Clinch Mountain Echo

Rocky Mountain Boys - Burning Bluegrass

(MAG RSR-293) 1976

Burning Bluegrass
Rear Cover Cover Photo

Average Album Rating: 3.33
(Total votes 3)

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This is probably Junior Blankenship's debut recording... as the liner notes say "Sixteen and never been kissed". No doubt, roughly two yars later, Ralph would have been introuducing him with the "Never been murdered, I mean married" quip.

From the liner notes, it looks like the band were active since at least 1967, with Junior's Dad joining in 1973, and Junior in early 1974.

Instrumentally, the band are pretty hot - especially the fiddle and banjo work.

Hubert Powers, seems quite a talented character. His fiddle playing is firmly rooted in the 'old time' tradition, and is quite similiar to Curly Ray's work for Ralph. He also recorded a few albums with his father Fiddlin' Ted Powers, where he played the fiddle left-handed, but banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass right-handed![1] It seems likely that he was also related to Fiddlin Cowan Powers who played with the Stanley Brothers...[2]

Donnie Joe Mullins, picks both Scruggs style and clawhammer and on kicking Mule steals a few licks from Raymond Fairchild too. Stanley fans will know his tune I've Got A Mule To Ride, which was the title cut on The Rocky Mountain Boys third LP, and which Ralph recorded on The Memory Of Your Smile.

The recordings were done at Maggard Sound in Big Stone Gap. Va. on 21st Feb 1976.

Junior sings lead on a version of The Marshall Family's Come Springtime, and his lead guitar is to the fore on Bill Cheatum, with shorter lead breaks also on Gold Rush and God Gave You To Me.

Avery Ratliff left after this album, with Hillard Snr taking over on mandolin, for their next album, Homestead Bluegrass.

Side One:
Gold Rush

Bill Monroe
Ashes Of Love

Jack Anglin / Johnnie Robert Wright
I'll Go Stepping Too

James William Denny / Tom James
Kicking Mule

Georgia Rose

Bill Monroe
Come Springtime

Dave Marshall
Side Two:
Orange Blossom Special

Ervin T. Rouse
Rocky Island

R. Stanley
God Gave You To Me

R. Stanley
Bill Cheatum

Tall Pines

Damon Black
Shoe Leather

P.J. Mullins

Go To Top Of Page [1] Liner notes / photos to Father And Son, Ted and Hubert Powers - 'Two Generations Of Old Time Fiddle' (MAG 34425-6) 1975.