Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs - Foggy Mountain Jamboree

Originally released in 1957, Foggy Mountain Jamboree showed the world just who ruled the bluegrass field
(so to speak). This duo helped to create what we think of now as the bluegrass sound while part of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and went on to popularize it in their own Foggy Mountain Boys. This CD captures the original 12 tracks along with 3 bonus tunes for good measure!

Opening with Scruggs banjo tour de force "Flint Hill Special", you know you're in for a "special" ride! They get a little more traditionally country in "Some Old Day" and then Earl gets to show off again in "Earl's Breakdown". There's the rather silly "Jimmi Brown, The Newsboy" before Scruggs returns with "Foggy Mountain Special". The "Foggy Mountain Quartet" appears in the gospel harmonies of "It Won't Be Long" and then everyone takes a solo in the instrumental "Shuckin' the Corn", though Earl is still the star. "Blue Ridge Cabin Home" shows off Flatt's voice and the nice bluegrass harmonies the men were capable of and, again, this is followed by another amazing show of virtuosity in "Randy Lynn Rag".

More terrific harmonies highlight "Your Love is Like a Flower", which also shows off Benny Martin's fiddling, and then another stunner in "Foggy Mountain Chimes", with the "chimes" being harmonics played on the banjo. Bonus cut "On My Mind" stands out from the rest with the addition of Josh Graves on dobro, giving it a different sound before another blindingly fast banjo workout in another bonus, "Dear Old Dixie" which moves into the bonus gospel ballad, "Pray for the Boys" before finishing with the original LP closer, another gospel ballad "Reunion in Heaven".

For damn-near perfect bluegrass music you can't go wrong with Flatt & Scruggs and their Foggy Mountain Boys! Pick up whatever you can from these powerhouses!