Friday, April 27, 2012

Mountain Music

Before Ralph Stanley was featured on the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack, and before he was the grand old man of bluegrass, he was part of an innovative and influential band with his brother Carter. In the 1940s the Stanley Brothers began to record the rural music, pioneered by Bill Monroe and others, that would come to be known as bluegrass. From Charles K. Wolfe's liner notes: "Though dozens of young bands were doing their best to emulate the new sound, it would be the Stanley Brothers who would take it to its next stage of development. [It was] a style that at once harkened back to the mountain music of the past, and looked forward with innovative harmonies and haunting new songs." The haunting ballads and gospel songs which make up The Complete Columbia Stanley Brothers continue to define this style of music and their echoes are heard in the work of contemporary artists like Alison Krauss as well as revivalists like Old and In The Way. Old sounds that remain vital - and fun. Stop in the library's Media department for this and an array of other important recordings, both historical and contemporary.

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