Clinch Mountain Echo

Rick Stanley & Bad Ridge - You Can't Smoke The Bluegrass

(Honey Camp 100101) 2000.

You Can't Smoke The Bluegrass
CD Tray LR: George Shuffler, Ralph, Rick Stanley & Carter (circa 1965/66) LR: Ralph, Rick Stanley & Jimmie Stanley
LR: Curly Ray Cline, Ralph, Donna Ulisse, Jack Cooke, Charlie Sizemore

Average Album Rating: 3
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Rick Stanley's father, Richard E. Stanley was a first (or second) cousin of Carter and Ralph. In a now defunct web page there used to be a story about how the Stanley Brothers, whenever they had shows nearby, used to stay over at their cousin's family home. Rick Jr recalled giving up his bedroom to Carter and Ralph, and how they would sit and play during their visits.

Rick Jr. also had one of his first songs, Home In The Mountains, included on Ralph's 1976 Old Home Place LP. According to 'Bluegrass Today' Rick was just 15 when he wrote it,[1] although presumably it was sometime after when Ralph got to record it, as he looks around that age in the photo of him with the Stanley Brothers in the CD booklet (circa 1965/66?). Ralph and the CMB's also played at his wedding to Country/Bluegrass singer/songwriter Donna Ulisse.

This album includes Rick Stanley & Bad Ridge's version of Home In The Mountains and nine other originals, mainly co-written with Donna Ulisse. The only cover is a rendition of Tom T. Hall's The Water Lily which Ralph also recorded on his Saturday Night / Saturday Night / Sunday Morning album(s).

Ralph appears on one track, Old Family Graveyard, singing harmony on the chorus. His performance isn't great however and his vocal is quite low in the mix... It must have just been an 'off' day when he was struggling with his voice.

Despite the short playing time, there's some fairly decent songs and Rick and Donna are obviously talented songwriters, with a knack for clever well crafted lines. Vocally however Rick is fairly mediocre, listenable but not brilliant.

County Sales had this on it's $5 sale list for a while, indicating that it didn't sell too well, but nowadays it seems pretty hard to find and copies aren't particularly cheap. Still if you see one at a bargain price, it's worth picking up.

Other guest appearances inclue Larry Cordle, Charlie Cushman, Sasha Ostrovsky and Ilya Toshinsky.

My Ladder

Rick Stanley
No Place Like Home

Rick Stanley / Donna Ulisse
You Can't Smoke The Bluegrass

Rick Stanley / Doug Ulisse / Doug Johnson
High In The Sky

Rick Stanley / Donna Ulisse
Home In The Mountains

Rick Stanley
Bad Ridge

Rick Stanley / Donna Ulisse

Tom T. Hall
Cumberland Queen

Rick Stanley / Donna Ulisse
Old Family Graveyard

Rick Stanley / Donna Ulisse

Rick Stanley / Donna Ulisse
Lord I'm Yours

Rick Stanley / Donna Ulisse / Brian Bush


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