lou Reid & Carolina (here). And let me tell y'all that there's sittin'-in aplenty and tons of pickin'-n-grinnin', but the affair really kicks into high gear with Old Dangerfield (from Audie and crew, of course) before settling into the historical Graves Mountain Memories with a round robin of alternating vocals in an ongoing All Star ensemble.

The daunting dexterities of bluegrass musicians are perhaps best seen in live situations, where it becomes all too evident that they're just as capable out of as in the studio. Opposing that which occurs a bit too much in rock and roll, what you hear from a 'grass band is precisely what you get no matter where you catch 'em. This was proven when—whether Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, the Lonesome River Band, the Crowe Bros, Lou Reid & Carolina, Mark Newton, Carl Jackson, Audie Blaylock & Redline, or Carrie Hassler with Brand New Strings were on stage—what you got was on-fire fretbending and heavenly lead and harmony vocals.

The recording is a tetch raw, sometimes almost seeming from an open miking arrangement, but that only lends a greater sense of being right there in the lovely mountain-stream venue, sitting with the picnicking and RV-rambling crowd enjoying a shining summer's day in front of some of the best bluegrass to be had in the 50 states. And one can't also help but recall the 50s, the Andy Griffith Show, and simpler less frenetic times between the two Great Republican Depressions. This show was one we all needed to attend.

Track List:

  • The Crowe Bros - More Pretty Girls Than One
  • Lonesome River Band - Hold Whatcha Got
  • Lou Reid & Carolina - Lonesome River
  • Audie Blaylock & Redline - Old Dangerfield
  • Rural Rhythm All Stars - Graves Mountain Memories
  • Carrie Hassler With Brand New Strings - Head Over Heels
  • Audie Blaylock & Redline - Once More
  • Rural Rhythm All Stars - Ground Speed
  • The Crowe Bros. - When I Stop Dreaming
  • Audie Blaylock & Redline - Get In Line Brother
  • Rural Rhythm All Stars - Home Sweet Home
  • Lonesome River Band - Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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