Various Artists

The Old Home Place: Bluegrass and Old-Time Mountain Music

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Few things surpass the importance of home in traditional folk and country music. The Old Home Place gathers 17 songs taken from the past recordings of Rounder Records' illustrious cadre of artists. Songs chosen from the catalogs of Jim & Jesse, J.D. Crowe, and Laurie Lewis run the gauntlet of old-time and bluegrass styles. The Nashville Bluegrass Band's version of A.P. Carter's "My Native Home" captures the lonesome feel of the lyrics, while the Cox Family brings their trademark harmony to bear on "Little Whitewashed Chimney." Ed Hamilton's classic "Lonesome Old Home" gets a fresh makeover from Longview, while "Home Is Where the Heart Is" receives a traditional rendering by Connie & Babe. The cumulative effect of this disc is comparable to listening to an hour of old favorites on the radio with no commercials. The album ends with Hazel Dickens' heartbreaking "Hills of Home," a song that captures the modern changes that overtook and scattered many rural households. There's a similar melancholy to "Auction at the Home Place" by the Dry Branch Fire Squad. Besides good music, The Old Home Place works as a mediation on "home" and what it means in a changing and uncertain world. Bluegrass and old-time fans, along with those who long for the old home place, will enjoy this collection.

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