Various Artists

Old Time Mountain Banjo

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Certain issues/reissues are greeted warmly by both reviewers and listeners because the name of a certain label guarantees a quality product. Such is the case with County, one of the premier traditional music labels. Old Time Mountain Banjo collects 18 instrumentals and songs featuring banjo by both well- and lesser-known musicians. Clarence Ashley's version of "Coo Coo Bird" and Charlie Poole/Lucy Terry's "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Medley" will be familiar to most old-timey fans, while Whitter-Hendley-Small's "Shuffle Feet Shuffle" will be less so. Uncle Dave Macon, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, and Buell Kazee also make appearances. Other highlights include two performances by B.F. Shelton, "Oh Molly Dear" and "Pretty Polly," whose vocals and banjo style will remind many listeners of Kazee, and Frank Jenkins, a distinct and lively stylist who offers fine takes on "Baptist Shout" and "Home Sweet Home." Old Time Mountain Banjo's last track features a rare female string band, the Coon Creek Girls, and "Banjo Pickin' Girl" is a fun, lively closer. The liner notes by Bob Buckingham are both helpful and informative, and the overall sound quality, especially for recordings that date back to the 1920s and 1930s, is excellent. For banjo, old-timey, and County fans, Old Time Mountain Banjo is an excellent release.

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