Widely regarded as one of bluegrass' most influential recordings, Foggy Mountain Jamboree introduced audiences -- more specifically radio listeners -- to the crystal-clear vocals and peerless musicianship of former Bill Monroe Bluegrass Boys Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Amassed between 1951 and 1955, the 12 tracks that made the cut served as a veritable blueprint for a genre that had been growing in popularity since the late '40s. While numerous Foggy Mountain Boys appear throughout -- Chet Atkins, Josh "Buck" Graves -- Flatt's fluid tenor and rhythm guitar work anchored the sessions, Scruggs' machine-gun banjo work provided the steam, and fiddler Chubby Wise, along with mandolin player Curly Seckler, carried the whole thing home without a care in the world. "Flint River Special," "Earl's Breakdown," and "Foggy Mountain Special" became part of American culture, celebrating both its trailblazing work ethic and spirituality with equal amounts of grace and hellfire. Foggy Mountain Jamboree is essential listening for anyone with even the most remote interest in bluegrass.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger