Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'm saving up coupons to get one of those

Last friday I wandered up to my local record emporium after work wondering what was going to grab me. I was hoping for the Gillian Welch album which features "Elvis Presley Blues" and "I Dream a Highway" a fifteen minute wonder of a track which i heard over at The Late Greats, but it was not to be. No i was swayed by a reduction, a special offer. A few quid off. So I bought another ProperBox. Blazing Bluegrass another 100 tracks for my auditary pleasure, and pleasure is the word. 25 Bill Monroe sides, 25 by Flatt and Scruggs, 25 by The Stanley Brothers and a various CD. And the usual great book.

Then I got home that night and Kat at Keep The Coffee Comin' posted "Rocky Road Blues" which might still be up. So I plugged in and started to listen, read, (and sup) and really got pulled in to how Monroes Blue Grass Boys were a starting point and a launch pad for so many key players. Flatt and Scruggs being pivotal in the maturing of the Monroe sound in the mid forties, before heading out on their own.

I also was struck by how much these songs seem to come from an awareness of community. People geting on with things. How little posturing or ego there is in them. Someone in the comments to Kat's post said this is Bluegrass - Sacred Music. I get that. It's certainly not all religious, though a fair amount is, but it's all about humanity getting on with Life.

And it turns out that today is the 11th anniversary of Bill Monroes passing so here without further ado are a couple of tunes.

The Coupon Song 1941, is a funny tune from the first incarnation of the Bluegrass Boys.
Shine Hallelujah Shine 1947 has a stunning four part harmony by Bill, Flatt, Scruggs and bass player Howard Watts; and
Blue Moon Of Kentucky 1954, is a sign of just how influential young Elvis' version of Monroes most famous song was. Within a couple of months of Presley's hit, Monroe recorded this version taking us from the original waltz time to a stompin 4/4 Bluegrass Boys rendition.


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Blogger jdm said...

This Gillian Welch album is just one of my favorites.

10:49 PM  

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