September 18 has been given as the release date for The Blue Are Still The Blues, a 15-song retrospective CD from Rebel Records taken from the four albums recorded for the label by The Traditional Grass in the 1990s.
The highly influential group featured the father/son team of the late Paul “Moon” Mullins, icon of The Boys From Indiana, and Joe Mullins, current leader of Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. For many bluegrass fans, this was Joe’s introduction to the national market, along with Mark Rader on guitar and vocals, and north-central US legend, the late Gerald Evans. Mike Clevenger completed the band on bass.
Together they created a major buzz in the bluegrass world, bringing what has come to be described as the Ohio/Indiana sound to a wider market. They featured the sort of soaring harmonies that had been the hallmark of the Boys From Indiana two decades earlier, on a mix of newly-written songs and bluegrass classics.
While these original Rebel albums were enthusiastically received in the market, it was the band’s powerful live shows that cemented their status as bluegrass legends, and established the younger Mullins as among our most talented tenor singers and banjo players, a role he continues to this day.
Historians of the era rightly consider the emergence of The Traditional Grass as a major impetus for the revival among modern bands playing and writing new music within a solidly traditional bluegrass format.
Songs chosen for the retrospective project include:
- The Blues Are Still The Blues
- You Are My Flower
- I’ll Not Be A Stranger
- Rough Edges
- The Shuffle of My Feet
- A Broken Heart Keeps Beatin’
- Old Joe
- It’s Grand To Have Someone To Love You
- I Believe In The Old-Time Way
- She Has Forgotten
- You’ll Never Be The Same
- You Can Keep Your Nine Pound Hammer
- Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar
- Back To Hancock County
Anyone who missed this tremendous outfit in the ’90s will want to have this disc in their collection.