Clinch Mountain Echo

James Alan Shelton - Half Moon Bay

(Rebel REB-CD-1809) 2002


James Alan Shelton - Half Moon Bay
Rear Cover CD Tray

Average Album Rating: 3
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James' second album for Rebel has a nice blend of instrumental and vocal tracks with roughly half of the album featuring friends and former band mates and the remainder including members of the CMB's. Ralph Stanley also makes a guest appearance singing the high baritone part to Little Bennie, which he hadn't otherwise recorded since the Stanley's In Person 1960 LP.

Also from the Stanley repertoire is a reworking of Darlin' Nellie Gray with Steve Sparkman and James recreating the parts laid down by Ralph and George Shuffler on the Folk Concert LP; and Handsome Molly from the Award Winners At The Folk Song Festival LP.

Dan Moneyhun provides silky smooth lead vocals on Tupelo County Jail and Foggy Mountain Top, plus split lead/tenor vocal on a lovely rendition of Dark As A Dungeon with Shawn Lane. Dan had previously worked with James in a local band called Southern Grass, and Shawn Lane likewise had played with James in Blue Ridge in the late '80s.

The CD is also includes a rare sighting of Todd Meade, who was fiddle player for the CMB's from late 2003 through 2004. Todd gets to play on just two tracks, with other fiddle duties being picked up by Keith Williams, Hunter Berry and John Rigsby.

As with the first Rebel album, the CD comes with a 12-page booklet with detailed liner notes about the songs by James Alan Shelton. The booklet also has a foreword by Tim Stafford which I think really sums up James' playing style:

In The Beginning there was tone... Before any of us guitar players started learning licks or chords or knew anything about strings, capos and picks, we first picked up the instrument and listened to that beautiful sound. Too many times, we forget just how beautiful that sound is. Not James Alan Shelton. James does so many things well on a guitar: sticking to the melody, good timing, powerful rhythm; but producing big, round, beautiful tone - some of the prettiest guitar tone I've ever heard - still comes first. One thing you can be sure of if you listen to James at a Clinch Mountain Boys concert, on his front porch, or on this record, is that his guitar is going to sound good. And that's what it's all about.

Track:
Title:
Time:
Lead Vocal:
Tenor Vocal:
Baritone Vocal:
High Baritone Vocal:
Lead Guitar:
Banjo:
Guitar:
Fiddle:
Mandolin:
Bass:
1
Half Moon Bay
02:51




James Alan Shelton
Steve Sparkman
Ralph Stanley II
John Rigsby
John Rigsby
Bill Dunham

James Alan Shelton
2
Tupelo County Jail
02:17
Dan Moneyhun
Shawn Lane

Shawn Lane
James Alan Shelton
James Alan Shelton
Tim Stafford
Hunter Berry
Adam Steffey
Barry Bales

Webb Piece / Mel Tillis
3
Goodbye Liza Jane
02:38




James Alan Shelton
Steve Sparkman
James Alan Shelton
Todd Meade
John Rigsby
Bill Dunham

P.D.
4
Dark As A Dungeon
04:36
Dan Moneyhun
Shawn Lane/Dan Moneyhun
Tim Stafford

James Alan Shelton

Tim Stafford
Hunter Berry
Adam Steffey
Barry Bales

Merle Travis
5
Road To Columbus
02:36




James Alan Shelton
Steve Sparkman
Ralph Stanley II
Keith Williams
John Rigsby
Bill Dunham

Bill Monroe
6
Eight More Miles To Louisville
02:02




James Alan Shelton

James Alan Shelton


Barry Bales

Louis M. Jones
7
Foggy Mountain Top
03:01
Dan Moneyhun
Shawn Lane
Tim Stafford

James Alan Shelton

Tim Stafford
Hunter Berry
Adam Steffey
Barry Bales

A.P. Carter
8
Darlin' Nellie Gray
02:45




James Alan Shelton
Steve Sparkman
Ralph Stanley II
Keith Williams
John Rigsby
Bill Dunham

Benny Hanby
9
Married Life Blues
02:17




James Alan Shelton

James Alan Shelton


Barry Bales

P.D. arr. James Alan Shelton
10
Little Bennie
02:15
Ralph Stanley II
John Rigsby

Ralph Stanley
James Alan Shelton
Steve Sparkman

Todd Meade
John Rigsby
Bill Dunham

P.D.
11
Texas Gales
03:28




James Alan Shelton

Tim Stafford
Hunter Berry
Adam Steffey
Barry Bales

A.P. Carter
12
Handsome Molly
02:34
John Rigsby



James Alan Shelton
Steve Sparkman
Ralph Stanley II
Todd Meade
John Rigsby
Bill Dunham

P.D.
13
Wild Mountain Thyme
02:52




James Alan Shelton

Tim Stafford
Hunter Berry
Adam Steffey
Barry Bales

A.P. Carter

 


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