Clinch Mountain Echo

Ernie Thacker & Ralph Stanley - Holdin' On

(River Track Studios RTS 1525) 1990


Holdin' On
CD Front Cover CD Rear Cover CD Tray

This album was recorded on 25th Sept 1990, and originally issued on cassette. Nine of the cuts feature Ernie Thacker on lead vocals, with one fiddle tune - a version of Buckwheat which was had first been recorded for Sing Michigan Bluegrass LP.

Although Ernie Thacker was lead vocalist from 1990-1994, the albums in that period (Pray For The Boys, Back To The Cross, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, and the a cappella Almost Home) are either (a) all Gospel or (b) dominated by guest vocalists. This release is therefore, the best all-round studio example we have of Ernie's tenure as lead vocalist.

All the songs are taken from the Stanley Brothers/Ralph back catalogue, with the exception of Holdin' On... I can't find who wrote this, and I don't think it's been recorded anywhere else... Could it perhaps be one of the missing Wendy Smith tracks? [1]

Ernie's vocals are fabulous, especially for someone who had barely turned 18 when the recording was made. Like Keith Whitley, there's hints that better things are to come.

It's also good to hear Ralph 'Hank' Smith on guitar, who otherwise is only featured on Pray For The Boys.

The album was later remastered and reissued on CD (Crosscut Records CR-1121) 2000.

If anyone can provide a better copy of the cassette cover, please get in touch via the Contact page - thanks!

Track:
Title:
Side One:
(12:26)
1
Don't Ask Me Why

Roy Lee Centers
2
I'll Just Go Away

C. Stanley
3
Buckwheat

Curly Ray Cline / R. Stanley
4
Holdin' On

??
5
Sweetest Love

C. Stanley
Side Two:
(11:50)
1
This Weary Heart You Stole Away

C. Stanley
2
Kitten And The Cat

C. Stanley / R. Stanley
3
Jealousy

Candace K. Randolph / R. Stanley
4
Gonna Paint The Town

R. Stanley
5
Home In The Mountains

Rick Stanley

Go To Top Of Page [1] In 'Wendy Smith And Michigan Bluegrass' by Marty Godbey, Blugrass Unlimited (April 1984) he said that Ralph had recorded about nine of his songs, but I can only account for six: River Underground, Daughter Of Geronimo, Sweet Sally Brown, Lonesome, Hills Of Home and Shotgun Slade.