Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Earl Scruggs Revue Anniversary Special Vol 1

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One-half of the legendary banjo duo Flatt & Scruggs, Earl Scruggs formed his eponymous Revue upon the demise of his longtime partnership with Lester Flatt in early 1969, and promptly began unleashing a stream of excellent albums. Anniversary Special arrived in 1975, marking the banjo man's 25th anniversary of signing with Columbia/CBS Records. It was a guest star-laden affair, with Scruggs and his two sons, the core of the Revue, joined in the studio by a host of country, folk, and other far-flung luminaries. Johnny Nash, Joan Baez, Billy Joel, and the Pointer Sisters are just a handful of the guests, an aggregate so eclectic one longs to know just how Scruggs knew them all. The booklet supplies the answers, introducing the cast and explaining their surprising links to Scruggs (most more interesting than any degree of separation Kevin Bacon can lay claim to). But as far removed as some of these people are from the banjo star, the set is solidly grounded by the members of the Revue, as they joyfully pick their way through a series of astutely chosen covers, a number related to or written by the guests involved. The album's star power certainly garnered attention, but it was the set's jubilant atmosphere, joyous eclectic flair, and inspired arrangements that pushed the band to its highest placing in the pop chart (just outside the Top 100). Inevitably, then, a second-anniversary set followed the next year. Less is known about this album, with annotator John Tobler suggesting that six of the tracks were initially begun for the first volume, but not, for unknown reasons, completed at the time -- these were subsequently finished off with only four new tracks recorded. He makes a good case, but only the most anal of fans will really care. In fact, Tobler raises more questions than he can answer, unstrung by his authoritative take on the first set. But the music is what's important, and although the name cachet was not as star-struck as its predecessor, the album was equally eclectic and entertaining. Considering the pair's history, and being -- as they are -- two parts of a whole, it's been a long time coming until they were finally reissued together on one disc. Delightfully defying genres, and proving yet again that country music doesn't necessarily start or end with a twang, this very Special set's appeal far exceeds the parameters of bluegrass, country, folk, or any of the other typical tags the Revue had earned. ~ Jo-Ann Greene, All Music Guide

1 Banjo Man (2:30)

2 Swimming Song (2:21)

3 Gospel Ship (2:32)

4 Bleeker Street Rag (5:00)

5 Royal Majesty (3:41)

6 Rollin' in My Dreams (4:59)

7 Song to Woody (3:06)

8 Third Rate Romance (3:27)

9 Hey Porter (2:57)

10 Passing Through (5:06)

anniversary special, vols. 1-2 - album credits

David Malloy Engineer
Jody Maphis Percussion, Group Member, Drums
George McCorkle Guitar (Electric)
Leon Pendarvis Organ, Piano, Guest Appearance
Ron Reynolds Engineer
Gary Scruggs Harmonica, Percussion, Group Member, Vocals, Bass (Electric)
Randy Scruggs Guitar (Acoustic), Group Member, Slide Guitar, Vocals, Guitar (Electric), Banjo
Steve Scruggs Piano (Electric), Group Member
Lisa Silver Vocals
Wendy Suits Vocals
Ben Tallent Engineer
Andrew Thompson Remastering
Diane Tidwell Vocals
Florence Warner Vocals
Tim Wipperman Trumpet, Guest Appearance
Rusty Young Dobro, Guest Appearance, Guitar (Steel)
Nick Palladino Assistant Engineer
John Tobler Liner Notes
David Gahr Photography
Gerard Huerta Lettering
Sandy Speiser Photography
Slick Lawson Photography, Cover Photo
Irene Harris Photography
Tracey Nelson Vocals, Guest Appearance
David Nelson (Dahveed Ben Israel) Guest Appearance
Bonnie Bramlett Vocals, Guest Appearance
Skip Battin Guest Appearance
Pete Drake Pedal Steel
Alvin Lee Guitar (Electric), Guest Appearance
Don Nix Vocals, Guest Appearance
Billy Swan Organ
Tony Joe White Guitar (Electric)
Jim Keltner Drums, Guest Appearance
Larry Gatlin Guitar (Acoustic), Guest Appearance, Vocals
Ron Cornelius Guest Appearance
Ron Bledsoe Producer
Kenneth A. Buttrey Drums, Guest Appearance
Charlie Daniels Guitar (Electric), Vocals, Guest Appearance, Slide Guitar
Shane Keister Piano, Moog Bass
Gene Eichelberger Engineer
Jerry Eubanks Saxophone
Willie Hall Drums, Guest Appearance
Teddy Irwin Guitar
Bob Johnston Organ, Vocals, Guest Appearance, Producer
Sheri Kramer Vocals
Johnny Cash Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals, Guest Appearance
Michael Martin Murphey Vocals, Guest Appearance
Joan Baez Vocals, Guest Appearance
Leonard Cohen Vocals, Guest Appearance
Buffy Sainte-Marie Vocals, Guest Appearance
Loudon Wainwright III Vocals, Guest Appearance
Dan Fogelberg Vocals, Guest Appearance
Billy Joel Piano, Guest Appearance
Kenny Loggins Percussion, Guest Appearance, Vocals
Jim Messina Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Vocals, Guest Appearance
The Pointer Sisters Vocals, Guest Appearance
Earl Scruggs Banjo, Group Member, Vocals
Doug Kershaw Cajun Fiddle, Guest Appearance

Sharebee wasn't working tonight so I'll post it under sharebee later.


Anonymous said...

Roger MaGuinn. Played guitar sang lead on Rollin' In My Dreams

EinarSS said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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