Classic New South on WSKV

Here’s another radio event you won’t want to miss today (9/27).

Ricky Wasson, guitarist and lead vocalist with JD Crowe and the New South, will join Zeke Buttons on WSKV FM to introduce one of the most fabled and sought-after recordings in the history of bluegrass music.

Any serious student of our music recognizes the 1975 edition of Crowe’s band as among the most important, and defining milestones in the evolution of bluegrass. They are often described as the first contemporary bluegrass group, and the one album they made, JD Crowe & the New South, is as seminal for this genre as were Bill Monroe’s first recordings with Flatt & Scruggs.

This is the band with Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas and Bobby Sloan; the classic Rounder oo44 band. They stayed together only a year before Rice departed for California and the lure of David Grisman’s new sound, and Skaggs and Douglas left to start with Boone Creek. It is remarkable that such a short-lived outfit could wield such influence on successive generations of bluegrass artists, but there you go.

Though they had only the one commercially-released project, insiders and close watchers of all things Crowe have known of a live recording made in Japan during August, 1975 at the band’s final public performance. This tape was the private property of the promoter, who resisted it being released throughout his life. Now comes word that Crowe and Wasson have reached an agreement with the heirs of the promoter in question, and this live show is being remastered for imminent release as a 2-CD set, Holiday In Japan.

Tonight’s edition of Buttons’ Bluegrass 2 The Bone show on WSKV will feature discussion with Wasson about these classic recordings, along with the first airing of the remastered tracks. The show runs from 5:30 to 8:30 (EDT) and can be heard at 104.9 FM in central Kentucky, or online at

Pre-orders are being accepted now for Holiday In Japan on Crowe’s web site. A release date has not been announced, but it is expected before the end of 2010. Surely Ricky will talk about that this evening.

Here is a complete track listing:

Volume 1

  • East Virginia Blues
  • Why Don’t You Tell Me So
  • Stoney Creek
  • God’s Own Singer
  • Banks Of The Ohio
  • Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms
  • You Are What I Am
  • Bugle Call Rag
  • Dark Hollow
  • Sin City
Volume 2

  • East Virginia Blues
  • Bugle Call Rag
  • You Don’t Know My Mind
  • Flint Hill Special
  • Freeborn Man
  • Nashville Skyline Rag
  • Molly And Tenbrooks
  • I’m Walkin’
  • Draggin’ The Bow
  • Fire On The Mountain
  • Take This Hammer
  • Born To Be With You
  • Train 45

Can’t wait for this one.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.