March 29, 2010

Black Diamond Show Playlist for 3/29/10 (, WNHU 88.7 FM West Haven, CT)

A lot of tunes I like on today's show. Only one crazy song: Ted Gossett's "Fox Chase"--the baying of the dogs and the fox come through loud and clear in his fiddle part. And of course, I screw up a band name or two--e.g., calling the Steep Canyon Rangers by the wrong name. . . .

But the music's a lot of fun. I played two tracks from the original copy (1972) I have of Larry Sparks' 2nd LP--been released and re-released with different names as his catalog has been issued at different times. To me, the picture of the young Larry Sparks, with young Mike Lilly posturing with his banjo, and Wendy Miller holding his mandolin like the goofball he was in concert, and old Art Wydner with his bass--oh and with the three sidemen in matching white polyester pants and belts--with bright red shirts--brings back memories of seeing them in October 1972. Still good stuff--even without my sentimental memories. . . .

In the 2nd half hour, I did play a set of all "old-time" music--the set that begins with Fox Chase. I tried to keep it a varied set--artists from KY, PA, NC, and WVa--and recordings from 1930-1990. But other than that, I just tried to keep a fun mix of music.

Use the "Make a request" link to the right to request a song or to send me a note about a concert or dance I should mention on the air. Thanks for your support!

Playlist for 3/29 Black Diamond Show:

3/29/2010 1 Don Stover  --  Black Diamond
3/29/2010 2 Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys -- Baby Blue Eyes
3/29/2010 3 Chance McCoy & the Appalachian String Band -- Lazy John
3/29/2010 4 Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys -- Right or Wrong
3/29/2010 5 Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys -- Blue Moon of Kentucky
3/29/2010 6 Monroe Brothers -- On that Old Gospel Ship
3/29/2010 7 Brittany Haas -- Ora Lee
3/29/2010 8 Steep Canyon Rangers -- I Can't Sit Down
3/29/2010 9 Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys -- There's Better Times A-Comin'
3/29/2010 10 Walter Williams -- Pass around the bottle
3/29/2010 11 Rhonda Vincent -- Hit Parade of Love
3/29/2010 12 "Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers" (Hot Rize) -- Dixie Cannonball
3/29/2010 13 Ted Gossett's String Band -- Fox Chase
3/29/2010 14 Jamie Watson -- Big Cash Giveaway
3/29/2010 15 Green Grass Cloggers & Friends -- Moonshine in the North Carolina Hills
3/29/2010 16 Clark Kessinger -- Red Bird
3/29/2010 17 Kenny Baker -- Gold Rush
3/29/2010 18 Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers -- Just Lovin' You
3/29/2010 19 Lefty Frizzell -- Cigarettes and Coffee
3/29/2010 20 Johhny Warren (fiddle) & Kenny Ingram (banjo) -- Old Joe
3/29/2010 21 Rose Maddox w/ Vern Williams Band -- Single Girl
3/29/2010 22 Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys -- We Shall Rise
3/29/2010 23 Paul Williams and the Victory Trio -- Someone made the sandals Jesus wore
3/29/2010 24 Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys (including JD Crowe & Paul Williams) -- Sophronie
3/29/2010 25 Brown's Ferry Four -- If We Never Meet Again
3/29/2010 26 Flatt & Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys -- I'll Never Shed Another Tear
3/29/2010 27 Red Allen, Frank Wakefield, & the Kentuckians -- New Camptown Races
3/29/2010 28 Big Medicine -- What does the lonesome dove say?
3/29/2010 29 Bob Walters -- Five Miles out of Town
3/29/2010 30 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver -- Big Wind
3/29/2010 31 Jim & Jesse -- Tears of Regret
3/29/2010 32 Red Clay Ramblers -- Will You Miss Me?
3/29/2010 33 Claire Lynch -- My Florida Sunshine
3/29/2010 34 Adam Hurt -- Cabin Creek
3/29/2010 35 Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers (Mike Lilly, Banjo) -- Kentucky Banjo
3/29/2010 36 Monroe Brothers -- Katie Cline
3/29/2010 37 Stanley Brothers -- I'll be true to the one I love
3/29/2010 38 Blue Sky Boys -- What does the deep sea say?
3/29/2010 39 Don Stover -- Black Diamond

