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True Bluegrass Gospel
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  • Southern gospel and bluegrass have often borrowed from one another: the former borrowing banjos, guitars, and mandolins; the latter borrowing songs and singing styles. It's unlikely, in many cases, that a listener would be able to tell the difference between a bluegrass and a gospel band delivering a gospel song. True Bluegrass Gospel offers a broad survey covering 20 tracks from a number of well-known bluegrass and gospel artists, from tradition-bound Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys to the newgrass-influenced Seldom Scene, and from the group harmony of Paul Williams & the Victory Trio to the individual vocals of Rhonda Vincent. The theology that underlines each of these songs (fundamentalist Christianity), the musicianship, and the outstanding harmony provide a consistent link between the ultra-traditionalism of the Country Gentlemen's "Where No Cabins Fall" and the more contemporary style of the Forbes Family's "Drivin' Nails," and between the old-timey meets bluegrass of the Stanley Brothers' "Angel Band" and "When I Lay My Burdens Down" and the smoother sounds of IIIrd Tyme Out's "When He Reached Down His Hand for Me." Whether the music on this collection reflects one's personal theology or whether one just appreciates good roots music, True Bluegrass Gospel is a fine collection and a solid introduction to an enduring tradition. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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