The Recordings of Grayson & Whitter (1928-1930)
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This duo recorded the original versions of quite a few songs that went on to become folk chestnuts. Tracing the source of a folk song might seem a confusing task, but it is simple compared to sorting out the various recordings, re-recordings, reissues, and repackagings of reissues that have come out on Grayson and Whitter. Old-time music experts can argue over which is the better recording of "Handsome Molly," but no one will argue that this particular County product is handsomely packaged. The front cover is a ghastly green sketch of a mill. reference? More than half the back cover is a list of other records on the label, but with the quality of music County has released this actually might be more valuable than more informative liner notes might have been. G.B. Grayson was mostly known as a singer, although he accompanies himself simply and effectively on fiddle. His partner accompanies him on guitar, sticking mostly to rhythm chording pattern. Sound quality obviously varies, with some of the source 78s' sound rather clean and rich while others provide a fair impression of what a stereo might sound like if it was able to play from inside a washing machine on the rinse cycle. It is lovely country-flavored folk music, always more about the songs than any flashy picking.