TRUE BLUEGRASS was originally released in 1987 as ROUNDER BLUEGRASS VOL. 1, and then in 2001 as DARK IS THE NIGHT.
Includes liner notes by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Like its companion volume (Bluegrass Mountain Style), this compilation offers 22 tracks of classic bluegrass culled from the enviably deep Rounder catalog, but unlike the other album, this one focuses mainly on strictly traditional material and performances, with only a couple of departures into progressive territory. There are great contributions from Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys, whose "I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling" remains one of the most thrilling of a long list of brilliant performances from the Bailey Brothers to the the Lilly Brothers, whose "God Gave the Noah the Rainbow Sign" is presented here in a previously unreleased version. In this context, the Bluegrass Cardinals' relatively slick "Lorene" and Allen Shelton's rockabilly-flavored "Banjo Bounce" both sound a bit out of place, but not in a bad way. As with Bluegrass Mountain Style, this one should probably be sold at mid-price, but there's no arguing with the quality of the material. ~ Rick Anderson