One of the recent new releases from Rebel Records is Mac Wiseman’s Bluegrass Hits and Heartsongs (REB CD 7523).
The 14 recordings in this collection came about due to the mutually beneficial liaison during the mid-1970s between Lou Ukelson, owner of Vetco Records, who was keen to give the label a more national presence, and stalwart Mac Wiseman, who was anxious to have some of his best known songs back in print. The result was two albums worth of recordings made with the assistance of some of the famous Shenandoah Cut-Ups: Billy Edwards (banjo), John Palmer (bass) and ‚ÄòTater’ Tate (fiddle) – augmented by Buddy Griffin (fiddle and autoharp), Jeff Terflinger (mandolin) and Tommy Boyd (resonator guitar). Wiseman himself played guitar and provided the lead vocals.
Not only did Wiseman re-record some of the songs that he had done for Dot Records, including new arrangements of
My Little Home in Tennessee, Fire in my Heart, Don’t Let Your Sweet Love Die and I Haven’t Got The Right To Love You, he did old songs like Mary Of The Wild Moor and The Letter Edged In Black that he had been singing for some years but never recorded previously.
Wiseman, who was 84 on May 23, is well known for his clear and mellow tenor voice and he was in good form vocally at the time of these sessions.
The selections featured were originally available on two LPs, New Traditions Vol.1 (VET 508) and New Traditions Vol. 2 (VET 509), and in Rebel’s own Classic Bluegrass CD series (REB 1106).