Hi, there... This page is part of the Slipcue guide to various bluegrass artists, which is part of a much larger Hick Music website. This "guide" is not meant to be comprehensive or authoritative, just a quick look at a few records I've heard recently, as well as some old favorites. Comments or corrections are invited... and recommendations are always welcome!
This is the second page covering the letter "W"
Whetstone Run "Time Sure Flies" (Red Dog Records, 1981) (LP)
Bluegrass music from Pennsylvania, featuring singer Tim Craven who later founded the Rustical Quality String Band, which recorded on the same label... Whetstone Run was formed in the early 1970s and cycled through a wealth of East Coast/Midwestern talent.
Whetstone Run "No Use Frettin' " (Red Dog Records, 1984) (LP)
(Produced by Alan O'Bryant)
This edition of the band featured Lynn Morris on banjo and her future husband Marshall Wilborn on bass, Morris having previously played with the fabled City Limits bluegrass band... The pair stayed with the band until 1986, when it dissolved, and a couple of years later co-founded the Lynn Morris Band, where she carved out a niche as one of bluegrass music's most prominent women...
Buck White & The Whites -- see artist discography
White House "White House" (Pinecastle, 2003)
A nice change of pace from the current crop of flawless melodic traditionalist bluegrassers. This band, which takes its name from a musician-packed Nashville suburb, includes Larry Stephenson, Del McCoury's fiddler, Jason Carter, David Parmley of Continental Divide, banjo plunker Charlie Cushman, and bassist Missy Raines, who normally tilts toward the acoustic blues. They're playing a bunch of standard-issue oldies, material by Bill Clifton, Jimmy Martin and the Stanley Brothers, as well as a couple of newer songs by the late Randall Hylton, and the like... But they play in a slightly clompy style -- not old-timey exactly, but not as slick and perfect as most truegrassers these days. Might be too choppy for some modern fans, but for those of us who like a few rough edges, this might help liven things up a bit.
Jeff White "The White Album" (Rounder, 1996)
A newgrass album with a light, distinctive touch... Guests (and influences) include Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, and Pete Wernick (of Hot Rize fame...) This may be too soft and mellow for some folks, but the nice moments are rather sweet.
Jeff White "The Broken Road" (Rounder, 1999)
Mellow modern stuff, with a progressive, songwriterly bent. White doesn't have a powerful voice, but his understated delivery brings these songs home time and time again. Not dazzling, but nice... and certainly doesn't sound like every other bluegrass album out there. If you're looking for a pleasant new set of original songs (and songs that are new to bluegrass), then this slow-paced album may suit your fancy. Some of the usual suspects -- notably Jerry Douglas and Alison Krauss -- pitch in as well.
Roland White "I Wasn't Born To Rock 'N Roll" (Tompkins Square, 1975/2010)
Reissue of a 1975 album, originally on the Ridge Runner label...
Roland White "Trying To Get To You" (Sugar Hill, 1994)
(Produced by Butch Baldassari)
Roland White "Jelly On My Tofu" (2002)
Produced by Roland White & Mark Howard)
Tim White & Friends "The Possum Tapes" (Fat Dog, 1993)
A funny little record with a bunch of songs about... yup, you guessed it: the humble, bumbling opossum. This is a kooky concept album, sure, but it's also more cohesive than some of White's other comedic outings with the VW Boys. Some heavy hitters chip in on here as well, guest stars including Jim & Jesse, Jimmy Martin, Carl Jackson and others. An odd album, but charming. Besides... who knew there were so many songs about possums? Pogo would be proud.
Whitetop Mountain Band "Echoes Of The Blue Ridge" (Epecho, 2005)
The Whitetop Mountain Band "Bull Plus 10%" (Arhoolie, 2006)
YEE-HAW. This record is a real treat -- an uncompromised, uncomplicated, absolutely gleeful live set of good-old, old-timey stringband and truegrass tunes... Lots of standards, songs you'll recognize, a few you won't, all delivered with complete sincerity and the sort of pure, unselfconscious enjoyment that is all too rare in our too-cool, media-saturated culture. This disc is a lot of fun, with lively fiddling and puckish vocals by Emily and Martha Spencer... Recommended!
Keith Whitley & Ricky Skaggs "Second Generation" (Rebel, 1971/1990)
These early '70s recordings capture two young members of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys just as they were about to go out on their own as vanguard members of the newgrass generation. Both Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs cut new roads in the '70s country renaissance, and in the next decade each also successfully moved into the world of commercial Top 40 Country. But here they are, young and earnest as can be, singing pure, sweet bluegrass and playing with a magical melodic grace. This album was originally a modest release, not entirely off the radar, and a welcome surprise for the bluegrass faithful, though not a blockbuster hit by a long shot. Now, decades later, it's a wonderful document of two master musicians in their early years. Plus, it's just enchanting -- great music performed with real feeling. Thank goodness Rebel dusted this one off for modern listeners to check out again... it's highly recommended!
Bluegrass Albums - More Letter "W"
Hick Music Index