23 April 2021

Homage to past masters - from Mules & Men

Many thanks to Mules & Men (Luke Coffey, banjo; Lily Sheehan, guitar; Patrick Cummins, mandolin; Niall Hughes, bass) for this news - and an advanced taste - of their forthcoming second album, A tribute to Johnnie Whisnant and other bluegrass legends, due for release on digital platforms at the end of May. On their Facebook, the band announce:

We recorded it last September in Dublin. It's all mastered and mixed and ready to go. Just a few technicalities to be ironed out. It's very much a homage to '70s style grass, Joe Val, Bob Paisley, that kinda stuff! No smooth overdubs, no messing around, just a few microphones... Plenty of classics, as well a few freshly penned numbers. It has twenty songs on it, recorded in two days! Exhausting! Stay tuned.

Mules & Men released today the leading single from the album, 'Watermelon on the vine', learned from the recording by Benny and Vallie Cain on their 1969 Rebel album Benny and Vallie Cain and the Country Clan, featuring the great Johnnie Whisnant on banjo. The BIB warmly recommends the new single, which can be heard on Mules & Men's Facebook, on YouTube, and here.

A detailed, insightful musical biography of Johnnie (or 'Johnny') Whisnant, one of the pioneers of Carolina three-finger banjo-picking, was contributed by Walter V. Saunders to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine in 1970 and can now be read online.

© Richard Hawkins

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At 11:26 am, Blogger Denis McCarthy said...

Richard, thanks for publishing the Walt Saunders articles. Finding any data on one of the banjo greats has always been as difficult as finding his recordings. It's such a shame that this low profile and modest man never got the rocognition he deserved.

At 12:13 am, Blogger Richard Hawkins said...

Thanks, Denis - the Walt Saunders articles, in which Whisnant's own words are quoted at length, are really exemplary.

BIB editor


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