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Most Requested

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Album Review

Combining the setup and general feel of a bluegrass band with the heartbreaking arrangements of traditional country, Mac Wiseman's Most Requested is a reflection of his success at both styles of music. Wiseman pulls off his blend by using his most powerful attribute — his voice. His sad tenor howl floats effortlessly over the picking and strumming, making for not only a beautiful combination of styles but something that has his distinctive stamp on it. On standards like "In the Pines" and "House of the Rising Sun," Wiseman's arrangements make them into lazy country ballads, with hints of bluegrass coming through. But then on tracks like "The Bluebirds Are Singing for Me," the banjos and chugging rhythms are out in full force and the country is only suggested through Wiseman's voice. The only real problem with the album is that at times the production robs the music of some of its power, making the affair sound more like a mainstream '80s country album. For example the first track, "Did She Mention My Name," is a good country song that is devoid of the grit it needs because of the polished studio sound. Fans of Wiseman or even just fans of good roots music may find this to be very a good listen, but this probably will not sway those not enamored with the genre.


Born: May 23, 1925 in Crimora, VA

Genre: Country

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

Famed for his clear and mellow tenor voice, Mac Wiseman recorded with many great bluegrass bands, including those of Molly O'Day, Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and the Osborne Brothers; his command of traditional material made him much in demand by bluegrass and folk fans alike. Wiseman was born in Crimora, Virginia and grew up influenced by traditional and religious music and such radio stars as Montana Slim Carter. Wiseman started out working as a radio announcer in Harrisonburg in 1944. At the...
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Most Requested, Mac Wiseman
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