Early Recordings (1991)

Lilly Brothers & Don Stover

Each time we play this classic album it reminds us that we need to make up a guide list to the all-- time best albums in Bluegrass—even with all the classic albums that cover the careers of Monroe, Stanley, Reno & Smiley etc, this gem by the Lillys has to be among the top 20. Recorded in 1956 and 1957 by the tiny Event label in the state of Maine, while the Lilly Brothers were in their peak years at the Hillbilly Ranch in Boston, it presents dynamic, no holds barred traditional Bluegrass music that is thrilling from start to finish. Yet despite the fervor and intensity of the music here, there is nothing sloppy or ragged about it. Everett & Bea Lilly—who idolized the Monroe Brothers—start with a mandolin & guitar base that may be even more forceful than that of Charlie & Bill Monroe. By the time you add in the hard-driving 5-string of Stover and a bass fiddle, you have a sound that is about unique in Bluegrass. It’s a wonderful collection of songs that include Tragic Romance, Little Annie, Bring Back My Blue Eyed Boy, Long Journey Home, Southern Skies.


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