Tex Logan

Bluegrass Get Together

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Sometimes, A&R departments come up with bad, misguided ideas that simply don't work. And sometimes, they come up with great ideas that lead to excellent albums. A shining example of the latter occurred in 1963, when producer Paul Rothchild (an A&R man for Prestige at the time) decided that fiddler Tex Logan should make a record with the Charles River Valley Boys. Logan and the CRVB liked Rothchild's idea, and in March 1964, Rothchild brought them together to record this fine LP. One of the things that Logan and the CRVB had in common was a Boston connection; although Logan was originally from Texas, he had spent some time in the Massachusetts city -- and Boston was where the CRVB was based. To some bluegrass purists, the phrase "Boston-based bluegrass band" might sound like an oxymoron; bluegrass artists, they believe, are supposed to come from the South or parts of the Midwest -- not the largest city in New England. But in fact, the CRVB were first-class bluegrass musicians, and they are quite faithful to the spirit of Appalachian music on Bluegrass Get Together. Throughout the album, Logan enjoys a strong rapport with the CRVB's 1964 lineup, which includes Bob Siggins on banjo and vocals, John Cooke on acoustic guitar and vocals, Joe Val on mandolin and vocals, and Fritz Richmond on washtub bass and vocals. And that Logan/CRVB chemistry yields exciting results on a vinyl LP that ranges from two Bill Monroe classics ("Uncle Pen" and "Goodbye Old Pal") to the Carter Family's "Cryin' Holy Unto the Lord" to the traditional "On the Jericho Road." Bluegrass Get Together leaves no doubt that Rothchild had the right idea when he decided to unite Logan and the CRVB.