Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers - Selected Cuts 1952-1959

Published Friday 23rd July 2010
Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers - Selected Cuts 1952-1959
Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers - Selected Cuts 1952-1959

STYLE: Country
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 88540-7200

Reviewed by Dave Brassington

This magnificent box set containing 100 recordings is a follow up to a previous volume of earlier recordings by these bluegrass greats. There are four discs, two each for Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers and there are copious notes accompanying the CDs. Being a big bluegrass fan I have enjoyed most of these recordings for 50 odd years and to me many of the tracks here are classics of the genre and like new wine have only improved with age! The subject matter includes songs of love and home, many great gospel tunes and some of the best fast paced picking ever heard on disc! When these songs were originally released the recordings of Flatt & Scruggs undoubtedly outsold The Stanley Brothers, but it is interesting that all these years later many fans of bluegrass have probably come to revere the music of The Stanley Brothers more. For those of you new to bluegrass I would recommend "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke", the gospel classic "Gone Home" and the wonderful instrumental "Foggy Mountain Special" as representing some of the best of Flatt & Scruggs, while The Stanley Brothers are represented by such classics as "The Angel Band" used in the film O Brother Where Are Thou and Ralph Stanley's fantastic vocal on "I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow' which was also featured in that film. The Stanley Brothers were always noted for their gospel songs of which many are featured here. Whilst Earl Scruggs has received many plaudits over the years for his five string banjo wizardry, personally I've always thought that some of Ralph's banjo picking has been sadly overlooked. Take a listen to "Hard Times" where the interplay between Ralph's banjo, Carter's guitar and a fiddler called Ralph Meadows is simply out of this world.

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