Pleasant Valley Boys do retro right

Matt and George & Their Pleasant Valley Boys - Jim Allison, Matt Dudman, Mark Eagleton, George Godell, Jenny LynnMatt Dudman, George Goodell & Their Pleasant Valley Boys play hard-driving traditional music in and around northern California.

And they go whole hog…  not only does their music pay homage to the original sound of the first generation of bluegrass pioneers, they also dress in vintage clothes, and their guitarist plays in the old time thumbpick style.

New 78 RPM single from The Pleasant Valley BoysTheir new release includes two bluegrass classics (Heavy Traffic Ahead and I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling), recorded around a single 1939 RCA-44 ribbon microphone without overdubs. Taking the vintage vibe all the way home, the new record is a 10”, 78 RPM vinyl single.

Matt Dudman tells us that they were a bit worried about the public reaction to a 78 release, but when they announced it at the CBA Father’s Day Festival last month, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

Matt Dudman signing records at CBA“The response was literally overwhelming. We recorded the performance where we announced the release and the crowed roared when we mentioned that it was a 78. You can see the surprise on my face.

Disbelief, or ‘you’re kidding’ is a common reaction. Then usually ‘what are people gonna play it on?’ To which I explain that my modern turntable has a 33 button and 45 button. If you push them both down, what does it add up to?

And if all else fails, I tell people the 78’s look cool on the wall. Bottom line, they are selling like hotcakes. And it’s all really fun.”

Here’s a clip of the guys (and gal) performing live in the studio.

The band consists of Dudman on mandolin, Goodell on banjo, Jenny Lynn on guitar, Jim Allison on fiddle and Mark “Cousin Rainwater” Eagleton on bass. Find more details about The Pleasant Valley Boys on their web site.

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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.