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Larry Sparks

The Best Of Larry Sparks: Bound To Ride – 2008 (Rebel)

Reviewed by John Walker

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CDs by Larry Sparks

This is the definitive collection for bluegrass legend Larry Sparks. This 14-song CD is culled from his many great albums of the past, including those he recorded for the King Bluegrass in the mid 1970's and for Rebel over the past 3 decades.

Also included are three songs not previously available on CD - "Blue Ridge Cabin Home" from the 1975 King Bluegrass LP "Sparklin' Bluegrass," "Bound To Ride" from the 1976 King Bluegrass LP "You Could Have Called" and "Imitation Of The Blues" from the 1983 "Blue Sparks" LP. It is extremely difficult to pick out only the best from an artist who began his career more than 40 years ago with the Stanley Brothers. Rebel has done a great job, however. The hits include "John Deere Tractor," which the Judds used to catapult their career on their debut 1984 release, the lonesome yearning classic "Smokey Mountain Memories" and the nostalgic "Tennessee 1949."

This collection is a good introduction for those not familiar with Sparks. It is easy to see why he has twice been named top male vocalist.