Clinch Mountain Echo

Ralph Stanley & Friends - Clinch Mountain Country

(Rebel REB-5001) 1998


Clinch Mountain Country
Rear Cover CD Tray Booklet page 2 Booklet page 9

This 2xCD set was recorded mainly in Nashville's Masterlink Studios, between May to December 1997, with some addtional recording at Quad Studios in Nashville, Tn. and Maggard Studios in Big Stone Gap, Va.

It is another collection featuring other artists on vocals, similar to the Saturday Night/Sunday Morning album. According to the liner notes: "A similar project, recorded in 1992, had been a very successful album for Ralph and he wanted to record a sequel. On that last project there were some artists who were unable to participate, and Stanley was hoping to catch some of those musicians this time around."

Of the featured artists, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Judy Marshall, Ricky Skaggs and Dwight Yoakam had also appeared on Saturday Night/Sunday Morning. New collaborators were:- John Anderson, BR5-49, Junior Brown, Diamond Rio, Joe Diffie, Bob Dylan, Vern Gosdin, Joe & Becky & Sonya Isaacs, George Jones, Hal Ketchum, Jim Lauderdale, Laurie Lewis, Claire Lynch, Kathy Mattea, Tim O'Brien, Doug Phelps, Jeff & Marty Rabon, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Rhonda Vincent, Porter Wagoner, Gillian Welch and The Whites.

Ralph II, also gets credited as a featured artist on three tracks Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine, My Deceitful Heart and Lonesome Banjo Man. According to Ralph: Lonesome Banjo Man "... is one of the last songs written by Carter. There were some tapes of he and I working on it. Carter's daughter, Doris finished writing it."

Bob Dylan, a long-standing Stanley Brothers fan, was the first to sign up to the project, and it's a shame their version of Lonesome River isn't better. Dylan sounds particularly hoarse and craggy... I guess it ain't the age, it's the mileage...

It's interesting that the liner notes draw comparison between the album and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 'Will The Crcle Be Unbroken' debut, which 25 years ago had introduced a generation of rock fans to some of yesterdays country/bluegrass stars. 'Clinch Mountain Country', and the other collaborative albums with guest vocalists, seem to have that principal in reverse. i.e. here an older artist (Ralph had turned 70), getting mostly younger country/bluegrass stars to help out. Some of the older generation are present too though, with George Jones and Porter Wagoner going way back, so the idea isn't completely watertight.

A couple of video snippets during the recording of the album, can be found on The Ralph Stanley Story Video/DVD, with footage of a rehearsal of Pretty Polly with Patty Loveless and the vocal recording of Stone Walls And Steel Bars with Junior Brown.

The CD comes with a hefty 36-page booklet, with plenty of quotes and snippets of info... for example the track cut by Marty Stuart, She's More To Be Pitied was first cut by The Stanley Brothers, on the day Marty was born.

One of the photos in the booklet was used for the cover of Old-Time Pickin' - A Clawhammer Banjo Collection and the Old Songs & Ballads Vol. 1 compilations.

Judging by number of second hand copies that show up and their relatively low price, the album must have sold pretty well at the time. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of these collaborations, as they tend to be a bit 'hit & miss'. It sounds a bit like eavesdropping on a Nashville karaoke session.

Track:
Title:
CD One:
(51:09)
1
How Mountain Girls Can Love
- Hal Ketchum

Ruby Rakes
2
Shouting On The Hills Of Glory
- Ricky Skaggs

C. Stanley
3
Pretty Polly
- Patty Loveless

P.D.
4
The Window Up Above
- George Jones

George Jones
5
I Just Got Wise
- Dwight Yoakam

C. Stanley
6
If That's The Way You Feel
- Vince Gill / Patty Loveless

Peggy Stanley / R. Stanley
7
Nobody's Love Is Like Mine
- Ricky Skaggs

C. Stanley
8
Memories Of Mother
- Claire Lynch

C. Stanley
9
The Lonesome River
- Bob Dylan

C. Stanley
10
Old Love Letters
- Laurie Lewis

Johnny Bond
11
She's More To Be Pitied Than Scolded
- Marty Stuart

Ruby Rakes
12
When I Wake Up To Sleep No More
- Judy & David Marshall

Marion Easterling
13
Another Night
- Joe Diffie

Jack Adkins
14
Gold Watch And Chain
- Gillian Welch

A.P. Carter
15
Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine
- Ralph II

Darrell 'Pee Wee' King / Redd Stewart
16
I'll Take The Blame
- Rhonda Vincent

C. Stanley
17
How Can We Thank Him For What He Has Done
- Diamond Rio

Ruby Rakes
18
I've Just Seen The Rock Of Ages
- Jeff & Marty Rabon

John B. Preston
CD Two:
(52:50)
1
Pig In A Pen
- Doug Phelps

P.D. or Arthur Smith?
2
I Only Exist
- John Anderson

Jimmie Stanley / Joyce Morris
3
A Lonesome Night
- Vince Gill / Patty Loveless

C. Stanley
4
Pretty Little Miss In The Garden
- Alison Krauss

P.D.
5
The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn
- Dwight Yoakam

R. Stanley
6
Stone Walls And Steel Bars
- Junior Brown

Ray Pennington / Roy E. Marcum
7
Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem
- Connie Smith

Robert F. Boyce
8
Let Me Love You One More Time
- Tim O'Brien

R. Stanley
9
The White Dove
- Porter Wagoner

C. Stanley
10
Will You Ever Miss Me At All
- Joe & Sonya Isaacs

Joe Isaacs
11
Lonesome Banjo Man
- Ralph II

Doris Stanley
12
Are You Afraid To Die
- Sonya & Becky Isaacs

Eddie Hill / Charlie Louvin / Ira Louvin
13
Way Down Deep
- Vern Gosdin

Max Duane Barnes / Max Troy Barnes
14
If I Lose
- Jim Lauderdale

R. Stanley
15
I'm Going That Way
- The Whites

R. Stanley
16
Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet
- BR5-49

Marvin E. Baumgardner
17
My Deceitful Heart
- Ralph II

Shorty Long / John A. Speca

Bright Morning Star
- Kathy Mattea

P.D.

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