Bluegrass CD recommendations

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by Thomas W. Bethel, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Can someone give me some suggestions as to the best sounding Bluegrass albums?

    I have a client that is really hung up on Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs sound and I want to educate his pallet a bit more.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. fiddler59

    fiddler59 Active Member

    Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, The Bluegrass Band, Ricky Skaggs, any of these more recently recorded cd's are excellent. There are many more too. These are just some that come to the top of my head.
  3. QuickDiscs

    QuickDiscs Guest

    Nickelcreek is a great newer sounding bluegrass group.
    Great sounding records.
  4. ctyragdoll

    ctyragdoll Active Member

    See if you can find some old David Grisman or The Seldom Scene - excellent artistry and superb recording quality. I second the Kraus/Union Station suggestion as well.
  5. fiddler59

    fiddler59 Active Member

    I wouldn't call Nickel Creek's more Pinkgrass........
  6. fiddler59

    fiddler59 Active Member

    Most traditional Bluegrass comes from one or a combination of these three
    schools, Bill Monroe, Stanley Bros. & Flatt & Scruggs.........Might have to throw Jimmy martin in there to for making crooked songs kool.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Back in the late eighties, I did some live Seldom Scene multitrack recordings. I individually Miked all instruments and also included a front of stage stereo pair as if it was an orchestral recording. There were also transformer isolated microphones splitters for the vocals and some other instruments since there was a PA system also involved.

    This way I had the best of both worlds and could have the lovely ambience microphones along with the closer direct microphones. It made for a very nice recording into a one half-inch TASCAM 8 track recorder, without noise reduction (and meticulously aligned). Running Scotch 226. The console was a rather dreadful SOUNDTRACS 16 x 8 x 16, that had the worst ever microphone preamplifiers I had ever heard but it did all that I wanted to do (can you say a single 5534?). Even the equalizer's were rather wretched, so I didn't use them much. As I recall, the master tape went to Bias in Springfield Virginia for mixing on their API board. Bob Dawson does lovely work as evidence in his Grammy win for Mary Chapin Carpenter.

    A bigger board for a bigger broad now
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  8. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    Better Sounding

    Hi Thomas,
    I'm not sure what you mean by "better sounding", I thinking you mean recording quality.
    Considering though that bluegrass pickers can be a finicky lot about what they like, and/or what they think 'is' bluegrass. As stated your client has a definite preference for Flatt & Scruggs, and yup, their early records are pretty rough. My suggetion to 'educate his pallet', it might be safest to do it with more contempoary sounding 'traditional' bluegrass bands. Most of which if not all will sound light years better in recording quality than the early stuff, ie Flatt, Scruggs, Monroe....etc.
    Some names....yea Del McCoury for sure. Ralph Stanley is alive and kicking, I'm sure he has recent CDs out. Don't forget Bill Monroe only died a few years ago, so his later stuff was recorded fairly well.
    Open Road is a great contempary group out now, with a real traditional sound, he'd probably like. Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver - "Dig a Little Deeper" a great CD, not straying to far from tradition, Doyle is a tradition, unbelievable vocal stuff.
    "The Bluegrass Album Band" - JD Crow, Tony Rice amoung others put out some really great stuff in the eighties, great classic blugrass with decent recording quality. You can't be any kinda' ed-u-cated and not be hip to this stuff, and JD Crow and the New South is just classic stuff.
    Whew the list goes on and on... so much great stuff, i'm leaving out.
    Of late, bands that try to keep a foot in tradition but do stray out a bit, at the top of the contempary scene, that your client might really like and are recorded well are The Lonsome River Band (One Step Foward = great CD) and the other group is Blue Highway, their self title album is on of my favorites. These two bands can be jaw dropping at times.
    There is so much good stuff out there, but if he likes Flatt & Scruggs I'd point him toward more traditional stuff like I mentioned above and not some much to the likes of Nicheal Creek or Alison Krauss, fantasic as they are,....but hey that's just my 2 cents and besides it's pretty hard not to fall in love with Alison Krauss the first time you hear her open her mouth.

    PSS: you might also check some of the top selling bluegrass CD list you can find on the web, and bluegrass festival sites to get an idea of who's on top these days.
  9. TheJosh

    TheJosh Guest

    not to be overly simplistic, but if he wants an old school bluegrass sound, you could try the whole "gather 'round the mic" thing... i dunno- i know all you recording buffs may get mad at me, but sometimes i really digg that simpler sound- i even like those old scratchy field recordings, man, what can i say?

    i am just getting into recording, and quite ignorant, but in bluegrass ain't the pickin' more important than what pre-amps you use?
  10. gilligan204

    gilligan204 Guest


    They do the old 1 mic thing, it rules , and its about guys playing in a room together, not about, micing , and mulitracking
  11. BigRay

    BigRay Guest

    thats easy!



    Stanley Brothers =Uncloudy Day

    Alison Krauss/Union Station-Live
    Doyle Lawson and Quick Silver - He Lives in Me
    Del and The Boys-Del Mcoury

    Will the Circle Be Unbroken (30th Anniversary Edition) by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
    The Grass Is Blue- Dolly Parton
    Don Rigsby, The Midnight Call

    Act 3- Seldom Scene
    Dr. Banjo Steps Out- Pete Wernick
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    All of those suggestions are great, but I wouldn't go anywhere without my copy of The SpitBoys, Spank That Monkey and Other Love Songs. Its destined to be a classic.

    If we ever get off our asses and get a distributor. 8)
  13. fiddler59

    fiddler59 Active Member

    Diamond on the one......spank the five.....and a meat and three ending !!!!!!!

  14. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Please don't spank me Davedog! oooohhh aaahhhh oh well!

    I'm a bad dog
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  15. Gilliland

    Gilliland Guest

    While it's not really bluegrass (though it comes closer than a number of things mentioned above!), one of the best ever acoustic recordings (in terms of sheer recording quality) is the first Norman Blake and Tony Rice CD on Rounder.

    The second one is nice, but it doesn't have the same magic.

    Some of the recordings on Grisman's Acoustic Disc label have extremely high audio quality, though again, most are not bluegrass.
  16. hilltop

    hilltop Active Member

    Doyle Lawson, Third Time out,Kenny Smith, Grascals
  17. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    I would think tha someone who grew up on Flatt and Scruggs would not find Alison Krause or Nickle Creek much to their taste.

    J.D. Crowe, Dailey & Vincent, Del McCoury, etc. are more traditional bands. There's a ton of them out there.
  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Oh I dunno...When Alison was real young she was very traditional. Good fiddler. Cant say enough about Dan T's contribution to bring that old-timey sound back into peoples earshot. Nickle Creek is quite another thing altogether, but its good to see younger folks trying on the overalls their elders wore.

    Nowadays, Alison has taken flight but theres still that high lonesome thing in her voice. Its not a hard hike to trace the roots and we know they come from The Whites, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin,The Dillards....etc. And one cant really get past the inspirations of bluegrass coming directly from the folk music from the early teens and through the great depression and the dustbowl days. Who doesnt hear a bit of troubador Woodie Guthrie in all these types of songs.

    Bluegrass in its true form isnt all that old. Of course Bill Monroe invented the term, and got his inspiartion from the backwoods yodelers and hilltoppers and the Saturday night reel dance, but the pro sound we mostly associate with Bluegrass is all about the great players and instrumentalists bringing this colloquial sound into the living rooms through the radio and victrolas of the 20th century.

    BTW. GZ, I'm in the Portland area too.

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