Lonesome & Blue is the second Red Allen collection released on Rebel Records in 2004 and, like Keep on Going, represents a bluegrass artist at his best. The primary difference is that the second collection, comprised of material from 1965 and 1966, supplements hardcore bluegrass with a number of classic country songs. On the first half of the collection, Allen is joined by bassist Billy Yates, mandolinist Wayne Yates, banjoist Porter Church, and a young fiddler named Richard Greene. The band delivers striking versions of Bill Monroe's "Summertime Is Past and Gone" and "I'm on My Way Back to the Old Home," but also delves into Ernest Tubb's "Are You Waiting Just for Me" and the Louvin Brothers' "Seven Year Blues" (the latter previously unreleased). On the second half of the collection, Billy and Wayne Yates brothers have been replaced by mandolinist David Grisman and bassist Jerry McCoury, and dobroist Craig Wingfield has been added. The addition of Wingfield, in particular, gives the material an old-timey feel, which proves just right for Mel Tillis' "There Must Be Another Way to Live" and Johnny Bond's "I Wonder Where You Are Tonight." As on Keep on Going, Allen's vocals on Lonesome & Blue inject mountain soul into all of these songs and turn even a familiar favorite like "Milk Cow Blues" into something special. Lonesome & Blue will remind listeners just what real bluegrass and country sounds like, and will be warmly greeted by Allen fans.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.