Rebel Records has three compilation CDs set for an October 16 release. One is a collection of songs from the two albums that Claire Lynch & Front Porch String Band did for the label back in the ’80s, and the other two are budget anthologies of instrumental music for banjo and fiddle.
The Lynch CD is packaged as Hills Of Alabam, and includes 12 songs from The Front Porch String Band, and a single track (The Day That Lester Died), which Claire contributed to Follow Me Back To The Fold, Mark Newton’s 1999 tribute to women in bluegrass. Memorable selections include her version of Steven Foster’s Dickensian classic, Hard Times, the Civil War story Kennesaw Line, and the band’s lively reworking of Wabash Cannonball.
Front Porch had consisted of Claire on guitar and vocals, her (now ex) husband Larry Lynch on mandolin, Allen Watkins and/or Herb Trotman on banjo, and Mark Fair on bass. I had the pleasure of catching them many times in their first iteration, and can attest to the high quality of these recordings. Hats off to Rebel for making this sampler available.
Here’s a complete track listing:
True Bluegrass Fiddle will combine 20 tracks taken from recordings by Kenny Baker, James Price, Ricky Skaggs, Art Stamper, Bobby Hicks and Curly Ray Cline, taken from the back catalogs of both Rebel and County Records. 9 of them have never been released previously on CD, including a classic twin-fiddle take of High Country with Joe Greene and Kenny Baker.
Full track listing (* Previously unreleased on CD):
- Soldier’s Joy – James Price
- Dry & Dusty – Kenny Baker
- Goodbye Girls I’m Going To Boston – Art Stamper
- Meeting House Branch – Ricky Skaggs *
- Daley’s Reel – Joe Greene *
- Scotland – Bobby Hicks
- High Country – Kenny Baker & Joe Greene *
- Billy Wilson – Billy Baker *
- Done Gone Waltz – Richard Greene
- East Tennessee Blues – Bobby Hicks
- Spider Bit The Baby – Kenny Baker
- Williamsburg – Glen Duncan
- Sunflower Hornpipe – Lyman Enloe
- Midnight On The Water – Art Stamper
- Dusty Miller – Joe Greene *
- Orange Blossom Special – Chubby Anthony
- Leather Breeches – Curly Ray Cline *
- Live & Let Live – Kenny Baker & Joe Greene *
- St. Anne’s Reel – Johnny Warren *
- Grey Eagle – Kenny Baker *
The 5 string companion, True Bluegrass Banjo, boasts 16 tracks from a who’s who among practitioners of the fifth child. Contributions are included from J.D. Crowe, Ralph Stanley, Bill Emerson, Sammy Shelor, Sonny Osborne, Jimmy Arnold, Terry Baucom, Don Reno and several others.
A wide variety of bluegrass banjo styles can be found on the CD, along with one clawhammer piece from Dr. Ralph. This project serves as a fine sampler of five string music from the 1970s forward, with demonstrations of both traditional and more modern sounds.
Full track listing:
- Sweet Dixie – Bill Emerson
- Clinch Mountain Backstep – Ralph Stanley
- Little Rock Getaway – Jimmy Arnold
- Bear Tracks – J.D. Crowe
- Daddy’s Dream – Sammy Shelor
- Banjo Boys Chimes – Sonny Osborne
- Cotton Patch Rag – Alan Munde
- Theme Time – Bill Emerson
- Hard Times – Ralph Stanley
- Knee Deep In Bluegrass – Terry Baucom
- Lonesome Road Blues – Don Reno & Eddie Adcock
- Black Jack – J.D. Crowe
- Old Time Pickin’ – Ralph Stanley
- M Street Rag – Jimmy Arnold
- Nedscape Navigator – Ned Luberecki
- Home Sweet Home – Bill Emerson
All three compilations will be released on CD October 16, and will also be available through popular digital download sites.