Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has released a new single from their upcoming Industrial Strength Bluegrass album, an audio companion to the newly-released book by the same name by Fred Bartenstein and Curtis W. Ellison. Like the book, the new music project explores the northward movement of Appalachian peoples to the cities of southwestern Ohio where factory work was plentiful in the post WWII years.
The album doesn’t hit until March 26, but today we have a track from two of bluegrass music’s most celebrated singers to share. Family Reunion features a duet between Rhonda Vincent and Caleb Daugherty on a classic waltz number, written and recorded by Aubrey Holt and Harley Gabbard in 1957 before they formed The Boys From Indiana. It poignantly tells of an ailing mother calling all her children home to say goodbye.
Grab a tissue.
The Industrial Strength Bluegrass album was produced by Joe Mullins, and includes recorded performances of bluegrass classics by artists as varied as Bobby Osborne, the Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Ann Womack, and Vince Gill, alongside bluegrass stars like Dan Tyminski, The Isaacs, Sierra Hull, and more.
Pre-orders for the album are available now online, which include an immediate download of Family Reunion.
Mullins and the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival are collaborating on a special CD release event on March 27, held as a dinner theater concert at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, OH. The show and dinner will be held in accordance with the safety restrictions announced by the Ohio Health Department, and seating will be limited to 300 people.
The show will begin at 1:00 p.m. on the 27th, with dinner served at 5:15. Entertainment through the day will include live sets from Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, The Issacs, and the Caleb Daugherty Band. The authors of the Industrial Strength Bluegrass book will also give a presentation, and both books and CDs will be available for sale.
Tickets for the Industrial Strength Bluegrass dinner and show are available for sale online.