Clinch Mountain Echo

Rocky Mountain Boys - Homestead Bluegrass

(MAG RSR-535) 1977


Homestead Bluegrass
Rear Cover Cover Photo

Recorded at Maggard Studios in Big Stone Gap, Va., this was the second album by The Rocky Mountain Boys.

It's been said that Junior Blankenship played in his Dad's band since he was 10,[1] but the liner notes to their 'Burning Bluegrass' LP indicate that Junior joined in early 1974. They were billed at Ralph's 'Hills Of Home' festival between 1976-1984, and Junior had attended the festival from the inaugral event in 1971 onwards. Ralph at some point, had told him that if he kept on practising, he might one day need a guitar picker[2] and sure enough, in 1977 Junior got the call to join the CMB's.

All of the band came from Dickenson County, Va. with the Blankenships and Larry Childress from Haysi; Donnie Joe Mullins from Clintwood; and Hubert Powers from Coeburn.

The album was reviewed in 'Bluegrass Unlimited' in Aug. 1979, who said:- "Although the general level of ability and performance on this album is firmly average there is enough feeling for the music to cause the listener to overlook much of the roughness. These folks are of the culture and know first hand what the music is supposed to sound like and if occassionally they don't quite hit the mark it's not from shooting at the wrong target. On the whole this is pleasant music with particularly nice work on lead and rhythm guitar by Junior Blankenship who is currently with Ralph Stanley."

Junior takes lead breaks on three cuts (Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die, Salt Creek & Homestead On The Farm). He also sings lead on Homestead On The Farm, I'll Just Go Away and backing on a few of the other songs.

The title track of the Rocky Mountain Boys' next album 'I've Got A Mule To Ride', was also picked up by Ralph on his Memory Of Your Smile LP.

Hillard Blankenship Snr, also drove the tour bus for Ralph, did emcee work at the festival and played on Curly Ray Cline's Smarter Than The Average Idiot album. He died 29 April 2002, and Ralph was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.[3]

Track:
Title:
Side One:
1
Sally Goodin

P.D arr. Hubert Powers
2
Secret Of The Waterfall

J. Landers
3
Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die

P.D.
4
I Haven't Got The Right

S. Buchannon / V. Claude
5
I Haven't Seen Mary In Years

D. Bright
6
Crying Holy

P.D.
Side Two:
1
Crazy Horse

P.D. arr. Hubert Powers
2
Homestead On The Farm

A.P. Carter
3
Lonesome River

C. Stanley
4
Salt Creek

Bill Monroe
5
I Think I'll Go Away

C. Stanley
6
Children Go Where I Send Thee

P.D.

Go To Top Of Page [1] Liner notes to Ernie Thacker, Junior Blankenship Band - Tennessee Blues.
[2] Interview with Junior Blankenship in The Ralph Stanley Story DVD.
[3] http://searches2.rootsweb.com/th/read/BLANKENSHIP/2002-05/1020298700