Bluegrass Review Oct 14, 2017-Oct 20, 2017 (second hour) #1642

Losing one’s way somehow in life is a frequent topic in bluegrass songs. But how this topic is handled differs from period to period. We listen to a 1950’s Stanley Bros song and a current Sierra Hull song about losing one’s way. Our Gem of Bluegrass concerns tragic romances. These have occupied singers’ attention for literally centuries. Later, we talk to a great dobroist, Orville Johnson of Seattle, WA. Orville tells us about the bluegrass history of the dobro guitar, and he plays the music of several influential figures, including himself.

Song Artist CD Label
What You Wanted Blue Highway Original Traditional Rounder


Finding the Way

Compass Sierra Hull Weighted Mind Compass
Lost I’ll Never Find the Way Stanley Bros 1953-1958 & 1959 Bear Family


Golden Eagle Hornpipe Ron Cody The Cooper Sessions

Gem of Bluegrass 1642: Tragic Romances

Little Mathie Groves Ralph Stanley Columbia
Pretty Polly Stanley Bros Too Late to Cry Catfish
Polly’s Revenge Hammertowne Highways and heartaches Mountain Fever
Tragic Romance Doc Watson Gerde’s Folk City Sugar Hill
The Faces of Charles Edward Brown Travers Chandler Archaic Patuxent
Come and Get these Memories Delia Bell & Bill Grant Classic Bluegrass Yesterday and Today Old Homestead

Handsome Molly

Handsome Molly Grayson and Whitter 1928-1930 County
The Demise of Handsome Molly Clay Bank Playing Hard to Forget Rural Rhythm


Song Artist CD Label
Farewell Blues Sol Hoopii Hula Blues Rounder

Orville Johnson – History of the Dobro Guitar



Orville Johnson interview
The End of the World Orville Johnson interview
Foggy Mountain Rock Orville Johnson interview
Little Roro Jerry Douglas The Best Kept Secret Koch
Shenendoah Orville Johnson interview


Shot Man Blues Travers Chandler Archaic Patuxent
Pogo Big Joe Walsh Borderland

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Phil Nusbaum’s CD The Dark Before the Storm is available at

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