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Longview – 1997 (Rounder)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Longview

Fans of traditional bluegrass will be enthralled with Longview, the supergroup named for the farm in North Brookfield, Mass., where these 14 songs were recorded. Consisting of Dudley Connell (Johnson Mt Boys, Seldom Scene), James King (James King Band), Don Rigsby (Lonesome River Band), Joe Mullins (Traditional Grass), Marshall Wilborn (JMB, Lynn Morris Band) and Glen Duncan (Lonesome Standard Time, Nashville session work), each has carved a niche for himself in the bluegrass world.

But the emphasis is on celebrating the music's glory days of the 1940's & '50's. Songs include lesser-known selections from the repertoires of the Louvins, Don Reno & Red Smiley, Ralph Stanley and Connie & Babe. All are treated with the respect that a museum curator gives a valuable work of art.

Favorites are "(When) The Pale Horse and His Rider," "I've Never Been So Lonesome," and "The Touch of God's Hand." Credit the Rounder folks with another great concept. Longview will be one of bluegrass's top albums of 1997.