Ralph Stanley remembered at Norwalk

Junior Sisk and Chris Smith lead a Ralph Stanley tribute show at the 2016 Norwalk Music Festival - photo © Bill WarrenThe Friday night show at the Norwalk Music Festival closed out with a tribute to Ralph Stanley and the Stanley Brothers. Festival co-promoter, Chris Smith, and Junior Sisk teamed up to present this touching tribute.

Chris had this to say just before joining Junior on stage: “Junior and I share a love for the music of the Stanley Brothers. It is an honor to be able to do a tribute to Ralph tonight with someone who gets the high, lonesome, mountain sound of bluegrass. Long live the traditional sounds of our great music.”

I had a chance to chat with Junior and he had this to say: “I was born and raised on the Stanley Brothers. I live and breathe it still today. I am so honored to carry on the tradition the best I know how. God bless Carter and Ralph Stanley. They are the reason I play today. This tribute with Chris Smith will be one for the record books!” That it was.

The show started out on the stage. A quick thunderstorm moved the tribute under a pavilion next to the stage. The audience became a part of the tribute at this point. Junior and Chris with the help of Rambler’s Choice members Jamie Harper, Jonathon Dillon, and Noah Brown gave the crowd a show to remember! Stanley stories were told. Stanley imitations were done. Stanley music was presented in a timeless manner.

Musicians like Junior and Chris will keep the “Stanley” sound alive and well for many years to come. Again – Junior’s words: “God bless Carter and Ralph Stanley.”