Bill Clifton

Around the World to Poor Valley

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As a wealthy northerner, Bill Clifton's career in bluegrass and old-timey music not only demonstrated the universal appeal of musical forms previously associated with the poor, rural South, but paved the way for the broad success of the bluegrass revival in the '60s and '70s among artists and audiences from diverse backgrounds. Ironically, Clifton adhered more strictly to the traditions of old-timey and bluegrass music than many of the vaunted bluegrass artists with more "authentic" upbringings. Around the World to Poor Valley is an eight-disc box set that compiles most, but not all, of Clifton's commercial recordings, from his 1954 recordings for Blue Ridge Records to a song he recorded in 1995 for a compilation. In between are his complete Mercury and Starday recordings from the late '50s and '60s, including albums such as Carter Family Memorial Album, Soldier, Sing Me a Song, and Code of the Mountains. Clifton's sound gravitated away from bluegrass toward old-timey and folk music after he left Starday, so the later sides find him singing traditional tunes to the strum of an autoharp, playing folk and cowboy songs on an acoustic guitar, and even performing an entire album of autoharp instrumentals. These efforts have more in common with Canadian country than the music of the American South, and resemble the folksy styles of Stu Phillips and Ian Tyson. From the '70s onward, Clifton increasingly performed for audiences in Europe, where he recorded a number of studio sessions and live shows for release on various independent labels. Some of the box set's omissions include Clifton's noncommercial recordings from 1952 (available on the Bear Family LP A Bluegrass Session) and several of his live and studio albums recorded overseas in the '70s and '80s. A 100-page hardback book features a detailed biography and complete discography, plus a wealth of photographs and memorabilia spanning Clifton's entire career.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:04
2 2:29
3
2:11
4 4:02
5 2:23
6 2:34
7 2:58
8 2:23
9 2:33
10 2:36
11 2:35
12 2:32
13 2:59
14 2:35
15 3:28
16 3:07
17 2:55
18 2:26
19 3:01
20 2:27
21 2:28
22 2:24
23 2:55
24 2:59
25 2:01
26
2:11
27 1:53
28 2:24

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:43
2 2:42
3 2:40
4 2:28
5 2:26
6
1:45
7 2:28
8
2:10
9
2:21
10 2:57
11 2:51
12 2:20
13 2:26
14 2:41
15
3:06
16 2:57
17 2:57
18 2:36
19
3:16
20 3:05
21
2:51
22
2:25
23 2:48
24 2:04
25
3:09
26
1:56
27 2:49
28 3:03
29 2:38
30
2:53

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:41
2 3:15
3 3:09
4
2:27
5 3:24
6 2:40
7
2:35
8
2:46
9 1:57
10
2:36
11
2:26
12 1:52
13
1:59
14
3:20
15
3:07
16 2:42
17
2:55
18 2:36
19 2:42
20 2:55
21
3:25
22 3:12
23
2:50
24 1:43
25 2:04
26 1:50
27 2:11
28
3:20
29
1:47

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:37
2 3:59
3 2:14
4 2:16
5 2:22
6 3:02
7 2:13
8 3:07
9 3:43
10 2:36
11 2:40
12 1:40
13 2:36
14
2:41
15 2:07
16 3:39
17 2:18
18 2:24
19 3:48
20 2:27
21 2:24
22 1:51
23 2:14
24
2:25
25 2:09
26 2:27
27 3:27
28 1:34
29 1:45

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
4:05
2 1:49
3 2:49
4 2:10
5 2:15
6 2:41
7 3:39
8 2:12
9 2:49
10 3:07
11 3:19
12 3:28
13 2:25
14
2:00
15 2:34
16 2:37
17
2:29
18
1:13
19 3:41
20 1:20
21 1:34
22 2:40
23 2:34
24 2:29
25 2:45
26 3:33
27
3:48
28
2:41
29
4:09

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:37
2 2:51
3 3:20
4
3:13
5 2:13
6 2:11
7 3:37
8 2:09
9 2:44
10 2:14
11 3:14
12 2:11
13 3:45
14 1:35
15
2:21
16 2:13
17 3:52
18 3:18
19 3:08
20 2:14
21 2:26
22
3:18
23 2:42
24
3:11
25 2:25
26
2:20
27 2:45
28 2:13
29 3:05

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Red Rector
2:38
2
feat: Red Rector
1:56
3
feat: Red Rector
2:05
4
feat: Red Rector
2:46
5
feat: Red Rector
1:49
6
feat: Red Rector
1:37
7
feat: Red Rector
2:37
8
feat: Red Rector
2:48
9
feat: Red Rector
4:13
10
feat: Red Rector
1:31
11
feat: Red Rector
3:28
12
feat: Red Rector
2:53
13
feat: Red Rector
2:31
14
feat: Red Rector
2:37
15
feat: Red Rector
2:27
16
feat: Red Rector
3:01
17 1:51
18 3:08
19
4:08
20
3:27
21 2:28
22
2:06
23
2:24
24 2:43
25 4:12
26 2:05
27 2:49
28 3:12
29
3:23
blue highlight denotes track pick