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Angel Band: Classic Mercury Recordings
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
After waxing their seminal Rich-R-Tone and Columbia recordings from 1947 to 1952, Carter and Ralph Stanley actually broke up their band, even joining Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys for a short stretch. By 1953, they were ba... more »
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After waxing their seminal Rich-R-Tone and Columbia recordings from 1947 to 1952, Carter and Ralph Stanley actually broke up their band, even joining Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys for a short stretch. By 1953, they were back recording for Mercury and continuing to fuse raw, mountain music with Monroe's urgent, propulsive style. When it comes to two-part bluegrass harmonies, the Stanleys are without question the pair to beat: The blend of Carter's rich, warm voice with Ralph's crude, coarse moans stands as one of bluegrass's most distinctive sounds. Whether singing about the home folks (both living and deceased), the Lord, or the lover (both faithful and not), the Stanleys impart a blunt, emotionally honest, soul-baring intensity. Along with the Rich-R-Tone and Columbia sets, this record is an essential collection of not only the Stanley Brothers' work, but of bluegrass in general. --Marc Greilsamer
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An incomplete dose of mountain soul.
Gerald M. Vrooman | Chenango Forks, NY USA | 06/01/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are on a budget and you can afford only one Stanley Brothers album this is probably the best one to buy. The Stanley Brothers Mercury recordings are widely considered to be some of the best Bluegrass ever recorded. My biggest complaint about this album is that, with the exception of Daybreak In Dixie, they left out all the instrumentals. So you don't get to hear what Ralph really could do with a banjo. If you can afford it, buy the Bear Family import, 1953-58/59. It has everything the Stanley Brothers did for Mercury along with good liner notes."