March 25, 2010

Concert Announcements, Square Dances, Contra Dances

Use the "Make a request" link to the right to let me know of any
  • Concerts (Bluegrass, Old-Time)
  • Festivals (Bluegrass, Folk, Old-Time)
  • Square Dances
  • Contra Dances
you'd like me to mention on the air. So far, I've just been making passing reference to the Concerts sections of the CTBMA Old Home Place--another of the links to the right of this blog. I'll typically make such announcements towards the beginning of the last half hour (a song or two past 1:30).

Of course, you can also use the "Make a request" link to just make a request, too.

3/29 show is "in the can." It will be a good one--lots of old-time, lots of bluegrass, and lots of "Brother Duets." Tracks from 5 LPs I digitized this week, too (Jimmy Martin, Larry Sparks, Joe Val, Frank Wakefield & Red Allen, and the Monroe Brothers).

March 22, 2010

Playlist for Black Diamond Show, 3/22/10, WNHU 88.7 FM (West Haven CT) and

Today's show was a lot of fun for me to put together. It starts out with Big Medicine doing a song that you know you'll hear again on Mother's Day, goes back to my favorite cassette tape of "driving music"--used to have it blasting as I'd cruise I-70 between Columbia, MO and St. Louis way back last millenium. . . .

I love all the music I picked out for today's show, but there were a couple highlights for me: Dunbar--a great "C" tune played so well by Big Medicine, two "spelling songs" (after I picked out the Blue Sky Boys S-A-V-E-D -- how could I resist playing the C-H-I-C-K-E-N song?), Larry Sparks' "John Deere Tractor," a lot of "old friends"--songs that, as Doyle Lawson sings, prove that nothing's as "sweet as yesterday's songs." But the tracks by Banjo Dan, Big Medicine, Perfect Strangers, Adam Hurt, Rayna Gellert, Doyle Lawson, and Dailey & Vincent show that there are plenty of folks out there right now playing great versions of the old music we like so well.

Two hidden treasures I'd forgotten about until this week (both from CDs): Red Allen's son Harley singing "Carolina in the Pines." I used to think that Doyle Lawson's version from the late 70s was my favorite, but this one's mighty fine. . . . What do you think? The other one: Banjo Dan and the Mid-Nite Plowboys "C'est la vie." I just cracked up over that one. A very good bluegrass tune--but singing half of it in French? Guess if you're based in Vermont, you have to be ready to cross over the border into Quebec and connect with the crowd up in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle or Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel. . . . :-)

I've fallen behind on digitizing LPs, but will try to have some "new old stuff" ready to go next week. Thanks so much for all your support over the past few months. Notice that I've added a "Make a request" link over on the side of this blog. Drop me a note. Make a request!

Without any further ado, here's the playlist for today.

