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Three Chords and the Truth

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Bluegrass singers don't come with much more cred than James King, who was a member of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys and is named for a father who worked with Reno & Smiley. But for Three Chords and the Truth, King decided to reach outside the bluegrass songbook, selecting straight-up country tunes and reinventing them via full-on bluegrass arrangements (and, of course, his own incisive vocal style). It takes a brave man to tackle George Jones' legacy by revisiting the country legend's signature song "He Stopped Loving Her Today"—let alone reinventing it as a bluegrass ballad. But King's no-frills approach and straight-from-the-gut delivery turn this time-honored tearjerker into something new. King manages a similar feat with Billy Joe Shaver's "Old Five and Dimers," which became an outlaw-country anthem through Waylon Jennings' landmark recording and gets a hearty high-lonesome makeover here. King's unpretentious style and naked emotional honesty have already earned him accolades for being bluegrass's greatest vocalist, but Three Chords throws his hat in the ring as one of the most affecting all-around country singers too.

Customer Reviews

Good stuff

Mr King does it again!! Great album!!!!

The New James?

I've listened to Jame King my entire life. He's found his bailiwick . I am impressed!


Genre: Classical

With his 1993 solo album These Old Pictures, James King was established as a top-notch bluegrass vocalist. The album, however, was only the latest step in a musical career that had begun 14 years before. A featured member of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys in the 1980s, King, who was raised in Virginia's Carroll County, grew up listening to bluegrass. His father, Jim King, had appeared on Roanoke television with Don Reno and Red Smiley as tenor vocalist and guitarist for the Country Cousins,...
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Three Chords and the Truth, James King
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