Clinch Mountain Echo

John Rigsby - Forks Of The Ivy

(Hay Holler HH-CD-1350) 2000

Forks Of The Ivy
Rear Cover CD Tray

Average Album Rating: 4
(Total votes 2)

  • 5 star
  • 4 star
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

Please rate this album:

This album was recorded in late 1999 at River Track studios in Louisa, Ky. Described by John Rigsby as "a sort of tribute to my favorite singers" the material is largely drawn from the likes of The Sloas Brothers, Charlie Monroe and a 1973 Charlie Moore tribute to Clyde Moody.

I reckon the best 'bluegrass' music is timeless, and this album is definitely up there in the top drawer. Although Rigsby was only 25 when it was recorded, it has a depth of feeling to it that eludes many performers. I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise given that John learnt the nuances of the fiddle from The Sloas Brothers[1], or that he grew up in the Sandy Hook/Isonville area of Kentucky...

The album features two Sloas Brothers numbers: Queen Of The Bar originally from The Sloas Brothers 'I'm Going Home Again' (REM LP-1023) 1967 LP and Struttin' Rooster which is performed as a fiddle/banjo number with the late Kenny Sloas.[2]

Charlie Monroe also appears to have been a big influence, as four numbers are taken from his repertoire: Red Rocking Chair, Crying Heart Blues, Walking With You In My Dreams and Weep And Cry. Ralph also later cut Walking With You In My Dreams with Ralph II on Side By Side, no doubt influenced by John. (He also suggested Ralph record the Sloas' Loving Grace Of God on My All And All.)

Charlie Moore's 'A Tribute To Clyde Moody' (Old Homestead OHS-90033) 1973 also seems to have been influential, as four songs (I'll Still Be Around If You Need Me, Leaf Of Love, Jealous Heart, and Whispering Pine) are featured on both albums.

There are also two wonderfully rustic sounding a cappella songs, featuring John's cousin Don Rigsby. Mother Dear At Home is simply spell-binding, whilst Up Haste To Calvary, lined by Elder Jerry Brown would make Ralph proud.[3]

The title cut, Forks Of The Ivy is a catchy original by John, performed as a fiddle/banjo duet, with Kenny Sloas on clawhammer.

Most tracks are backed by John McNeely, Jason Hale and the late Dale Vanderpool, all of whom I believe were in the Goins Brothers at the time with John.

Nowadays this album isn't too easy to find, but it's definitely worth picking up if you're lucky enough to find a copy!

(a) bass on (1), (9) and (14)
(b) lining out and lead vocal on (16)
(c) bass on all tracks except (1), (4), (7), (9), (13), (14) and (16)
(d) guitar on all tracks except (4), (7), (13) and (16)
(e) vocal on (7) and (16)
(f) banjo on (4) and (13)
(g) banjo on all tracks except (4), (7), (13) and (16)

Red Rocking Chair

Charlie Monroe
Crying Fool

Walter Adams
I'll Still Be Around If You Need Me

Forks Of The Ivy

John Rigsby
Crying Heart Blues

Charlie Monroe
Walking With You In My Dreams

Charlie Monroe
Mother Dear At Home

Leaf Of Love

Bob Newman / James Williams Walker
Black Mountain Blues

Leslie Keith
Jealous Heart

Queen Of The Bar

Lonnie Nipper / John Sloas
Farewell Billy Dear

Struttin' Rooster

Lonnie Nipper/John Sloas
Weep And Cry

Whispering Pine

Clyde Moody
Up Haste To Calvary

P.D. arr. John Rigsby / Jerry Brown

Go To Top Of Page [1] Gary B. Reid's liner notes to Ralph Stanley II & John Rigsby - 'Clinch Mountain Echo' (Copper Creek CCCD-0151) 1996.
[2] I'm don't know the release details, but the Sloas Brothers version can be found on youtube:
[3] Elder Jerry Brown is also on Vision Of A Golden Crown on Don Rigsby's A Vision CD.