3/22/2010 1 Don Stover -- Black Diamond
3/22/2010 2 Big Medicine -- I know whose tears
3/22/2010 3 David Grisman Quintet -- E.M.D.
3/22/2010 4 Dailey & Vincent -- Head Hung Down
3/22/2010 5 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver -- Yesterday's Songs
3/22/2010 6 Flatt & Scruggs & Foggy Mountain Boys -- I'm head over heels in love with you
3/22/2010 7 Red Clay Ramblers -- When bacon was scarce/Ryestraw
3/22/2010 8 Ernest Tubb -- Walkin' the floor over you
3/22/2010 9 Here Today -- Green Pastures
3/22/2010 10 Bill Stepp & Walter Williams -- Wild Horse
3/22/2010 11 Bluegrass Album Band -- Take me in your lifeboat
3/22/2010 12 Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, & Bluegrass Boys -- I'm going back to old Kentucky
3/22/2010 13 Blue Sky Boys -- I'm S-A-V-E-D
3/22/2010 14 Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys -- Cotton Mill Man
3/22/2010 15 Osborne Brothers & Red Allen -- Wild Mountain Honey
3/22/2010 16 Kirk McGee & Blythe Poteet -- C-H-I-C-K-E-N
3/22/2010 17 Perfect Strangers -- Bluegrass in the backwoods
3/22/2010 18 Harley Allen -- Carolina in the pines
3/22/2010 19 Brown's Ferry Four (Merle Travis, Grandpa Jones, & the Delmore Brothers) -- Over in the Gloryland
3/22/2010 20 Larry Sparks -- John Deere Tractor
3/22/2010 21 Del McCoury -- You're a flower in the wildwood
3/22/2010 22 Rayna Gellert & Susie Goehring -- Sweet as the flowers in May time
3/22/2010 23 Stanley Brothers -- Gathering flowers from the Master's bouquet
3/22/2010 24 Adam Hurt -- Flowers of Edinburgh
3/22/2010 25 Dailey & Vincent -- Your love is like a flower
3/22/2010 26 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band w/ "Brother Oswald" -- You are my flower
3/22/2010 27 David Holt -- Wildwood Flower
3/22/2010 28 Critton Hollow String Band -- Possum on a gum stump
3/22/2010 29 Banjo Dan & the Mid-Nite Plowboys -- C'est la vie
3/22/2010 30 Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, Sharon Gilchrist, & Bryn Bright -- Shady Grove
3/22/2010 31 Al Dexter & His Troopers -- Love lanes of yesterday
3/22/2010 32 Big Medicine -- Dunbar
3/22/2010 33 Alison Krause & James Taylor -- How's the world treating you?
3/22/2010 34 Hank Williams -- Dear John
3/22/2010 35 Jimmy Martin -- Save it, save it
3/22/2010 36 Don Stover -- Black Diamond

March 15, 2010

Playlist for 3/15/10: Black Diamond Show, WNHU

This week's show goes out to my mom--today is her 84th birthday. I wonder if she'll take time out from tennis, cactus league baseball, and all the other things she does to listen in on! Happy Birthday Emily!

Anyway, this week's show was a lot of fun to put together--I was having such a good time digging things out to play that I didn't leave time for the excerpt of Don Stover's "Black Diamond" that usually ends the show. We still had a few train songs to get out of my system--including 2 versions of the Wreck of the Old 97--including Vernon Dalhart's version recorded back in about 1924 on an old Edison system. One of these days, I'll get around to digitizing Country Gazette's version--I think I have a version on LP where they add sound effects. . . . But for today, Lost & Found's version is also an excellent one.

Other highlights: Hank Bradley's "Bricks and Mortar"--for Tony and Marge; plenty of "brothers" duets; Nickel Creek's "You don't have to move that mountain"--for Zach and REL; some good ol' fiddle tunes from Snake Chapman, Rayna Gellart, the New Pilot Mountaineers, and the Camp Creek Boys; plenty of good bluegrass old and new; Ola Belle Reed's original version of "High on a Mountain"; and a couple of tracks from Chris Brashear and Peter McLaughlin's 2008 CD. Thanks, Chris, for sending me a copy!

Actually, Chris's CD prompted me to add a new block on the right hand side of this blog thanking those of you from the music business who support the Black Diamond Show. Thanks, guys.

I'd like to thank everyone who commented on the Black Diamond Show at the Big Medicine concert put on by the Brandywine Friends of Old-Time Music. Was fun to learn that there are people in Maryland, PA, and DE who tune in to a CT-based radio show online. And thanks to the folks I heard from during today's show--heard from folks in PA, MI, and AZ. Thanks for your support!

