When I sit out on the veranda looking out over the prairie, whilst flobbing my chewing baccy into the spit bucket, I think of the joys of taking a punt on a band that I've never heard of and coming up trumps. Now I like a bit of authentic country roots music but it's a genre I'm not overly familiar with and so buying blind in a chazzer raid gives me a chance to explore this avenue further. Two albums caught my eye recently, namely The Stoneman Family 'Live' and The Stonemans 'In All Honesty' I was delighted to find that these are chock full of banjo picking from one of America's foremost families of bluegrass/country music. Ernest 'Pop' Stoneman recorded hundreds of songs and performed with six of his 23 children as the aforementioned The Stoneman Family. His reputation for playing traditional material put him on the map alongside The Carter Family.
After his death in 1968, his children carried on with more contemporary vibe including covering John Fogerty tunes to good effect. I particulary like the cover photograph on 'Honesty' where they have a Haight-Ashbury clashing with Dollywood image. This is recommended if you loved the 'O Brother Where Art Thou' film soundtrack and appreciate authentic American folk music.
Watch a fab version of 'Goin up Cripple Creek' here.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsRgZRjJfts
Listen to tracks from 'In All Honesty' here.. http://www.boomkat.com/artist.cfm?a=16749
Good discography here.. http://www.lpdiscography.com/s/Stonemans/stonemans.htm
Details of O Brother Where Art Thou
Reviews of Anthology Of American Folk Music