Big Country Bluegrass Remembers its Roots

Memories Of The Past - Big Country BluegrassSouthwest Virginia’s Big Country Bluegrass continues to remind us what hard-core traditional bluegrass sounds like with their new CD Memories of the Past, scheduled for release next week.

It is axiomatic that Memories of the Past (Rebel REB-CD 1848) should have some great old songs among the generous 14 tracks. Among these are Bill Monroe’s classic Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake, the obscure but great nonetheless Jesse McReynolds’ My Time is Running Out, Somebody’s Waiting For Me learned from an old recording made by Benny and Vallie Cain (the B side of a Rebel single produced by Pete Kuykendall), 99 Years Is almost for Life from Flatt and Scruggs (and later Dave Evans), the Ted Lundy scorcher Darling Won’t You Think of Me?, a reprise of I’m Longing For My Old Virginia Home, Aubrey Holt’s Headin’ South and Don Reno’s banjo tour de force Choking the Strings.

The pleasure is magnified by the presence of another great song from the combined pens of Dixie and Tom T Hall, the lead-off cut I’m Putting on My Leaving Shoes; and other new songs such as the Eddie and Herman Gill, Larry Cordle and Larry Shell collaboration Like The Boys on Music Row, the Bill Castle/Dee Gaskin poignant John Doe Made the Crossing and Bobby Jackson’s Stop Playing the Game.

All served up with the guitars of Eddie Gill and Teresa Sells, Tommy Sell’s mandolin, Lynwood Lunsford’s banjo, the acoustic bass of Tony King, the fiddles of Billy Hawks and Don Rigsby and top-notch lead and harmony vocals.

Rebel has provided this release of the first single, the lead-off track, via a YouTube video.


Memories of the Past will be available on June 18.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.