Audie Blaylock and Redline, along with some high-octane guests, have put together as fine a tribute collection of Bill Monroe classics as you will find anywhere. In addition to Redline regulars Russ Carson (banjo), Reed Jones (bass), and Patrick McAvinue (fiddle), helping out on this project are Ronnie McCoury on mandolin throughout, Glen Duncan and Jason Carter (fiddle on several cuts), and Bobby Osborne, Lou Reid, Del McCoury, and Carl Jackson on occasional vocals. Audie handles the guitar and (lead) vocals throughout, with a voice that nails the sound and spirit of Monroe’s music on each of the 11 vocal cuts. Included are “I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky” (with Lou Reid singing harmony), “In Despair” and “Mighty Dark To Travel” with Bobby Osborne, “On The Old Kentucky Shore” with Del, and a superb version of “When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall” with Carl Jackson singing tenor. McAvinue and Jones join Blaylock on the vocals for a great three-part “Lord Lead Me On.” Triple fiddles with McAvinue, Carter, and Duncan grace “You’ll Find Her Name Written There,” “Cry, Cry Darlin’” and the blistering instrumental “Tall Timber” to wrap up the proceedings. “Out In The Cold World,” “Georgia Rose,” and “I Was Left On The Street” are also very well done by Redline with McCoury on mandolin.
This is a very nicely done collection of some of Monroe’s most popular releases. The vocal work by Blaylock and others is topnotch, the instrumental support is right on the mark, and the Father of Bluegrass would no doubt find this release very much to his liking. (Rural Rhythm, P.O. Box 660040, Dept. D, Arcadia, CA 91066, www.ruralrhythm.com.) AW