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The Blue Sky Boys
Blue Sky Boys
The Blue Sky Boys
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Forty years after their first recordings, Bill and Earl Bolick were persuaded out of retirement for the second time, this time by Ken Irwin and Rounder Records. Recorded in 1976, these 14 magical tracks (often played but n...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Blue Sky Boys
Title: The Blue Sky Boys
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rounder Select
Release Date: 4/16/1996
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Styles: Bluegrass, Classic Country, Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 011661005228, 011661005211, 011661005242

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Forty years after their first recordings, Bill and Earl Bolick were persuaded out of retirement for the second time, this time by Ken Irwin and Rounder Records. Recorded in 1976, these 14 magical tracks (often played but never before recorded by the brothers) form a worthy coda to their all-too-limited body of recorded work and are in fact as valuable as the duo's original sides. With two (mildly) upbeat exceptions, the songs included here are gloomy and tragic; they speak of suffering, desperation, disappointment, death, and redemption. Bill (unearthly high tenor) and Earl (bedrock baritone) were interlacing harmonies as children in church, so imagine how effortless it sounds 50 years later. Supported by only Bill's supremely gentle mandolin runs and Earl's acoustic guitar foundation, the Bolicks sing not with overwrought emotion and intense passion, but with a sense of resignation and understanding that is all the more painful. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

A Gentle Late Career Portrait of the Boys
tksc | 01/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's hard to be completely satisfied with this collection from the Blue Sky Boys. Sure, the performances are immaculate, with that unmistakable rich vocal harmonies, the tint of melancholy in the subtle interplay between the voices, the steady acoustic flatpick guitar, and the near perfect mandolin phrases. But, alas, these performances were recorded in the 1960s, long after the Bollick brothers had retired from regular performances. The collection here, then, is a product of the 60s folk revival, which in the end, remains a tiny fraction of the original act.And, as such, the body of work from the 1930s that made the BSBs the hidden legends of old time music has yet to be released in CD format (with the exception of the 1936 recording "Down on the Banks of the Ohio" in Harry Smith's posthumously anthologized, "Anthology of Am. Folk Music, Volume 4" on Revenant Records). There we find the haunting, gentle beauty of the BSBs: notably the whispy harmonies by the brothers and Bill Bolick's incredible mandolin playing, which mimics the sweeping currents of the Ohio River. It's a stunning performance.But to return to this collection, the BSBs late in their career was still a formidable act. The choice of songs on this album display the range of emotions and genres that the Boys incorporated into their distinctive art: from gospel tunes (You Could Be a Millionaire), to lyrical love songs (Green Grow the Lilacs), to old time ballads (The Lawson Family Tragedy). The music of the Blue Sky Boys remains timeless. It is beauty that is seeped in tragic tales, the haunting of salvation, and, sometimes, just sheer irreverence."
A spot of Good Old America
tksc | 09/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I felt a great sense of lyrics and poetry in this CD you rarely experience today. I liked best The Main Trial, in which I felt stronger an ancient religious spirit, simple and pure. This is the first time I listen to a Blue Sky Boys album, but I couldn't help to be very involved in their music so arcaic and essential. It touches the strings of your heart and makes them vibrate deeply, bringing you to the Good Old America of the good feelings. Please forgive me for my poor English, and I hope to make understand my sensations."