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Despite the presence of Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss and bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, the stars here are the songs themselves, a host of traditional songs augmented by archival recordings. The collection is also a showcase for a host of lesser known and forgotten bluegrass masters: The Cox Family, collaborators with Krauss; Norman Blake, a sideman for Bob Dylan and June Carter Cash; country gospel group The Whites, who once counted Ricky Skaggs as a member (and who, here, cover the Carter Family); and young bluesman Chris Thomas King among them. All bring life to their songs, and the results are sublime--and, at times (Krauss and a choir's take on "Down To The River to Pray", Blake's instrumental version of the oft-repeated "I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow"), downright entrancing.
Some of these songs can be found on Alan Lomax collections. If you enjoy this album, we also highly recommend the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music and Woody Guthrie's Asch Recordings series. --Randy Silver --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
Bought the vinyl version for a friend and he couldn't be happier with it. Played it once before giving it to them and it's probably the best sounding vinyl I've heard. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dane
Loved the old bluegrass and bluegrass-influenced material. Some of the songs I remember hearing my Dad play and sing at house parties when I was a child.... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Clarice Brown
Definitely Clooney's best.
Soundtrack is music I can relate to.
Clothes well designed for the period.