Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ralph Stanley & Friends|
Clinch Mountain Sweethearts
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop, Christian, Gospel
This 16-track duet package is something of a companion piece to 1993's Saturday Night & Sunday Morning and 1998's Clinch Mountain Country, both of which offered a dazzling array of duets featuring Ralph Stanley singing... more »
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This 16-track duet package is something of a companion piece to 1993's Saturday Night & Sunday Morning and 1998's Clinch Mountain Country, both of which offered a dazzling array of duets featuring Ralph Stanley singing with an A-list of country and bluegrass stars. Clinch Mountain Sweethearts, which features only female partners, is a worthwhile collection, though somewhat less focused than its predecessors. Country, folk, and pop stalwarts such as Iris DeMent, Lucinda Williams, Dolly Parton, Gillian Welch, Chely Wright, and Joan Baez display their artistry as they square off with Stanley at the microphone. But the real treats are Stanley's duets with less celebrated talents like Gail Davies, Melba Montgomery, Valerie Smith, Kristi Stanley, and Jeannie Seely. --Bob Allen
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This hits the Spot!
David | Ben Lomond, CA | 02/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Making a distinction between this recording and "pure" bluegrass seems beside the point to me. Ralph Stanley has simply assembled some of the very best female country/bluegrass vocalists around, matched them up with great tunes and produced a CD that spends A LOT of time on my stereo system. Iris DeMent and Ralph are terrific, so much so that I hope they record again together real soon. But then I would buy a CD by Iris DeMent and virtually anyone. Don't pass this album up, no matter what sort of music you prefer."
In Dreamland with Dolly, Iris, Melba, Chely, Lucinda, et al
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 08/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the third album of Ralph Stanley's with guests (or is it the fourth? - I think Saturday Night Sunday Morning was recorded as two separate albums) - and came about because the ladies were seriously under-represented on the earlier projects, yet clearly indicated a desire to record with Ralph. The success of John Prine's In spite of ourselves (featuring another stellar cast of ladies, also including Iris, Melba and Lucinda) would have dispelled any doubts about the viability of such a project.Though under-represented, some notable ladies did appear on the previous albmus (Clinch Mountain Country and Saturday Night Sunday Morning), including Connie Smith (who also appeared on that John Prine album), Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris. Patty Loveless, Rhonda Vincent and Laurie Lewis, so they leave the stage to others this time.All the songs are beautifully sung and well chosen. On albums like these, your favorites tend to depend on which guests you like best, but there are so many here that I love, although Dolly is my favorite singer.Valerie Smith recorded a stunning debut album (Patchwork Heart), listed as Limited Availabilty by Amazon.com - a definite contender for my favorite bluegrass album. I haven't heard her second, Turtle wings.It's great to see Jeannie Seely back in the recording studio, singing a lovely version of I'm ready to go.Kristi Stanley (Ralph's daughter-in law) makes her recording debut here, and acquits herself well. It remains to be seen whether she records anything of her own.Patty Mitchell, who also puts in a great performance, was once a member of the Dixie Chicks. Their music pre-Natalie was very different, much more solidly traditional (way off the mainstream - I could never imagine a major label wanting them), as evidenced on their Little ol' cowgirl album, one of three unavailable early albums, not listed by Amazon.com.Then there's Pam, Maria, Sara, Gail, Joan, Gillian and the five in my headline .... each and every one of them makes a magnificent contribution. For Iris fans, there's a real treat - she gets to do two songs.So there you have it - a great bluegrass album of love songs, featuring fifteen magnificent ladies, some world-famous like Dolly and Joan, some complete unknowns like Patty and Kristi and the rest somewhere in between, yet all putting in strong enough performances such that nobody really stands out from the rest - and that makes for a great album."
+ 1/2 stars.....Bluegrass Is Alive And Thriving
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 02/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have had in my collection for decades the numerous albums the Stanley Brothers cut for Starday, King and Gusto in the fifties and sixties. However, I'll admit it wasn't until Ralph Stanley's resurrection in popularity with the whole "O Brother" phenomenon that I began noticing his more recent labums.The premise to this 2001 Rebel release was simple: Find some of the best female vocalists in the business and revisit some of the old Stanley Brothers classics. I was skeptical at first, but after the first notes of "Ridin' That Midnight Train" with Iris DeMent, any misgivings I had disappeared.Although no less moving, Stanley performs "Oh, Death" with Gillian Welch--not a capella, but with the backing of the Clinch Mountain Boys. Other highlights are Dolly Parton's version of "Loving You Too Well," Sara Evans' "Are You Tired of Me, Darling," Lucinda Williams' "Farther Along" and Valerie Smith's "I'll Remember You in My Prayers." Truth to tell, these are are all lovingly performed songs.As the reigning patriarch of bluegrass, it's encouraging to see Ralph Stanley (who was 73 when these recordings were made) not only receive the recognition he deserves but for helping pass the torch so bluegrass will continue to thrive into the 21st Century. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"