Ralph Stanley has to be among the most active septuagenarians in the music business, having released no fewer than nine records since 2000, while maintaining a virtually non-stop touring schedule.

RELEASE DATE: Nov. 12
Ralph Stanley has to be among the most active septuagenarians in the music business, having released no fewer than nine records since 2000, while maintaining a virtually non-stop touring schedule. This Audium release focuses almost exclusively on Stanley's 1970s-era Rebel Records output, a time when a potent Stanley was finding his footing following the death of his brother, Carter, and their act, the Stanley Brothers. Prime cuts include Carter's mournful "The Fields Have Turned Brown," a rollicking "Little Maggie," and a soaring 1971 take on the now-ubiquitous "Man of Constant Sorrow." The backing Clinch Mountain Boys kick major butt on such cuts as "Hard Times," a manic "Clinch Mountain Backstep," and, with Stanley's unique banjo style, on "Pretty Polly." This is strong stuff: powered by Stanley's ageless goosebump-inducing tenor, "Rank Stranger" flows out of the holler like a mountain stream, and 1977's "Oh, Death" remains one of the most chilling songs ever put down. Given Stanley's current high profile and the inclusive nature of the material, this set has fine potential at retail and well represents a remarkable artist.—RW

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