Marty Wekser; Cary E. Mansfield (Compilation); Bill Dahl (Compilation)
Var?se Sarabande (USA)
Number of Discs
Album Notes and Credits
The Stanley Brothers: Curley Lambert (guitar, mandolin, double bass); Ralph Mayo (fiddle); Al Elliot, George Shuffler, Henry Dockery, Vernon Derrick, Chick Stripling (double bass); Chubby Anthony, Earl Taylor, Ralph Stanley, Art Stamper, Bill Napier, Carter Stanley.
Personnel: Vernon Derrick (guitar, fiddle); George Shuffler, Carter Stanley (guitar); Ralph Stanley (banjo); Earl Taylor (mandolin, harmonica); Al Elliot, Bill Napier (mandolin); Chubby Anthony, Art Stamper (fiddle).
Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
Recording information: 09/30/1958-07/16/1964.
Arguably the first band besides Bill Monroe himself to apply his new bluegrass formula in performance, the Stanley Brothers and their fabled backing band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, have no betters in the annals of country music and very few equals. Their similar vocal timbres defined brother harmony in the '40s and '50s and provided the famed "high lonesome" feel to the music they themselves referred to as "mountain soul." THE ESSENTIAL MASTERS collects sides from their time on King and Starday Records in the late '50s and early '60s, the twilight of their legendary run.
This line-up of the Clinch Mountain Boys cooks and spikes the bluegrass recipe with a revved up honky-tonk spirit. Featuring new takes on some fan favorites such as "Man of Constant Sorrow" and "How Mountain Girls Can Love," the collection also includes the classics "Oh Death" and "Don't Cheat in Our Home Town."
Second perhaps only to Bill Monroe in significance, the Stanley Brothers are one of the cornerstones of bluegrass. Virginian siblings Ralph and Carter Stanley started recording in 1947. Between the late '40s and mid '50s, they released some of the most influential bluegrass tracks of all time, often backed by their band the Clinch Mountain Boys. Ralph and Carter's close vocal harmonies (and Ralph's banjo playing) inspired countless musicians of subsequent generations. Carter died in 1966, but Ralph continued performing, experiencing an unexpected renaissance in the late '90s sparked by his contribution to the soundtrack for the film O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?