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Can't You Hear the Mountains Calling

Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys

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Album Review

When Carter Stanley died suddenly in 1966 at the age of 41, his brother Ralph Stanley was left at an unenviable crossroads. Given that the Stanley Brothers were such a top-draw mountain bluegrass outfit, it almost seemed unimaginable that Ralph could continue performing at that prior level without his brother, who was the songwriting part of the duo. But continue he did, opting to stay close to the traditional Appalachian folk material he had grown up with, choosing songs that were often bone-chillingly dark and thus emotionally fitted to his ragged, weary-sounding tenor voice. In the version of the Clinch Mountain Boys that featured guitarist Charlie Sizemore (as well as Junior Blankenship on lead guitar, Curley Ray Cline on fiddle, and Jack Cooke on bass), Stanley found a singer who came close to having Carter's feel, and his recordings with Sizemore are among the best of his post-Stanley Brothers legacy. This set was recorded in a single day in 1985 and was originally released on cassette by River Tracks Records a year later in 1986 under the title 16 Years and then re-released on CD in 1995 by Copper Creek Records. Now remastered, remixed, and given the new title Can't You Hear the Mountains Calling, Rounder Records has reissued it yet again. Highlighted by Sizemore and Stanley's close harmony singing, it remains one of Stanley's best late-era sets.

Customer Reviews

Can't You Hear the Mountains Calling

Another great Ralph Stanley album featuring Charlie Sizemore!

Can't You Hear the Mountains Calling, Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys
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