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The Legendary Marshall Family

Volume Two – 2004 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by The Legendary Marshall Family

This is the second volume of songs the Marshall Family recorded, primarily in the 1970's and '80's. They have not toured in nearly two decades although they made a few appearances, including Bean Blossom, in 2003.

The Marshalls sing bluegrass gospel, and sweeter voices will never be heard this side of heaven. Their harmonies are tight, and the song selection, while leaning towards the gospel side rather than the bluegrass, is pure pleasure. The CD kicks off with "When I Wake Up To Sleep No More" and it is a primer for gospel arrangement and singing harmony. Half the numbers were written by family members, and these reveal their songwriting skills with songs like "Come Springtime: Come springtime I'll place new flowers on Mommy's grave." What bluegrass audience would not respond to that sentiment? On "The God That Never Fails" they show they can keep pace with sterling a cappella groups like Quicksilver and they close out with one of the prettiest versions of "The Baptism of Jesse Taylor" ever recorded.

The Marshall Family is one of the best bluegrass gospel groups you will ever hear, and this reissue of their songs is nothing short of a treasure.