Clinch Mountain Echo

Ralph Stanley - Brand New Country Songs

(King 1028) 1967/8


Brand New Country Songs
Rear Cover Side One Side Two

Average Album Rating: 4.5

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Ralph's first album session after Carter's death took place on May 19th 1967. He then recorded the first Jalyn album (Old Time Music) in August and returned to King to finish 'Brand New Country Songs' on October 24th 1967.

The album contains three tracks co-credited to his late brother Carter. Sharecropper's Son had previously been performed in 1965 by the Stanley Brothers;[1] I'm Better Off Now That You're Gone had never been recorded by the pair, although it had appeared in a 1951 Stanley Brothers songbook;[2] and shortly after their 1966 European tour, Carter described Wonderful World Outside as "(the) first song I ever wrote on an airplane".[3] Faye McGinnis later recalled: "He had this thought in his head when he was over there in one of the countries with the high mountains and he looked out and (saw) how beautiful it was and all. And that's how the song started."[4]

Other tracks are contributed by Carter & Ralph's friend Gene Duty (see Sing Michigan Bluegrass), Wandall 'Wendy' Smith (see Sing Michigan Bluegrass and Hills Of Home) and Landon Messer.

In 1991/2 Ralph described how the instrumental Row Hoe came about:- "Curly Ray Cline and me wrote this on a trip, when we was out in California several years ago... We named this one after Curly Ray's rooster 'Row Hoe'."[5]

Earl Taylor and Jim McCall who were drafted in to help complete the recording line-up, deserve a mention too - their performances are top notch and add more than a flavour of Baltimore 'drive'.

Ralph later re-recorded several of the songs from this album on later studio albums: Hemlocks And Primroses, Poor Rambler, Sharecropper's Son and That Beautiful Woman were all re-recorded on 1976's Old Home Place LP; Wonderful World Outside appeared on Saturday Night / Sunday Morning; and both Wendy Smith's Sweet Sally Brown and Gene Duty's That Beautiful Woman appear on Ralph's Sings His Favorites Now and Then 2004 CD.

An essential Ralph Stanley album, the best way to hear it today is the 3xCD set Poor Rambler, which also has detailed liner notes by Gary B. Reid.

Track:
Title:
Side One:
(15:54)
1
Sharecropper's Son

C. Stanley / R. Stanley
2
Hemlock And Primroses

Landon Messer
3
That Beautiful Woman

Gene Duty / R. Stanley
4
Poor Rambler

Curly Ray Cline / R. Stanley
5
Lonesome

Wendy Smith / R. Stanley
6
Lost Train

Curly Ray Cline[6]
Side Two:
(16:25)
1
Row Hoe

Curly Ray Cline / R. Stanley
2
Wonderful World Outside

C. Stanley / R. Stanley
3
Sweet Sally Brown

Wendy Smith / R. Stanley
4
Love Please Stay

Melvin Goins / R. Stanley
5
I'm Better Off Now That You're Gone

C. Stanley / R. Stanley
6
You Could Never Be True

Gene Duty / R. Stanley

Go To Top Of Page [1] A recording of Sharecropper's Son from the 1965 University Of Chicago Folk Festival was later included on the 2xCD Folk Festival 2001.
[2] Liner notes to the 3xCD set 'Poor Rambler' (King K3CD-0951) 2002.
[3] Concert appearance song introduction quoted in [2].
[4] John Wright's book 'Traveling The High Way Home' (p.180)
[5] Homespun's "The Banjo Of Ralph Stanley - From Old-Time To Bluegrass" DVD.
[6] Lost Train is really Arthur Smith's Lost Train Blues.