Not only does Award Winning Country Gentlemen culminate a major shift in direction for the Country Gentlemen, it is also quite possibly their finest album. Charlie Waller had to reassemble the group in the early '70s, bringing in a new lineup -- including mandolinist Doyle Lawson, bassist Bill Yates and banjoist Bill Emerson -- that helped move the Country Gentlemen even further into contemporary music. On Award Winning, the band covers songs by rock and folk songwriters like Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot, bringing a bluegrass attitude and instrumentation to the contemporary numbers. The result is a stunning record, with a great selection of songs and simply stunning musicianship.
AllMusic Review by Thom Owens