Herewith the playlist for today's show:

3/15/2010 1 Don Stover -- Black Diamond
3/15/2010 2 Longview -- I heard my mother weeping
3/15/2010 3 Byron Berline, Dan Crary, & John Hickman -- Northern Slope
3/15/2010 4 Snake Chapman -- Big Black Cat
3/15/2010 5 Lost & Found -- Wreck of the Old 97
3/15/2010 6 Chris Brashear & Peter McLaughlin -- That old train
3/15/2010 7 Seldom Scene -- Working on a Building
3/15/2010 8 Vernon Dalhart -- Wreck of the Old 97
3/15/2010 9 Alecia Nugent -- Cryin' all the way to the bank
3/15/2010 10 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver -- Speak softly, you're talking to my heart
3/15/2010 11 Sandy Bradley, Laurie Andres, Caitlin Whiteside -- Mother Reel
3/15/2010 12 Blue Highway -- Lonesome Hearted Blues
3/15/2010 13 Hank Bradley -- Bricks and Mortar
3/15/2010 14 Wayne Hancock -- Drinkin' Blues
3/15/2010 15 Nashville Bluegrass Band -- Tell me your love is still true
3/15/2010 16 Delmore Brothers -- Brown's Ferry Blues
3/15/2010 17 Blue Sky Boys -- Turn your radio on
3/15/2010 18 Louvin Brothers -- When I stop dreaming
3/15/2010 19 New Pilot Mountaineers -- Little Dutch Girl
3/15/2010 20 Del McCoury Band -- Man can't live on bread alone
3/15/2010 21 Jim & Jesse -- Dear Old Mother
3/15/2010 22 Greystone Ramblers -- Cuckoo's Nest
3/15/2010 23 Seldom Scene -- Mama Tried
3/15/2010 24 Ola Belle Reed -- High on a mountain
3/15/2010 25 Chris Brashear & Peter McLaughlin -- Come in stranger
3/15/2010 26 Mac Wiseman & The Country Boys -- Love letters in the sand
3/15/2010 27 Nickel Creek -- You don't have to move that mountain
3/15/2010 28 Merle Travis, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, et al. -- Dark as a Dungeon
3/15/2010 29 Rayna Gellert & Susie Goehring -- Five miles from town
3/15/2010 30 Rice Brothers -- This old house
3/15/2010 31 Kenny & Amanda Smith Band -- I can't sit down
3/15/2010 32 Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, & Bluegrass Boys -- Toy Heart
3/15/2010 33 Rhonda Vincent & The Rage -- The last best place
3/15/2010 34 Red Smiley & the Bluegrass Cutups w/ Tater Tate -- Whistling Rufus
3/15/2010 35 Uncle Eck Dunford -- Skip to my Lou my darling
3/15/2010 36 Dreadful Snakes -- In Despair
3/15/2010 37 Camp Creek Boys -- Old Joe Clark

March 8, 2010

Playlist for 3/8/10 -- Black Diamond Show, WNHU 88.7 FM (

As I started putting the show together, song after song just sort of jumped out and made a train theme! It all started with Blue Moon Rising's "Freight Train," which led, naturally to the Delmore Brothers' "Freight Train Boogie"--and it just kept going and going. . . . Jim Nunnally's "Big Train from Memphis" and Doc Watson's solo version of "Train that carried my girl from town" were special treats for me to play. And Seldom Scene's "Old Train" made me feel like it was 35 years ago--what's with that grey hair?? That wasn't there when I unwrapped that LP!

One of the problems with listening to LPs over and over is that they tend to wear out. . . . So I was pleased that "Cowboy's Dream" from The Fly By Night String Band's 1979 LP digitized so nicely--some other tracks from my copy of that LP have not done so well.

There are certain bluegrass and old-time country songs that, even though you know what's coming, cause a little tug on the heartstrings (e.g., "Bringing Mary Home," "Two Little Boys," etc.). Well, Charlie & Ira Louvin's "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby" is one of those songs for me. I first heard it performed by Mary McCaslin and Jim Ringer sometime in the '70s, I think. The first time you hear it, you think it might turn into another murder ballad or broken-hearted-leaving-town-never-to-return lament, so the resolution is--or was to me on first hearing--a very pleasant surprise. Anyway, this week we went back to the source and played a version the Louvins recorded live in the mid-50s.

