We Shall All Be Reunited: Revisiting the Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928

Fans of the history of American folk and country music, the very sounds that led to the development of bluegrass, have another project to look forward to this month.

Bear Family Records is preparing to release We Shall All Be Reunited – Revisiting The Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928, on August 21. The album contains 26 recordings from the late ’20s Bristol sessions, all meticulously remastered by celebrated engineers Marcus Heumann and Christian Zwarg earlier this year. Included are tracks for Ernest V Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers, The Carter Family, Bull Mountain Moonshiners, Jimmie Rodgers, Smyth County Ramblers, Shortbuckle Roark & Family and several others.

Another important aspect of this project is the inclusion of extensive liner notes from producer Ted Olson, professor of Appalachian Studies at ETSU. 

The 44-page booklet takes on some of the ‘myths’ which Olson feels were perpetuated by last year’s Ken Burns documentary series, Country Music.

As described by Bear Family…

To contextualize the 1927 Bristol sessions the liner notes for We Shall All Be Reunited explore ‘the rest of the story”—the related cultural occurrences all-too-often ignored or marginalized during mainstream public discussions about the Bristol sessions. In his liner notes, Ted Olson tells the real story of the Bristol sessions – a story that proves to be much more interesting than that told in the popular ‘Big Bang’/’Birthplace’ myth.

Several audio samples are available on the Bear Family web site.

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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.