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.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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