Various Artists

Legacy: A Tribute to the First Generation of Bluegrass

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This tribute album consists of previously released tracks by such modern bluegrass greats as Doyle Lawson, Tony Rice, the Seldom Scene, and Ricky Skaggs; all of the songs were either written by or closely associated with one of the foundational artists of early bluegrass: Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, or Flatt & Scruggs. Fiddler Byron Berline opens the program with Monroe's "Rose of Old Kentucky," on which Berline's playing is perfect as always. Unfortunately, singer Vince Gill doesn't have anywhere near enough voice to cover Big Mon, but just about everything else on this album is superb. Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice perform "Memories of Mother and Dad" in the venerable "brother duet" style; the Laurel Canyon Ramblers do Flatt & Scruggs proud with their powerful rendition of "Preachin', Prayin', Singin'." Marty Stuart -- something of a bluegrass prodigal -- delivers a stark and powerful performance of Lester Flatt's "Get in Line, Brother" with the help of Johnny Cash and Alan O'Bryant. Though these performances could never take the place of the originals, this is a fine and heartfelt tribute to bluegrass music's pioneers.

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