Ralph Stanley II has been quiet since the release of his 2008 CD, This One Is Two. We bragged on that album a good bit when it came out, at which point “II,” as he is known, stepped away from touring with his dad in the Clinch Mountain Boys, and struck out on his own.
Stanley was back in the studio early in 2011, and has completed a new project, Born To Be A Drifter. It’s due in August on Stanley Generation Records, a label managed by his nephew Nathan Stanley.
Where This One Is Two was something of a departure from the familiar Stanley sound, this new one marks his return to an approach much closer to what has become his family’s tradition. The album will feature a number of Ralph II’s original songs, and was recorded with John Rigsby on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Curt Chapman on bass, and Duane Bowling, who has since left the band, on banjo.
Touring with Stanley now is Rigsby, along with Randall Hibbitts on bass/vocals, and Jayd Raines on banjo/guitar/vocals. Ralph, of course, is on guitar and lead vocals, and is very pleased with his new lineup.
” I believe this is the best band that I have had yet. They do a great job and fit me about as well as anyone could.”
You can find the Ralph Stanley II tour schedule online. They have a busy summer ahead of them, and a Caribbean cruise on tap in November.