29 November 2022

Gift parcel from Bluegrass Today

Chris Coole (banjo) and John Showman (fiddle) of the Lonesome Ace Stringband have a new album, Much further out than inevitable, comprising a dozen songs by the late John Hartford, due for release this coming Friday and now available for pre-ordering. A video of them playing the Hartford song 'Back in the goodle days' can be seen in John Lawless's feature on Bluegrass Today, and also on YouTube.
The Petersens, who have (thanks to John Nyhan) toured Ireland several times, released earlier this month a new album, My Ozark Mountain home. Lee Zimmerman reviews the album on Bluegrass Today, with a playlist of samples of all thirteen songs.
The Appalachian Road Show (see the BIB for 19 Nov.) made their first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN, last Friday (25 Nov.), and it seems to have been a powerful experience for everyone there, whether on stage or in the seats. Three videos and several photos from the occasion are given in John Lawless's feature on Bluegrass Today.
The living legend Paul Williams has been inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame twice: as a member of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers (2009), and in his own right (2018). A major part of his career was his time as tenor singer, mandolinist, and songwriter in Jimmy Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys. Sandy Hatley's recent conversation with him about his life is recorded on Bluegrass Today. One of his compositions, the gospel duet 'Stormy waters' can be heard here, with Williams's soaring tenor above Martin's lead. Of the versions available by different artists on YouTube, this one best embodies the blend of voices that Jimmy Martin strove for.

Update 2 Dec.: More of Paul Williams's memories and life story, recounted by Joe Mullins, can now be read on Bluegrass Today.

Finally, Richard Thompson posts on Bluegrass Today the sad news of the death of guitarist and singer Dudley Murphy (16 Apr. 1940-19 Nov. 2022). Like many contemporaries, Murphy grew up listening to rock and folk rather than traditional music, but became a masterful flat-picker and lead singer in two highly regarded bands, County Line and Radio Flyer, as well as taking part in what may have been the first twin flat-picking album ever recorded. Thompson's obituary includes tributes by those who knew Murphy, a discography, four videos (two of them are recordings of full LPs), and five photos. Dudley Murphy's funeral took place yesterday, 28 Nov. 2022.

© Richard Hawkins

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