We have on many occasions tipped our cap to the Rebel folks for their ongoing efforts to digitize and re-release their rich back catalog of classic bluegrass, generally at the rate of two per month. These two late April offerings capture a pair of legendary performers, Bill Harrell and Larry Sparks, with snapshots of their music in the early 1980s.
Lonesome Guitar is a cherished classic for fans of Larry Sparks’ lead guitar playing. Long celebrated for his distinctive, soulful singing, Larry is also a fine guitarist, noted for his gritty, somewhat-funky solos and driving rhythm.
Sparks is supported on this all-instrumental album by his son Larry D. Sparks on bass, John Masters on banjo, Josh Graves on dobro, and a young Stuart Duncan on mandolin and fiddle, in his only recording with The Lonesome Ramblers.
The 12 tracks consists of a number of traditional fiddle tunes, and one Sparks original.
You can hear audio samples in iTunes.
Also new in digital audio is I Can Hear Virginia Calling Me from Bill Harrell & The Virginians. Originally released on LP in 1980, the record include the iconic vocalist with Carl Nelson on fiddle, Darrell Sanders on banjo, Ed Ferris on bass, Mike Auldridge on dobro, and Larry Stephenson on mandolin.
This first Harrell project for Rebel features 12 tracks with his strong, traditional bluegrass band.
Audio samples for I Can Hear Virginia Calling Me are also available in iTunes.