Clinch Mountain Echo

Sammy Adkins & Buddy Moore - Sweetest Love

(RSS-4563) c1982


Sweetest Love
Cassette Jacket

Average Album Rating: 3

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This one is a bit of a mystery... at least it is to me. The cassette was released as by 'Sammy Adkins and Buddy Moore' on Gold Nugget, but is also listed as a River Track Studios cassette release as by 'Sammy Adkins' and similarly reissued and credited as 'Sammy Adkins' on CD-R.[1]

No personnel are credited, but from the cover photo, Left to Right it looks like: Albon Clevenger; Unknown?; Buddy Moore (Hook 'n' Beans); Landon Messer; Ralph 'Hank' Smith; and Sammy Adkins.

I'd guess the cassette probably dates from circa 1985. Buddy Moore had worked with Ralph c1982/3[2], and performed with Ralph 'Hank' Smith and Sammy Adkins (& Lowell Varney) on at least one of Ralph's Festival's in Roxanna, which only took place there in May 1985 and May 1986. Sammy was subsequently recruited as a CMB at the '2nd Annual Eastern Kentucky Bluegrass Festival Round Up' in Cannonsburg, Ky. 1-2 August 1986,[3] where he performed with The Hook & Beans Show.... but an advert for Ralph's 'Homecoming' festival at Smith Ridge 26-28 Sept 1986 bills both 'The Hook & Beans Show' and 'Sammy Adkins & The Sandyhook Mtn. Boys'.

Musically, the cassette is a pretty fine facsimilie of the Stanley Sound. Buddy sings Ralph's parts and has a very similiar vocal style; The banjo also closely mimics Ralph's playing, although I'm not sure whether it's Landon Messer or Albon Clevenger doing the honours. As Landon played the 5-string on many of the cuts on the Lowell Varney, Landon Messer and Riverside Grass - With Ralph Stanley LP, I think it's more likely to be him...

The cassette also features some fab lead guitar, from Ralph 'Hank' Smith, who of course played with the Ralph circa 1990/91. His style of playing is at times quite reminiscent of Ricky Lee.

I suppose, a fair number of folk would question why you'd want a 'carbon-copy' Stanley album, when you can get the originals. But as cover versions go, this works better than most of the tribute albums that have been made.

Track:
Title:
Side One:
(15:23)
1
Sweetest Love

C. Stanley
2
Midnight Storm

C. Stanley / R. Stanley
3
Little Willie

P.D.
4
Next Sunday, Darling, Is My Birthday

Syd Nathan / Arthur Q. Smith
5
Think Of What You've Done

C. Stanley
6
I Only Exist

Joyce Morris / Jimmie Stanley
Side Two:
(15:28)
1
Highway Of Regret

Donald 'Chubby' Anthony
2
Don't Step Over An Old Love

Fred Stryker
3
Sally Goodan

P.D.
4
Little Boy Called Joe

Lee Allen
5
Clinch Mountain Backstep

Ruby Rakes
6
Ridin' That Midnight Train

R. Stanley

 


Go To Top Of Page [1] See Charley Pennell's Bluegrass Discography.
[2] Buddy plays on Ralph's 1983 Live At The Old Homeplace LP and is featured in an excellent video from Santa Monica April 1983. In one of the stage introductions on the Santa Monica tape, Ralph says Buddy had been with the band about 11 or 12 months.
[3] An interview with Ralph from John Wright's 'It's The Hardest Music In The World To Play: The Ralph Stanley Story In His Words' booklet 1987, says that Ralph saw Sammy perform at Cannonsburg (Ky) with Hook 'n' Beans. 'Bluegrass Unlimited' July 86 includes an advert for the festival.