CMH Records has re-released three gems from their catalog today, all available for the first time in digital form. All three had initially been pressed as LPs in the early 1980s, featuring several of the top artists that recorded for the label.
The Osborne Brothers were in their prime in 1980 when I Can Hear Kentucky Calling Me was first released. The title track, written by the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant of Rocky Top fame, was another big song for the Osbornes, and the album also contains their version of John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads, Paul Craft’s Keep Me From Blowing Away, Merle Haggard’s Shelly’s Winter Love, and Georgia Mules and Country Boys, also from the Bryants. It’s a classic that belongs in every serious bluegrass lover’s library.
Fans of fingerpicking guitar know that Merle Travis was the granddaddy of the alternating thumb style in country music, and his 1981 record, Travis Pickin’, is as clean and simple an example of his playing as you could find. 14 tracks of solo acoustic guitar, without amplification or effects – just Merle and his trusty six string. It includes several of his original instrumentals, plus popular songs that he has made his own. Love Letters in the Sand, You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You, and The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise are all here, along with Rose Time and Too Tight Rag. Great stuff!
Knoxville’s Pinnacle Boys helped put that town on the bluegrass map in the 1970s, along with their friends and occasional collaborators, The Knoxville Grass. Their High Lonesome Bluegrass from 1980 was part of that sound, an aggressive, driving approach that laid the groundwork for acts like Lonesome River Band who hit it big a decade later. Here are several originals from lead singer and guitarist Bud Brewster, plus a number of standards from the bluegrass repertoire. If you don’t know the music of The Pinnacle Boys, dive on in.
These three re-issues are available today wherever you purchase downloads online, and are serviced to radio via AirPlay Direct.