bluegrass

The Dillards – Travelin’ Dobro Blues

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Recorded at their first live concert in 1962 (released in 1999 as ‘A Long Time Ago’), the picking in this tune will knock your socks off if you’re wearing any. If you’re not wearing socks before listening to this track I urge you to get some on before clicking ‘play.’ I can’t be held responsible for what happens to your feet otherwise. 😉

We’ve got another one of those guitar with a hot plate jobs up here…

Grandpa Jones – The Banjo Am The Instrument For Me

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God how my daughter used to dance to this song when she was a toddler. There’s just something so infectiously happy and accomplished about his playing & singing in this track –the audible little laugh he gives in the last verse, the charming expressions on his face as he sings– it really struck a chord with Addie.

Now I’m old and feeble, grand children by the score,
Every night they set upon my knee,
That’s when I scoot ’em over just to make a little room,
Cause the banjo am the instrument for me.

Jerry Douglas – A New Day Medley

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From Jerry Douglas‘ 1992 recording ‘Slide Rule‘ comes this dobro gem. Started my day like the day itself starting: a lovely tune.

Punch Brothers – Rye Whiskey

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Damn hot! Brooklyn’s Punch Brothers, y’all! That’s string genius Chris Thile on the mandolin.

Rye Whiskey makes the band sound better,
makes your baby cuter, makes itself taste sweeter. Oh, boy!

Rye whiskey makes your heart beat louder,
makes your voice seem softer, makes the back room hotter, oh, but

rye thoughts aren’t good thoughts, Boys,
have I ever told you about the time I…

Chris Thile & Michael Daves – Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms

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Hot damn these boys can pick, with a broken string no less! If you’ve ever seen anything like this you’re a lucky son of a gun. Recorded at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, NY in 2011.

I’m gonna’ lay around the shack ’til the mail train comes back
Rollin’ in my sweet baby’s arms.

Take heart. It comes into focus eventually. You came for the music anyway.

Old & In The Way – Old and In the Way

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Old & In The Way was an early Jerry Garcia supergroup featuring David “Dawg” Grisman, Peter Rowan, the great Vassar Clements, and John Kahn, whose bass underscored much of Garcia’s early non-Grateful Dead work. This Grisman-written number was recorded at The Boarding House in San Francisco, CA the night of October 8, 1973.

Old and in the way, that’s what I heard them say
They used to heed the words he said, but that was yesterday
Gold will turn to gray and youth will fade away
They’ll never care about you, call you old and in the way

The Osborne Brothers – I’ll Fly Away

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Hyden, Kentucky’s The Osborne Brothers with a tune many will have heard performed by Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch on the ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ soundtrack. Impeccable musicianship all around, as you’d expect from these boys.

When the shadows of this life have gone
I’ll fly away
Like a bird from these prison walls I’ll fly
I’ll fly away