Dobro master Josh Graves dies
Saturday, September 30, 2006
– Uncle Josh Graves, who introduced the Dobro to bluegrass, died Saturday after a series of health problems. He was about 81, although different ages are given for Graves.
Graves was a member of Flatt & Scruggs during the 1950s and '60s. Graves was born in Tellico Plains, Tenn.
Music historian Bill C. Malone said "Graves perfected a rolling syncopated style that enabled him to play galloping breakdowns as well as slow love songs or ballads."
Graves was attracted to the Dobro as a child on hearing Cliff Carlisle play on Jimmie Rodgers' recordings. He later met Carlisle, who gave him help and encouragement. In 1942, he made his professional debut with the Pierce Brothers. After then playing with Esco Hankins in Knoxville, he played with Molly O'Day and Mac Wiseman, before joining Stoney Cooper And Wilma Lee on the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree.
In 1957, he moved with them to the Grand Ole Opry, where he first met Flatt and Scruggs and became a permanent member of their Foggy Mountain Boys, initially playing bass, but soon changing to Dobro.
When Flatt And Scruggs split in 1969, he became a member of Flatt's Nashville Grass until 1971, when he joined the Earl Scruggs Revue until 1974. During the 60s and early 70s, he played on albums by both Flatt and Scruggs and as a session musician, he played albums by other artists including Steve Young and Kris Kristofferson.
In 1974, he left Scruggs to work as a session musician and to make solo appearances. He recorded his debut, "Alone At Last" for Epic Records and also appeared on releases by Charlie McCoy, Boots Randolph and James Talley. In 1975, he recorded a duet album with Jake Tullock as Uncle Jake And Uncle Josh (he had created Uncle Josh as an alter-ego comic character that he portrayed on stage, and he was friendly with Tullock from his days with Flatt and Scruggs).
In the '80s, Graves, Mike Auldridge and Jerry Douglas produced Dobro Summit, an educational video, and he also played as a member of the Masters, with Eddie Adcock, Kenny Baker and Jesse McReynolds.
In the 90s, Graves still did session work. Graves was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honor in 1997.
CD reviews for Josh Graves
Memories of Foggy Mountain
"Uncle" Josh Graves introduced the dobro to bluegrass during his tenure with Flatt and Scruggs in the 1950s. Graves and the Foggy Mountain Boys wrote and recorded some of the greatest instrumentals of all-time and helped to set a new course for bluegrass.
This is a very appropriately titled recording as Graves and company reprise many of these instrumentals, including "Shuckin' The Corn," "Foggy Mountain Special," "Foggy Mountain Rock," "Maggie Blues," "Flatt Lonesome," "Pike County Breakdown" »»»
Burkett H. "Josh" Graves played a major role in bringing the dobro to prominence as a lead bluegrass instrument. "Uncle Josh," as he is affectionately known, attempts to bring back some of the old magic with these 14 cuts, mostly bluegrass standards. "Your Love is Like a Flower," "Shuckin' the Corn," and "Cora is Gone" will be familiar to most bluegrassers. Terry Eldridge does a solid job on lead vocals.
One of the joys is hearing the fiddle of Kenny Baker. Baker and Graves play off each other »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Cantrell continues to satisfy
Laura Cantrell may never be a country star. Not at this stage of her career when she's 50, touring here and there and releasing new music every few years or so. But five albums in, Cantrell continues as a warm, enjoyable and worthy purveyor of her brand of country.
That would mean going towards a more traditional side, not rushing the songs... »»»
Concert Review: Not only is Turner traditional, he's popular
Every time Josh Turner reached for some of those wonderful subterranean low notes, which he often pulled out during his enjoyable night show, it was like a superhero applying a superpower. He didn't need this extra advantage to please his audience; he has so many quality songs stockpiled in his catalogue already doing the job.... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
"Boys from Back Home" is Scotty McCreery's amalgamation of Kenny Chesney's "I Go Back" and "Boys of Fall," which even borrows words from each hit song to create something attempting to be new. It's not new. »»»
17th Avenue Revival
With a group history that spans over 50 years, gospel and country music mainstays The Oak Ridge Boys are at a place when they could conceivably rest on their laurels, release a few greatest hits records and coast the rest of the way through their careers, and fans would still be pleased. »»»
Right or Wrong
Dave Adkins stepped to the plate and swung for the fences. His monster swing found the sweet spot and delivered a game-winning home run. "Right or Wrong" is filled with hot picking, great vocal presentations and a risk or two that absolutely pay off. If Adkins was trying to outshine previous releases, he may have done so. »»»
East Nashville may be known as "the" Americana hotbed these days, but some of the talent there is very much verging on rock 'n roll. This is the case with Lynn Taylor & the BarFlies on their third release, a collection of personal tunes by the front man. »»»