And then there's a little mini-set that I should explain more than I did on the air--the connection between the three songs was Jimmy Martin: I played Paul Williams & The Victory Trio's "I've been set free" from their latest Rebel CD, then Jimmy Martin's "Sunny Side of the Mountain" from the 1973 Bean Blossom, IN, festival, and then Longview's "Across the Seas Blues." Back in the day, before switching to Gospel 100% of the time, Paul Williams used to play in Jimmy Martin's "classic" version of the Sunny Mountain Boys. And Longview do a great job of covering Martin's "Across the Seas Blues"--I admit to having a lot of affection for that honkey-tonk bluegrass--Buzz Busby, Red Allen, Jimmy Martin, Osborne Brothers--a reminder that even within bluegrass, there is a lot of variety.

And do you know how much self-control it takes for me NOT to play at least one Lefty Frizzell number every week??

Enjoyed hearing from folks in PA, DE, MD, CT, and MI today. Thanks for your support! And here's today's complete playlist:

3/8/2010 1 Don Stover -- Black Diamond
3/8/2010 2 Blue Moon Rising -- Freight Train
3/8/2010 3 Delmore Brothers -- Freight Train Boogie
3/8/2010 4 Rayna Gellart & Susie Goehring -- Train on the Island
3/8/2010 5 Blue Highway -- Through the window of a train
3/8/2010 6 Jimmie Rodgers -- Waiting for a train
3/8/2010 7 Jim Nunnally -- Big Train from Memphis
3/8/2010 8 Doc Watson -- The train that carried my girl from town
3/8/2010 9 Seldom Scene -- Old Train
3/8/2010 10 Mac Martin & The Dixie Travellers -- Blue Railroad Train
3/8/2010 11 Snuffy Jenkins & Pappy Sherrill -- C&NW Railroad Blues
3/8/2010 12 Claire Lynch -- Crazy Train
3/8/2010 13 Foghorn Stringband -- Georgia Railroad
3/8/2010 14 Bluegrass Album Band -- A hundred years from now
3/8/2010 15 Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys -- Walkin' in Jerusalem
3/8/2010 16 Fly By Night String Band -- Cowboy's Dream
3/8/2010 17 Lilly Brothers w/ Don Stover & Tex Logan -- Riding on my Savior's train
3/8/2010 18 Lefty Frizzell -- Give me more, more, more
3/8/2010 19 Louvin Brothers -- I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby
3/8/2010 20 Cherryholmes -- Devil in Disguise
3/8/2010 21 David Grisman -- Opus 38
3/8/2010 22 Flatt & Scruggs & Foggy Mountain Boys -- Pearl, Pearl, Pearl
3/8/2010 23 Paul Williams & The Victory Trio -- I've been set free
3/8/2010 24 Jimmy Martin -- Sunny Side of the Mountain
3/8/2010 25 Longview -- Across the Seas Blues
3/8/2010 26 Art Stamper -- The Rusty Gun
3/8/2010 27 Stanley Brothers -- Ramshackle Shack on the Hill
3/8/2010 28 Bluegrass Album Band -- Cheyenne
3/8/2010 29 Merle Travis -- John Henry
3/8/2010 30 Nashville Bluegrass Band -- Pretty Red Lips
3/8/2010 31 Jim & Jesse -- I'll wash your love from my heart
3/8/2010 32 Steep Canyon Ramblers -- Sylvie
3/8/2010 33 Bob Wills -- Sugar Moon
3/8/2010 34 Jim Eanes & Shenandoah Valley Boys (Allen Shelton, banjo) -- Whispering
3/8/2010 35 Del McCoury Band -- 1952 Red Vincent Lightning
3/8/2010 36 Chance McCoy & Appalachian String Band -- Gospel Plow
3/8/2010 37 Steep Canyon Ramblers -- I must be somebody else you've known
3/8/2010 38 Green Grass Cloggers & Smokey Valley Boys -- Backstep Cindy
3/8/2010 39 Dry Branch Fire Squad -- Adieu to Cold Weather
3/8/2010 40 Don Stover -- Black Diamond