Flatt Mountain Records
Vassar Clements and Tony Rice
Tony Williamson Scott Vestal Warren Amberson Carrol Clements
Groundspeed (Earl Scruggs)
Mountain Girl (Tony Williamson)
Kissimee Kid (Vassar Clements)
Billy in the Lowground (Traditional)
Dark Hollow (Traditional)
Salt Creek (Traditional)
Toy Heart (Bill Monroe)
I Wonder Where You Are Tonight (Johnny Bond)
Unwound (Dean Dillon|Frank Dycus)
Lonesome Fiddle Blues (Vassar Clements)
Wayfaring Stranger (Traditional)
Wheel Hoss (Bill Monroe)
It must have been extremely hot onstage at Randy Wood's Concert Hall last December when these recordings were made. Those of us lucky enough to grab a ticket for this standing room only, 2-night stand at the famed luthier's cozy 100-seat Bloomingdale, Ga. listening room can attest to that.
This sextet of old friends and mild acquaintances burned through a total of 4 sets' worth of soulful acoustic music that touched on bluegrass, blues, jazz, gospel (and even rock and roll) with as much precision, empathy and palpable goodwill as one might expect from a lineup that ;had been gigging together regularly for years - let alone one gathered together specifically for this event, and afforded only a brief run-through the night before their engagement began.
This was high-tension wire music, played by seasoned artists at the top of their game in front of a spellbound crowd of die hard fans. The band members gleefully pushed their own limitations of speed, heart and feeling. We could see it in the nervous smiles on their faces as it all went down, and you can actually hear it from time to time on this disc.
In retrospect, these tracks are made all the more poignant by the realization that they document one of the final live appearances Vassar ever made. A true gentlemanly legend of American music, and an inspiration and fast friend to countless musicians of all genres the world over, his celebrated spirit of generosity, acceptance and reverence lies at the very heart of these shows and of this album.
As Bob Dylan (a noted Vassar fan himself) once wrote. "In the fury of the moment / I can see the Master's hand".