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Clinch Mountain Country

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Album Review

The two-disc set Clinch Mountain Country is a treasure that amazes and inspires at every turn. Ralph Stanley is one of the true greats of American music. Kicking off with an all-time favorite, "How Mountain Girls Can Love," the set features Stanley's signature clawhammer banjo style and the distinctive mountain harmonies perfected by himself and his brother, the late Carter Stanley. Other guests from the music world include Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, Bob Dylan, Patty Loveless, BR5-49, Rhonda Vincent, Gillian Welch, Laurie Lewis, Junior Brown, Vern Gosdin, Vince Gill, and many others. One of the most poignant tracks is Stanley, the Clinch Mountain Boys, and country & western master George Jones singing "The Window Up Above." The meeting of Stanley and Jones is a monumental moment in music history. Together their voices blend effortlessly on a song that Jones wrote so many years ago. Also significant is the prominence of Ralph II, the man who will carry on the legacy his father and uncle began in the mountains of Virginia. Stanley's high-lonesome vocal style is unlike any other sound, and he is without peer in the world of bluegrass music. This collection of tunes, many written by Carter and/or Ralph, is evidence of the heartfelt, soul-nourishing music the Carters brought out of the western Virginia Highlands and gave to the world. A worthy follow-up to the 1992 two-CD release Saturday Night & Sunday Morning.


Born: February 25, 1927 in Stratton, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in Stratton, Virginia in 1927, Ralph Stanley and his older brother Carter formed the Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys. In 1946 Ralph and Carter were being broadcast from radio station WCYB in Bristol, Virginia. The music, which was inspired by their Virginia mountain home, was encouraged by their mother, who taught Ralph the clawhammer style of banjo picking. They recorded for such companies as the small Rich-R-Tone label and later Columbia, a relationship that lasted from 1949...
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