Clinch Mountain Echo

Don Rigsby - Doctor's Orders

(A Tribute to Ralph Stanley)

(Rebel REB-CD-1841) 2014

Doctor's Orders
CD Tray Bluegrass Unlimited Ad. June 2013

Average Album Rating: 4
(Total votes 3)

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'Doctor's Orders' is a fine tribute, that does a good job of paying homage to the early '70s Clinch Mountan Boy sound, and largely concentrates on some of the lesser known, but quintessential Stanley material.

Don Rigsby has been a life-long fan of Ralph and The Stanley Brothers, and decided to record this tribute in 2013, whilst Ralph was still around to see how much the Stanley's music had meant to him.

As a birthday present, Don first got to see Ralph play live when he was aged 6. Before the show began, his father arranged via Keith Whitley for Don to meet his idol & during the show at the Paramount Arts Centre in Ashland Ky, Ralph dedicated Little Maggie to the birthday boy. The concert proved to be a life changing event - Don:-"That night was one of the moments in my life that was transcendent. It lit a fire inside me that has been burning ever since... it was one of those magical moments that will live forever in my soul."

Growing up in Isonville, Ky. Don also learnt his craft from the likes of The Sloas Brothers, before working his way through Morehead University by playing with Charlie Sizemore. He later played with The Bluegrass Cardinals, J.D. Crowe, and Lonesome River Band.[1] In 1998 his first solo album, A Vision, included a few Stanley Brothers songs and a couple of tracks also featured Ralph on vocals.

For 'The Doctors Orders' Don wanted Ralph to be the first and last thing listeners would hear, so Ralph opens the CD with the cry "The Doctors in..." and closes it playing clawhammer banjo on Traveling The Highway Home.[2] The album also features CMB alumni Larry Sparks, Charlie Sizemore, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Sparkman and James Alan Shelton. Barry Bales and Ron Stewart do a good job of 'channeling' Jack Cooke & Curly Ray... and the production is top notch too.

To help promote the album, Don appeared on the 'Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour' (Show #726) backed by Nathan Stanley, Junior Blankenship, Dewey Brown, Mitchell Van Dyke and Randall Hibbits. The show is available to download in both audio and MP4 video formats - just search for '726' in their archives.

The CD comes with a nice 12-page booklet with detailed liner notes by Don.

(a) Ralph sings co-lead on The Daughter Of Geronimo, tenor on Home In The Mountains and plays clawhammer banjo on Traveling The Highway Home.
(b) Ricky Skaggs sings baritone on Home In The Mountains and Tennesse Truck Driving Man.
(c) Larry Sparks sings co-lead and plays guitar on I Only Exist and guitar on medicine Springs.
(d) Lloyd Herring and Clyde Marshall sing on Sinner Man. Also on The Water Lily, Lloyd plays banjo and sings baritone and Clyde plays guitar.
(e) Charlie Sizemore sings on Walking Up This Hill On Decoration Day and co-lead on Tennesse Truck Driving Man.
(f) Robert Maynard plays bass on The Water Lily.

The Mountain Doctor

Larry Cordle / Don Rigsby
Brand New Tennessee Waltz

Jesse Winchester
The Daughter Of Geronimo

Wendy Smith / Ralph Stanley
Wild Geese Cry Again

Peter Rowan
Little Maggie

Home In The Mountains

Rick Stanley
I Only Exist

Joyce Martin / Jimmie Stanley
Sinner Man

Six More Miles

Hank Williams
Walking Up This Hill On Decoration Day

Ronnie B. Preston
Medicine Springs

Bill Grant / Ralph Stanley
Tennessee Truck Driving Man

Kenneth Pickett / Ralph Stanley
The Water Lily

Tom T. Hall / Henry Lawson
Traveling The Highway Home

Frankie Bailes / Walter Bailes


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[2] Mentioned in a radio interview about the album with Dennis Jones on WMCW's 'Going Across The Mountain' show. I seem to remember Don saying that the banjo playing on Traveling The Highway Home was split between Steve Sparkman and Ralph and spliced together, but only Ralph is credited on the CD.