Side By Side from Ralph and Ralph II

The Ralph Stanleys have a new album, Side By Side, set for a February 2014 release on Rebel Records. That would be the one-and-only Ralph Stanley, and his bluegrass singing son, Ralph Stanley II, more commonly known as “Two.”

Two worked as a member of his dad’s band, The Clinch Mountain Boys, for most of his life, striking out recently as a solo artist and bandleader. He said that though he’s sung and recorded with his famous father so many times, this will mark their first project together.

“I’d just been a Clinch Mountain Boy, a band member with Dad, and I was very proud to be that, but we’d never actually done a duet record like this. Playing with Dad, who’s so much of a legend, could be intimidating—and he’s had such a great long line of lead singers I needed to live up to — Carter Stanley in the Stanley Brothers days, then Larry Sparks, Keith Whitley, and Roy Lee Centers.

But I’ve been on my own as a solo artist for about five years now, and recorded three albums that way. I’m more experienced and more relaxed today, and ready to show people what I can do with the master himself. So I felt that this would be a good time for us to team back up. I asked Dad if he’d be interested in doing something like this with me, and he said yes, he’d love to.”

The material for the record is drawn from some of the most influential sources in bluegrass music, including Ralph Stanley. Several are classics from the Stanley repertoire.

  • Wild Bill Jones (Traditional)
  • Carolina Mountain Home (E. Scarborough, L. Wright)
  • Dirty Black Coal (Ralph Stanley, Earl Sykes)
  • Walking With You In My Dreams (Charlie Monroe)
  • Don’t Step Over An Old Love (Fred Stryker)
  • Battle Ax (Arranged by Ralph Stanley)
  • Are You Waiting Just For Me (Ernest Tubb)
  • White & Pink Flowers (Gerald Ellenburg, Shawn Lane)
  • A Little At A Time (Ralph Stanley, M. H. Malone)
  • Darling Little Joe (A. P. Carter)
  • Don’t Weep For Me (Buddy Brock, Gerald Ellenburg, Shawn Lane)
  • Six Months Ain’t Long (Public Domain)
  • Nobody Answered Me (Albert Brumley)
  • I’ve Still Got 99 (Public Domain, Arranged by Ledford)

Look for Side By Side on February 18, just a week before Dr. Ralph turns 87 years old. That’s a birthday present to be proud of.

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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.